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Monday, April 14, 2014

John Farrell: ‘It’s hard to have any faith in the [replay] system’

I sooo look forward to to every team having a Pelekoudas in the announcers booth explaining ####. #DOOM

“We felt that it was clear that the replay was inconclusive,” Farrell told reporters in New York. “The frustrating part is when this was rolled out and explained to us, particularly on the throw received by the first baseman, we were instructed that when the ball enters the glove, not that it has to hit the back of the glove, is where the out is deemed complete. At the same time, any angle that we looked at, you couldn’t tell if the foot was on the bag behind Mike Napoli‘s leg. Where this became conclusive is a hard pill to swallow. On the heels of yesterday, it’s hard to have any faith in the system, to be honest with you.”

Farrell went onto the field to argue the video reversal, prompting his immediate ejection (by rule). The manager admitted that his protest was a reflection of multiple days of dismay.

“I argued the point that it was inconclusive. I know that arguing a challenge play is not allowed, evident by spending most of the game inside. But on the heels of yesterday and today, this is a tough pill to swallow,” Farrell told reporters. “It’s extremely difficult to have any faith in the system, the process that’s being used.

“When you’re talking about something as substantial as replay being brought into the game, there’s going to be a learning curve and everybody becoming familiar with it. You would think that video replay would be conclusive — or there’s plays where it’s not conclusive, which is [Sunday night],” Farrell added. “Unfortunately we’re on the wrong side of it both times. … As much as they’re trying to help the human element inside this system, it seems like it’s added the human element at a different level.”

Repoz Posted: April 14, 2014 at 08:50 AM | 83 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox, yankees

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   1. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 14, 2014 at 09:05 AM (#4685786)
The play on Saturday is the type of play I hate using replay for. No one was going to argue anything about that call but suddenly someone in the clubhouse sees a replay and the base runner just lifted his foot a couple of inches so we get a 5 minute delay.

Of course if we must have a replay system it'd be nice if we then got the ####### call right.

I think last night's call was the right one. I'm not a big fan of "conclusive evidence" or whatever we call it, if you are using replay the call on the field should not be relevant. Just get it right and I think they did that. Again though under the rules of the current system I think there is a good case that they should not have overturned it.
   2. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 14, 2014 at 09:07 AM (#4685787)
“We felt that it was clear that the replay was inconclusive,” Farrell told reporters in New York. “The frustrating part is when this was rolled out and explained to us, particularly on the throw received by the first baseman, we were instructed that when the ball enters the glove, not that it has to hit the back of the glove, is where the out is deemed complete. At the same time, any angle that we looked at, you couldn’t tell if the foot was on the bag behind Mike Napoli‘s leg. Where this became conclusive is a hard pill to swallow. On the heels of yesterday, it’s hard to have any faith in the system, to be honest with you.”


Huh! So by this reading of the system the review team go the call right in Saturday nights' Braves-Nationals game (Nate McLouth was ruled to have been out, as called, on a bunt.)
   3. winnipegwhip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 09:50 AM (#4685811)
The play on Saturday is the type of play I hate using replay for. No one was going to argue anything about that call but suddenly someone in the clubhouse sees a replay and the base runner just lifted his foot a couple of inches so we get a 5 minute delay.


Yes, I agree. Nothing bugs me more about replay in the NFL is when they slow it down to see if a ball actually skinned the ground for a fraction of a second (did you see a change in direction when it hit the ground or was that the receiver's hands blah blah blah) to determine if a catch is good. They use 5 minutes to determine what a highly skilled individual at his job using his normal eyesight can't determine but he used his best judgement and experience to make the call of reception or not.
   4. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 14, 2014 at 09:57 AM (#4685815)
The implied rule change embedded in replay for throws to first was noted in this space last week.

Because of the nature of what constitutes the first baseman "catching" the ball, you literally can't use instant replay. The camera loses sight of the ball before it's "caught."

   5. Shredder Posted: April 14, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4685817)
I think the idea that something is "clearly inconclusive" is kind of funny.
   6. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: April 14, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4685827)
"We felt that it was clear that the replay was inconclusive."

Total B.S. The replay freeze-frame very clearly showed that the runner was safe (just like in the Nationals game). The rules are quite clear that a tie goes to the runner. It's not even remotely as complex as the situations you often get in football where you're trying to determine if the receiver had complete control of the ball of not, and it's stupid for people to try to pretend that it is. Yes, it was a close play, but in this case close does not equal "inconclusive".

