A manager may request one review in the first six innings and two more until the end of the game. That’s a nice thought – blown calls will get overturned.
But is it? Baseball is a sport in which the rulebook isn’t followed to the letter on plenty of routine plays. Umpires haven’t called the actual rulebook strike zone in my lifetime. The rulebook high strike is called a ball in the majors.
What about first baseman who pulls off the bag just a fraction of a second before actually catching the ball? It keeps the runner from stepping on his heal, but by rulebook definition, it’s not an out.
What about the double-play turn at second base? Shortstops and second base do the same – come off the bag before they’ve caught the ball.
If a fielder is required to tag out a runner at a base, he gets credit for the out if he fields the ball and puts his glove down before the runner arrives. It doesn’t matter if the runner slide headfirst and neatly shifts his arm to dodge the glove. By rulebook, he’s safe, but in reality, he’s out.
MLB isn’t saying what calls will be reviewable, but what if these examples are eligible to be overturned? All of a sudden, a play that’s been called one way for years will have to be changed because a replay clearly shows the guy was out/safe/whatever.
Is that fair? Is that right?
Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.