"I think from a technology standpoint, there are ways to do better, so I'm definitely an advocate for that," general manager John Mozeliak said. "The way the proposal reads, I think, is exciting. I do think it could end up helping speed up the game, because it could eliminate some of those arguments on those close plays. In fairness, get it right."
The current replay system allows umpires to review home run calls on a monitor inside a ballpark tunnel. The new proposal would increase the number of reviewable plays to include, among others, fair and foul and calls on the bases. Balls and strikes would not be reviewable. All replays would be reviewed by umpires at Major League Baseball Advanced Media's state-of-the-art New York City headquarters.
As it is currently proposed, this new system would provide each manager with three challenges -- one that could be used during the first six innings and two more to be available from the seventh until the end of the game. If a call is overturned, the manager will retain that challenge.
"I think it's a great outcome to all of the discussion that we've had about instant replay and how it fits into the game," said Cardinals principal owner Bill DeWitt Jr., who attended the meetings in Cooperstown. "First off, plays that are close, we know they are going to be called correctly. And second, it also will be interesting to see how each manager uses his appeals. Does he save one? Save two? The strategizing of it will add to the game."
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who has been a proponent of increased instant replay, said that he expects teams to get creative in figuring out how to maximize the challenge system. For instance, someone in a clubhouse video room could relay what they see to Matheny within seconds to help him decide whether a call is worth challenging.
Matheny added that he may even tap into some outside resources -- including Jeff Fisher, head coach of the NFL's St. Louis Rams -- to glean additional strategy.
"I think everybody is going to look for an edge -- how can we know, how can it be quickly translated?" Matheny said. "I doubt people are going to use [challenges] just to use them. I know I wouldn't want to do that. I don't like slowing down the pace of game for our players. But I do know that we're going to have to step in at a time you think is an integral part of the game and a decision that was missed."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.