MLB umpires to consider using microphones to explain replay rulings

Umpire John Hirschbeck (17) listens as San Francisco Giants' Conor Gillaspie's ground out is reviewed during the sixth inning of Game 3 of baseball's National League Division Series between the Giants and the Chicago Cubs in San Francisco, Monday, Oct. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

With the current emphasis being placed on speeding up baseball, the game’s umpires may soon be taking a few extra moments to explain their replay rulings to fans.

Major League Baseball and umpires are expected to meet in the coming months and discuss a plan for crew chiefs to wear a microphone and explain rulings on replay reviews of plays. This would have baseball umpires act in a similar fashion to referees in the National Football League and the National Hockey League who announce the decision-making process of reviews to spectators before resuming play.

MLB previously had plans to try this out by requesting the home plate umpire at last year’s All-Star Game wear a mic, but the test never materialized. The league is hoping to target the All-Star game once again this year but having that act as the starting point for umps wearing microphones.

The league’s umpires are currently working in the middle of a five-year labor deal. A change like this would require negotiations and assurance from both sides that the process would be efficient before it could be fully implemented.

While a date is not yet set on when a discussion between the two parties will take place, fans may soon be hearing explanations as to why their team’s player was out at the plate when it looked like he beat the tag. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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