After deciding close calls on the field since 1876, baseball opens a high-tech control room in New York this weekend where the fates of batters, pitchers, runners and fielders will be decided by umpires up to 2,600 miles away.
Starting with the Los Angeles Dodgers’ game at the San Diego Padres on Sunday night, the U.S. opener of the 2014 season, players, managers and fans will turn their attention to the ROC — the Replay Operations Center.
In a room of just under 1,000 square feet, umpires and technicians will make the decisions that could decide games and championships.
More than $10 million has been spent wiring the 30 big league ballparks with Fiberlink cable that will transmit images from at least 12 cameras at every site. Major League Baseball said it will take just 400 milliseconds for each image to arrive at the ROC.
It’s an effort to prevent the type of botched calls that cost Detroit’s Armando Galarraga a perfect game in 2010.
“I’m happy for the managers,” said Joe Torre, an MLB executive vice president. “Maybe it will keep them from having one or two more sleepless nights if they are able to grab one and overturn it.”
Most valuable team
Forbes ranks the New York Yankees as baseball’s most valuable team for the 17th straight year. Forbes said Wednesday it estimates the Yankees are worth $2.5 billion, up 9 percent from last year. The Cleveland Indians are ranked 24th, with a value of $570 million. The Tampa Bay Rays, in 30th place, are valued at $485 million.
Royals: No concussion
Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals was hit in the helmet by a pitch and left the game in Peoria, Ariz., against San Diego. The Royals said Perez didn’t sustain a concussion. Perez relayed through the club that he’s “fine.” Last week, Perez hit the line drive that struck Cincinnati reliever Aroldis Chapman and caused facial fractures.