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Astros officials participate in expanded replay meeting

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The general managers, managers and bench coaches from the Braves, Tigers and Nationals joined Astros officials Friday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium in a meeting in which they were briefed on the expanded use of instant replay, which begins this season.

MLB executive vice president Joe Torre was joined by replay subcommittee members Tony La Russa and John Schierholz and others in giving a presentation and answering concerns from the clubs about replay. The meeting lasted two hours and 45 minutes.

"We have a long deck to show them," Torre said. "Basically, some video, but mainly instructions on how the replay system is put together and responsibilities and basically how it's going to work."

Replay will be expanded to include the majority of plays outside of balls and strikes. Each manager will have as many as two challenges in one game, and umpires will have the power to institute a review beginning in the seventh inning.

"When we started this, when the Commissioner put John Schierholz, myself and La Russa in charge of this subcommittee, [we thought] what could be so tough about looking at a TV screen and figuring out what happened?" Torre said.

Among the scenarios addressed, Torre said, were situations when there were two challenges at one time, both teams challenging the same play and a double play situation where one team challenges at second base and the other at first base.

"Just from questions that are asked, we're still looking into certain concerns of people, but for the most part everybody has been pleased with what they heard," Torre said.

Torre's crew will have four more meetings with multiple clubs -- two more in Florida and two in Arizona. He said all teams will have at least five games during Spring Training to simulate the use of instant replay.

"It's going to be pretty clear once they see the list of what's reviewable and what's non-reviewable," La Russa said. "Most plays that happen are reviewable. We're just not going to stop the game to get every play right. And there are some plays that are not quite as simple as the out at first or out at second -- how many guys are on base. Those are the ones that take a little more time explaining. They have sharp guys in there and they know it's real and going to happen."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
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