MLB approves expanded replay starting this season 

click to enlarge instant replay
  • Julie Jacobson/AP
  • MLB umpires will have the benefit of expanded instant replay next season.
Major League Baseball vaulted into the 21st century of technology on Thursday, approving a huge expansion of instant replay in hopes of eliminating blown calls that riled up players, managers and fans.

“I think it’s great,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s about getting it right.”

Acknowledging the human element had been overtaken in an era when everyone except the umps could see several views over and over in slow-motion, owners and players and umpires OK’d the new system. Now each manager will be allowed to challenge at least one call per game. If he’s right, he gets another challenge. After the seventh inning, a crew chief can request a review on his own if the manager has used his challenges.

Ball-and-strike calls can’t be contested. Neither can check-swings and foul tips. Nor can obstruction and interference rulings — those are up to the umpires’ judgment.

“I tell you the fans will love it,” baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said after owners met and voted their unanimous approval. “It’s another in a long list of changes that will make this sport better than it already is.”

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