Major League Baseball's expanded replay system made its long awaited debut on Monday and has been utilized at select spring training games since.
Though not everybody is entirely comfortable with the guidelines or in complete understanding of how the system works — right, Joe Maddon? — there have been no reported glitches within the system itself. It's running as smooth as can be expected and seems ready to be unveiled in its complete form during the regular season. However, that unveiling won't come when the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks travel to Australia to open the season in two weeks.
According to an Associated Press report, the new technology simply won't be in place for the two-game series at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The historic first official challenge under the expanded system will have to wait until the regular season opens in the United States on March 30. However, they will have access to standard replay procedures for disputed home run and boundary calls, so managers will be able to dispute those plays in the same manner they have since those procedures were added in 2008.
According to Diamondbacks outfielder Mark Trumbo, the news won't have any affect on how both teams approach the games, but indicates he hopes his team isn't on the wrong side of a call that will be challengeable in their other 160 games.
''The game has been played the same way for decades, so a few more games probably won't make a difference. At least I hope they won't,'' Trumbo said before Friday's exhibiton game against Oakland.
''In a perfect world, we would probably have it, but we won't and we will have to deal with it. It's just more new technology and you have to adjust,'' he said.
Hopefully it's a non-story when all is said and done, but a worst case scenario for baseball would be a game-changing missed call that otherwise would be reversed. The Australia games count, after all, so such a scenario would impact the standings almost unfairly.
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