The fact that the exact identical play was overturned last night but not overturned in the Nationals-Braves game shows a clear flaw in the system, because the standard being used for overruling a call is obviously differing from one game to the next.
   7. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 14, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4685829)
They use 5 minutes to determine what a highly skilled individual at his job using his normal eyesight can't determine but he used his best judgement and experience to make the call of reception or not.


And when I went to the hospital, the doctor didn't use his trained eyesight to tell what was wrong with me, but used a machine and ran some tests...
   8. winnipegwhip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4685839)
#7 - Using that analogy to argue against my point you must be a Red Sox fan as each game is a life or death situation for you.
   9. bobm Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4685854)
I have not seen anywhere else recording these replay stats, but even this site does not put them into one table, but rather a post for each replay review.

http://www.closecallsports.com/2014/04/mlb-replay-ejection-bob-davidson-5-1.html

This is Bob Davidson (61)'s fifth Instant Replay Review of the 2014 MLB season.
This is Bob Davidson (61)'s first ejection of 2014.
Bob Davidson is now 3/5 (.600 Affirmation Rate) in Replay Reviews in 2014. [...]
Crew Chief Brian O'Nora's crew is now 1/2 (.500 Affirmation) in Replay Reviews in 2014.

This is the 84th Instant Replay Review of the 2014 MLB Regular Season.
This is the 5th ejection of the 2014 MLB Regular Season.
Yankees Manager Joe Girardi is now 2/5 (.400 Success) in Instant Replay Reviews in 2014.
This is the Red Sox's 1st ejection of 2014, 1st in the AL East (BOS 1; BAL, NYY, TB, TOR 0).
Umpires are now 56/84 (.667 Affirmation Rate) in Instant Replay Reviews in 2014.
This is John Farrell's first ejection since July 29, 2013 (Jerry Meals; QOC = N).
This is Bob Davidson's first ejection since August 17, 2013 (Jim Leyland; QOC = N).
   10. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4685861)
Jesus, am I glad we didn't have replay for the first 140+ years of baseball. Some of those Yankees-Red Sox games might have run on until daybreak.

Meanwhile, David Phelps had a strike zone against left handed batters that extended several inches inside the actual plate. As a Yankees fan, I was grateful for the favor, even if those three Red Sox batters who were rightfully complaining about the personalized strike zone might not agree.
   11. Scott Lange Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4685875)
I didn't see the play in question, but I want to point out that the tie does not go to the runner. First, there are no ties. Second, if there were ties, they would go to the defense, at least on force plays. Rule 7.08(e) states that a runner is out when "he fails to reach the next base before a fielder tags him or the base." If you get to the base at the same time as the fielder tags the base, you have failed and you are out. See MLB Rule 7 and Tim McClelland Q&A.
   12. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4685885)
Second, if there were ties, they would go to the defense, at least on force plays. Rule 7.08(e) states that a runner is out when "he fails to reach the next base before a fielder tags him or the base."


See also 6.05:

6.05
A batter is out when --


(j) After a third strike or after he hits a fair ball, he or first base is tagged before he touches first base;
   13. villageidiom Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4685887)
The frustrating part is when this was rolled out and explained to us, particularly on the throw received by the first baseman, we were instructed that when the ball enters the glove, not that it has to hit the back of the glove, is where the out is deemed complete.
On the ESPN broadcast they were saying MLB had instructed them the opposite: that the ball must be controlled in the glove, and that it's not enough for the ball to have simply entered the glove. But Kruk was the one saying it, so who knows if that's accurate.

If it is when the ball enters the glove, it's inconclusive, and by rule the call should stand. If it's when the ball is controlled, it's conclusive and Cervelli is safe.

I was fine with the call last night the way it was explained, but if the way it was explained was in error, then so was the ultimate call.
   14. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4685896)

#7 - Using that analogy to argue against my point you must be a Red Sox fan as each game is a life or death situation for you.


Close, a Cubs fan.
   15. dave h Posted: April 14, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4685901)
If that's how they want to call it, then the 1B umpire has no chance. Going on sound works really well, and is why calls at first base are rarely blown even when it looks that way live. But if the sound of the ball is actually before the "catch", that's over and a lot of close calls will be overturned.
   16. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4685910)
On the ESPN broadcast they were saying MLB had instructed them the opposite: that the ball must be controlled in the glove, and that it's not enough for the ball to have simply entered the glove. But Kruk was the one saying it, so who knows if that's accurate.

