09/25/08 2:15 AM ET
Replay history at Safeco
Foul-ball ruling upheld after Scioscia calls for review
By Jim Street / MLB.com
"It worked well," he said. "I thought the ball was foul, but it was so close that as soon as it hit, I thought it would get reviewed. Initially, there was no review, then there was another meeting out there and then there was a review. I'm not sure that's the way it's supposed to work, but the bottom line is they got the call right."Since the new rule went into effect on Aug. 28, there have been five instances in which a replay has been used and only once has the original call been reversed. That happened on Sept. 19 at Tropicana Field where Rays slugger Carlos Pena hit the first pitch from Twins right-hander Boof Bonser toward the right-field stands. A spectator could be seen reaching to catch the ball, which prompted first-base umpire Mike DiMuro to call fan interference and award Pena second base. But replays showed that the ball went over the fence before being touched, and therefore was a home run, and the call was reversed. All televised MLB games are monitored and staffed by an expert technician and either an umpire supervisor or a former umpire at Major League Baseball Advanced Media headquarters in New York. A television monitor and a secure telephone link to MLB.com, placed next to the monitor, have been installed at all 30 ballparks. If the crew chief determines that instant replay review is necessary on a particular disputed home run, he calls the MLB.com technician, who then transmits the most appropriate video footage to the crew chief and the umpire crew on site. The umpire supervisor or former umpire does not have direct communication with any of the umpires on site, and the decision to reverse a call is at the sole discretion of the crew chief. The standard used by the crew chief when reviewing a play is whether there is clear and convincing evidence that the umpire's decision on the field was incorrect and should be reversed. The use of replay is limited only to home runs: in or out, fair or foul, and fan interference. "It's a great tool, and that's what it's for," Welke said. "It worked tonight, and proved that we were correct. But if for some reason we had made a mistake, we would have been able to correct it."
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.