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At last, MLB umpires will communicate with fans about replay reviews

This is long past due.

Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

MLB games have had some form of replay review since 2008, when reviews of home runs began. The full replay review system that’s in place now began in 2014, so 2022 will be its ninth season (and eighth with fans in attendance).

Up to now, the only communication of what happened in a review was, in most ballparks, a note on the video board that the call was either “confirmed,” “stands,” or “overturned.” No explanation of exactly what happened or the reasoning behind the call. Fans in attendance and even team TV broadcasters were sometimes mystified about what happened during a review.

That’s going to change beginning on Opening Day:

This is fantastic news for everyone, from players, coaches and managers to fans in attendance at games to the TV viewing audience. The “training” they mention hasn’t happened during games, at least not any games I’ve attended or watched on TV, but this will match what you see in an NFL or NHL game.

This system was first proposed as far back as 2017, and was supposed to happen in 2020 before the pandemic shut down baseball:

Now, we will get such a system, and as noted in that tweet, there are some situations where rules might have to be explained, and we’ll get that in those cases. Will we get emphatic calls like this one from NHL referee Wes McCauley?

Kudos to MLB for instituting this system. I look forward to hearing it during games.