Major League Baseball introduced an expanded replay system for the 2014 season.
In addition to home runs still being reviewable if necessary, several new changes were made, including a manager’s challenge system where certain plays, such as close calls at first base, can be reviewed and possibly overturned if there’s enough evidence.
Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell made his first challenge of the season Sunday when Jackie Bradley Jr. was called out at first base after hitting a ground ball. After a review that took 1:38 to complete, the call on the field was upheld.
One of the main issues with the new replay system is that it has the potential to make baseball games — which already go on for three, and sometimes four, hours — even longer.
One example of replay making the game longer than it needs to be occurred on Thursday night, when the umpires needed to use the system to figure out what the count was during an at-bat in the ninth inning of the Yankees-Astros game.
After the season, there will be plenty of changes for the league to review and consider, but it’s at least encouraging to know that the system will help get more calls right. That will be even more important when postseason baseball arrives in October.