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Instant replay exists in some extent in the NHL, NBA, NFL and Nascar. After series of debates and long discussions the MLB will utilize replay beginning today with all new series (Note: if a series has already begun, teams will start playing with replay in effect at the beginning of their next scheduled series.) Replay will only be used to review if a home run ball is fair or foul, if it cleared the wall or if a fan interfered.

In November, General Managers voted 25 to 5 in favor of instant replay. During a stretch of disputed calls in May, talks escalated about using technology to get home run calls correct. Without replay Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Delgado, Benji Molina lost round trippers due to incorrect rulings by the umpires. To make replay a reality the MLB had to negotiate agreements with the Players Association and the World Umpires Association. This deal only goes through at the end of this season. However, the collective bargaining agreement runs through the 2011 season and baseball hopes replay does as well.

The fans’ main concern is how replay will affect the length of the game. The average game already lasts for about two hours and 48 minutes long. However, Commissioner Bud Selig  said with advanced replay the decisions will be made quickly by the crew chief. The umpire will view the disputed call on a monitor showing multiple angles of the play. The replays will be sent  by someone in Major League Baseball advanced media’s office located in Manhattan. On game days, in the Chelsea office there will be four to eight umpire supervisions and video technicians helping umpires across the country with the calls in question.

The player’s main concern is the timing of implementation, as the union argued replay should begin during the playoffs. Other players are old-school and feel objective opinion and calls are part of the gam. However, it is tough for umpires to make the correct calls in certain stadiums because of the unique design of the park. However, starting Friday, it should be easier, as replay will go into effect in every MLB game.

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