PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) — The head of the committee that developed Major League Baseball's plan to expand instant replay says he is optimistic the system will be in place this season, even though owners and unions for players and umpires have yet to approve.
Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz said that because of the complexities, he expects the system will need three years of use to resolve problems that develop.
The plan would give managers the right to challenge most calls except balls and strikes, with one challenge allowed in the first six innings and two from the seventh inning on. A successful challenge would not count against the limits.
Schuerholz said he was uncertain whether owners would vote on the proposal during Thursday's meeting. Owners always could vote later by telephone.
Schuerholz expects the umpires' and players' union to go along with the plan.
"There's been a great deal of dialogue," he said, "and our anticipation is that both of our partners will be willing and ready to go forward."
The new executive director of the players' association, Tony Clark, also sounded optimistic about expansion of video review.
"It's been a challenge to try to navigate how best we do this without disrupting the game itself," Clark said in an interview with The Associates Press. 'Our guys are very concerned with making sure the game stays the same."
Speaking Wednesday at the hotel where the owners were attending a quarterly meeting, Schuerholz said the replay expansion should enhance the sport.
"We are in uncharted waters," he said. "But behind all of this and buttressing all of this we should remember that in the doing of this, managers will be given an opportunity that they've never had in the history of the game, and that is to challenge a play and perhaps have it reversed, and perhaps have that reversal benefit their team, and win a game that might win a division that might get them into a playoff. And who knows from there?"