MLB Gives Fans Live Replay Access

In an attempt to “create a more transparent and engaging audition process,” Major League Baseball and Zoom have announced a partnership that will bring fans into the dugout for select games. For example, of course. The league made improvements by having referees explain replay decisions in a similar way to how the NFL does things, but Thursday’s press release detailed how this next step will give viewers greater access.

In the 2022 MLB season, there were over 1,400 replay reviews. Historically, the league’s replay review has relied on separate technology and voice-only communication with referees on the field, leaving fans removed from the decision-making process.

Beginning in the 2023 Season, the Chief of Staff, the most senior member of the four-man refereeing team, will be connected to the Zoom Replay Operations Center using the Zoom Communication Center solution during any replay review. During national broadcasts on MLB Network and Apple TV+, fans will also see the Zoom Replay Operations Center in action live during replay review and hear from a professional rules analyst who will discuss replay feedback with the team of advertising. MLB’s goal with this new setup is to create a more transparent and engaging audition process.

While I know some of you will reject this just because you don’t care about replayability, I think it’s a big step forward for the review process. Not only will fans get to see how and why decisions are made, but it adds an extra level of accountability to the referees and replay officials making the calls. I don’t go so far as to accuse anyone of bullshitting in the past, but there’s something to be said for stepping up your game when you know people are watching.

Now it’s just a matter of making this available for every game.

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