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MLB doubles camera angles for video reviews of umpires

The shift to a new replay operations center, twice the size, is part of the move of Major League Baseball and MLB Advanced Media to a combined office space in NYC.
Credit: AP
Miami Marlins' Corey Dickerson (23) swings at a pitch in front of catcher Francisco Cervelli and umpire Chad Fairchild during a baseball workout at Marlins Park, Thursday, July 16, 2020, in Miami. (AP)

Major League Baseball has doubled the isolated camera angles available for video review from 12 to 24 and arranged for high-frame rate cameras to stream directly to the new replay operations center and ballpark video rooms.

As part of the changes announced Monday, the time each manager has to decide whether to challenge an umpire's call has been cut from 30 seconds to 20.

The shift to a new replay operations center twice the size of the old one is part of the move of Major League Baseball and MLB Advanced Media to a combined office space in Manhattan, across the street from Radio City Music Hall.

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MLB's pandemic-delayed season starts Thursday with the New York Yankees at the World Series champion Washington Nationals.

Also debuting this week is a second generation Statcast system that shifts from TrackMan to Hawk-Eye. There are five pitch-tracking cameras behind home plate and seven used to track players, each with a rate of 100 frames per second.

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MLB said the error margin, which had averaged mostly 1-2 inches in 2016, is expected to drop to 0.1 inches this season. The system is designed to eliminate previous blind spots on high popups and in outfield corners. Error margins on fielder movements is expected to drop from 3 feet to inches.

TrackMan had taken over pitch velocity tracking from PITCHf/x in 2017. 

"We would argue that its more accurate than what you've seen in the past," MLB executive vice president of strategy, technology and innovation Chris Marinak said. He added it "mirrors historical data at closely as possible."

Jason Gaedtke, MLB's Chief Technology Officer, said extensive testing was employed to avoid changes to velocities that some claimed resulted from the 2017 switch.


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