Report: MLB umpires will be able to address crowd in 2020
Major League Baseball is reportedly making a significant change to how umpires can communicate about reviewed calls in 2020.
According to ESPN’s Pedro Gomez, umpires will wear microphones starting this coming season allowing them to address the call and explain rules and replay decisions, much like the NFL has always done.
New for the 2020 MLB season: Much like NFL referees have done for years, umpires will be mic’d up and tell fans in attendance and those watching on television and listening on radio if reviewed calls are upheld or overturned. They may also explain rules, if necessary.
— Pedro Gomez (@pedrogomezESPN) January 27, 2020
This is long overdue. Since the institution of replay in MLB, it has been the worst league in terms of communicating what is being reviewed and why calls do or do not change. A large part of that is down to the umpires simply being unable to communicate with anyone, which results in the outcome of the replay review being announced and nothing else. That leaves fans and media alike to guess why certain calls changed and others did not. That doesn’t even cover controversial calls, either. It certainly would have been nice to get an explanation for calls like this one while the game was taking place.