If the first week of the season is the week where replay got off to a good start, the second week of the season is the week where replay turned into an absolute mess. There was lots of slop when it came to replay this week, and cries for the system to be overhauled are growing louder and louder.
April 8th, Angels vs Mariners – the dropped catch.
This is becoming a thing that is being strictly enforced this season – the dropped catch. We’ve seen it on transfers at second base, we’ve seen it on outfield catches – it’s an epidemic. But I will say this – at least the umpires are consistently making the same call in this situation as opposed to fluctuating between safe and out.
April 10th, Diamondbacks vs Giants – wasting a challenge.
You know you’re a desperate manager when you challenge a bang-bang call in the *first inning* of a game. That’s what Kirk Gibson did when Tony Campana was caught stealing on Thursday, and of course the replay was inconclusive and the out call stood. Arizona ended up winning 6-5 in ten innings so the incident didn’t matter too much, but blowing a challenge so early in the game on a relatively meaningless play is just absurd.
April 12th, Indians vs White Sox – a player challenge?
Remember how I *just* railed about managers wasting challenges in the first inning? Well, Terry Francona used a challenge in the first inning on Saturday on a pickoff play at first base. Nyjer Morgan refused to leave the base unless Francona challenged, and he obliged. The call on the field was overturned, and Morgan would later score the first of 12 Indians runs later in the inning.
April 12th, Red Sox vs Yankees – they blew it
You knew this was going to happen eventually – the umpires would review a play, and absolutely botch it. That’s what happened here. Dean Anna was blatantly off the bag, and Xander Bogaerts pretty clearly had his glove on Anna’s backside while his foot was in mid-air. The play wasn’t overturned, and Anna remained safe. The reasoning by the crew? They didn’t have all of the footage at the time, which is a load of garbage considering there were *three* feeds for this game (NESN, YES, Fox Sports 1). Talk about a failure across the board…
April 13th, Marlins vs Phillies – the collision rule
The review here had nothing to do with whether or not Tony Gwynn Jr. slid in under the tag of Jeff Mathis – the review was centered around whether or not Mathis was blocking home plate without the ball. Review confirmed the out call on the field, but what is Mathis supposed to do in this situation? Where was he supposed to put his left leg while fielding the throw from Adeiny Hechavarria? To me, the collision rule is much more flawed than replay – situations like this have too many shades of grey, which is what this new rule was supposed to avoid.
April 13th, Red Sox vs Yankees – the ejection.
The cardinal rule of replay, which we hadn’t seen used until Sunday night, is that you cannot argue the result of a replay – the decision is final. When this call was overturned, Francisco Cervelli was called safe at first base, and the Yankees scored their third run of the game instead of recording their third out. Boston manager John Farrell lost it, and was ejected within ten seconds. Well, at least that part of the system is working…