John Farrell: Major League Baseball ‘Better Off’ With Expanded Instant Replay

John FarrellBOSTON — Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell has long been an advocate of expanded instant replay in Major League Baseball. As such, he’s anxious to see how this season shakes out.

Farrell and the rest of the managers across Major League Baseball will face an interesting situation this season, as there certainly will be adjustments to having replay at their fingertips. While managers won’t have red challenge flags — a la the NFL — skippers will need to determine when to call for a challenge, adding some extra strategy to the game.

“We’ve got the ability to challenge a play in the first six innings. If we’re right, you get to look behind door No. 2, I guess, for lack of a better way to put it,” Farrell said Wednesday. “I think the biggest familiarity we have to get is how much time do we have when we go out to initially argue a call — or dispute a call — and then have information relayed to us after the video is reviewed [by clubhouse personnel]?”

Each manager will begin each game with one challenge. If he successfully challenges a play, the manager will retain the challenge, although only two challenges are allowed per game. If the manager uses his challenges before the start of the seventh inning, at which point the crew chief is empowered to institute a review, the manager is out of luck.

The hope, obviously, is that the new replay system will be seamlessly implemented in 2014. Farrell acknowledged that new systems ofter undergo changes in the early stages of implementation, though, so it’s possible that things could get interesting before they actually get better.

“We also know that this is Year 1 of it, and we fully expect that there’s going to be adjustments made year over year until its final challenge system is in place,” Farrell said. “But I think in the end, everyone wants to get the calls right and if this is another tool that we have to use, then we’re better off for it.”

Each team is allowed to have a club employee monitoring video and communicating with the manager whether or not to challenge.

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