Angels preparing for new replay rules
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels will meet next week to discuss the logistics of expanded instant replay and who they'll assign to determine when to use a challenge.
The new rules -- with everything besides obstruction and interference now reviewable, and managers being given no more than two challenges per game -- will undoubtedly introduce a new layer of strategy.
"I think the real challenge is when are you going to challenge," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "There's going to be times when, even if you're right, it might not be something you're going to challenge if you're going to be naked for four innings. You can be right twice and you're done until the seventh inning. You have to be cognizant of that."
Each manager will start the game with one challenge. If it's upheld, he retains it. But mainly because of pace-of-game concerns, he can't have more than two challenges in a game. And a call can't be reviewable by a crew chief's discretion until the beginning of the seventh inning.
Reviews will be conducted at the Replay Command Center at Major League Baseball Advanced Media headquarters in New York, with two additional four-man umpiring crews hired over the offseason to rotate through and review feeds. Each ballpark will then have a designated communication location near home plate, where the crew chief and at least one other umpire will have access to a hard-wire headset connected to the Command Center.
Teams are allowed to have a club employee monitoring video throughout the game to determine which plays are worth reviewing. One candidate for the Angels is Nick Francona, son of Indians manager Terry Francona, who was commander for a sniper battalion in Afghanistan and was brought in as coordinator of Major League player information.
The Angels don't really have the extra monitors at Tempe Diablo Stadium, but will try to use Spring Training games to get a feel for how they'd use the challenge system.
Asked if managers could turn to replay for the simple purpose of icing an opposing pitcher who's dominating early, Scioscia said: "I'm sure there's a variety of ways you can explore why you would use replay, but I think that people are going to use it for the right reason."