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Torre addresses topics discussed by rules committee

MLB.com

PHOENIX -- The Playing Rules Committee met during the annual General Managers Meetings on Wednesday to discuss several topics that will be on the table at the Winter Meetings in San Diego the second week in December.

The three primary topics of conversation were the pace-of-game initiatives that are being given a test run during the Arizona Fall League, as well as a review of expanded instant replay and experimental Rule 7.13 governing home-plate collisions.

PHOENIX -- The Playing Rules Committee met during the annual General Managers Meetings on Wednesday to discuss several topics that will be on the table at the Winter Meetings in San Diego the second week in December.

The three primary topics of conversation were the pace-of-game initiatives that are being given a test run during the Arizona Fall League, as well as a review of expanded instant replay and experimental Rule 7.13 governing home-plate collisions.

Joe Torre, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of baseball operations, addressed each of those areas Wednesday at the Arizona Biltmore.

Instant replay
When the changes were introduced last year, committee chairman John Schuerholz of the Braves stressed that this was a three-year rollout that would be tweaked as time went on.

"We've come up with some suggestions among ourselves to think about as far as challenges, number of challenges, keeping the challenge," Torre said. "We've talked about a lot of stuff. We only had one instance this year where before the seventh inning somebody didn't have a challenge if they needed it.

So the one challenge seemed to work. But we're really happy with how it worked this year. We're not looking at making wholesale changes."

Torre did mention that if the replay official in New York at MLB Advanced Media's offices rules that a call on the field "stands," it only means that there is no clear evidence to overturn it. Still, the manager loses his challenge.

"We're looking at improved technology that may help some of these 'stands' calls be confirmed or overturned," Torre said.

He also indicated that there will definitely be a change in the system that forces a manager to go onto the field and kill time while waiting for a signal from the dugout on whether a call should be challenged.

"That was my baby. I didn't want to take away from the manager the fact that he could run out there and argue," Torre said. "I didn't really plan on them meandering out there and having a conversation. Live and learn.

"But I do think that's one area we'll do something different, although I don't know what that is. We'll eliminate some of that standing around, because 10 seconds in our game seems like a lifetime if you're just standing there."

Collisions
"The one thing we set out to accomplish we have accomplished," Torre said. "Luckily we didn't carry anybody off the field this year. As far as trying to put pen to paper on making this specific, it's very difficult."

MLB issued a clarification of Rule 7.13 late last season, and Torre said discussions will continue with the Major League Baseball Players Association to attempt to sharpen the interpretation even further. He also said that, ultimately, replay would have to play a significant role in getting those calls right.

"I have suggested to the umpires to just call the play," Torre said. "Because when you're looking at a bang-bang situation ... you've got a lot of things to look at. That's really where we relied on our replay officials to judge [whether there was a rules violation]."

Pace of game
Torre said he's been impressed with what he's seen in the AFL, which concludes with Saturday's championship game, but was unsure what, if anything, would be used during the 2015 season.

"As far as being able to implement it, you have to understand that this has to be in conjunction with the Players Association, as it was with our collision play," Torre said. "Trying to implement that so close to the season last year was really tough. Maybe as much as we suggest it, but understand that players have a certain habit of doing things. But this has been, just from all the evidence we've had from the Fall League, a real positive as far as gathering information. That's what we have to do first before we figure out what will work at the Major League level."

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.