AFL umpires assigned to games using expanded replay “rules”.
A press release from Major League Baseball reveals new procedures for instant replay will be used in five upcoming Arizona Fall League games. The games implementing expanded replay will be televised live on MLB Network from Tuesday, November 5th through Saturday, November 9th.
This is another step for MLB in working toward a recommendation to take to the teams, the MLBPA and World Umpires Association. All must must approve the recommendations in order for them to take effect.
Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz states the importance of testing “under game conditions”. He adds that this is “an important next step”. Schuerholtz opined that viewing these games and the implementation of the procedures will educate MLB to determine what other tweaks may be needed. This is another step in order to produce a formal recommendation.
Noteworthy is that MLB umpires will be attending these games in order to observe.
Sure, it’s a “dry run” of sorts, and using AFL games might not be ideal for some, but developing a grasp for the direction MLB wishes to go with expanded replay needs to be game-tested. Since MLB operates the AFL, it’s a certainly a viable outlet to test these procedures.
But can we think that five games will be sufficient for this testing? I’m sure on down the line we could hear that spring training games will be utilized.
Guess we chalk this up as a small sample size?