By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s a new era in baseball, as fans at games are seeing replays of close calls on stadium video screens for the first time.
For decades, Major League Baseball wouldn’t allow controversial plays shown on ballpark video screens for fear of inciting fans and embarrassing umpires.
But now, with managers allowed to ask for a video review of umpires’ calls, fans at the game will see the same replays shown on TV.
“There was a very high degree of frustration with our fans there in the ballpark in years past,” explains Mark DiNardo, the Phililes director of Broadcasting and Video Services, “because they knew there was something going on that they couldn’t see. In 2014, that’s not going to exist.”
Teams are now allowed to show close calls on the big screen up to twice before a manager challenges it.
“We’ll pretty much be able to show almost any play, whether it’s reviewable or non-reviewable up to two times,” says DiNardo. “And if it is reviewed, during the review process, we’ll be able to show it to folks in the ballpark an unlimited amount of times up until the point that they render the decision.”
And there will no doubt be plenty of “Philly reactions” when some of those replays are shown at Citizens Bank Park this year.