On one of the three preceding Yanks-Sox games, either one of the two on the MLB network or the one on FS1, it was explained that the rule used to be "controlled", but that it's NOW "entered" the plane of the area. Given that the "now" part suggests a certain up-to-date familiarity with the rule, I'd go with the latter interpretation.
   17. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: April 14, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4685917)
But Kruk was the one saying it, so who knows if that's accurate.
Is Kruk always as awful as he was last night? Makes the Reynolds choice look inspired by comparison.
   18. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 14, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4685919)
The fact that the exact identical play was overturned last night but not overturned in the Nationals-Braves game shows a clear flaw in the system, because the standard being used for overruling a call is obviously differing from one game to the next.


This is more so what Farrel was arguing. It was the combination of not overturning the play on Saturday (on what seemed to be rather conclusive evidence) and then overturning the play on Sunday (where there was not as much conclusivity*).

"...I know that arguing a challenge play is not allowed, evident by spending most of the game inside. But on the heels of yesterday and today, this is a tough pill to swallow,” Farrell told reporters.


* - Yes I just made that word up, and damnit you know exactly what it means.
   19. bunyon Posted: April 14, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4685921)
If the difference between safe and out is 4 to 6 inches of the path of a ball moving at 85mph (or whatever an infielder throws), the call should not be reviewed. Umpires missing calls by .005 seconds is not now and never has been a problem.
   20. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 14, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4685924)

On one of the three preceding Yanks-Sox games, either one of the two on the MLB network or the one on FS1, it was explained that the rule used to be "controlled", but that it's NOW "entered" the plane of the area. Given that the "now" part suggests a certain up-to-date familiarity with the rule, I'd go with the latter interpretation.


Wait, so this new rule interpretation reduces the definition of a catch at 1st base, but the rule for catching the ball in the outfield or at 2nd (making the player control the ball all the way through the transfer) is now stricter?
   21. Kurt Posted: April 14, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4685927)
If the difference between safe and out is 4 to 6 inches of the path of a ball moving at 85mph (or whatever an infielder throws), the call should not be reviewed. Umpires missing calls by .005 seconds is not now and never has been a problem.


Completely agree.

I still can't believe baseball has instant replay. What a catastrophe.
   22. esseff Posted: April 14, 2014 at 12:45 PM (#4685933)
but the rule for catching the ball in the outfield or at 2nd (making the player control the ball all the way through the transfer) is now stricter?


The outfield thing is going to take some adjusting. There was a play Saturday night where Ackley made a lunging stab for the ball, got it in his glove, was carried several steps by his momentum with ball firmly in glove and only when he stopped himself and prepared to throw back did he let the ball pop loose. The umpire ruled no catch. The runner from first base, naturally, retreated to the base upon seeing the ball clearly in the glove. The batter rounded first base, probably also figuring a catch, passed the runner and was called out for that. I hope it was just a blown call that would have been overturned had there been any reason to challenge.
   23. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: April 14, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4685941)
There was a play Saturday night where Ackley made a lunging stab for the ball, got it in his glove, was carried several steps by his momentum with ball firmly in glove and only when he stopped himself and prepared to throw back did he let the ball pop loose. The umpire ruled no catch.


that's always been the rule. It's technically not an out until the fielder voluntarily attempts to remove the ball from his glove, or leaves the playing field. The proper way to signal a catch is right hand raised, palm open when the ball first contacts the glove, then closed fist to indicate catch and out. the first motion is to signal it is now safe to leave the base if tagging up. As a practical matter, the raised hand and close fist occur simultaneously 99% of the time.
   24. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:00 PM (#4685942)
The batter rounded first base, probably also figuring a catch, passed the runner and was called out for that. I hope it was just a blown call that would have been overturned had there been any reason to challenge.


If the batter assumed an out when none was indicated, thats on him, not the ump.
   25. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4685956)
On one of the three preceding Yanks-Sox games, either one of the two on the MLB network or the one on FS1, it was explained that the rule used to be "controlled", but that it's NOW "entered" the plane of the area. Given that the "now" part suggests a certain up-to-date familiarity with the rule, I'd go with the latter interpretation.

Wait, so this new rule interpretation reduces the definition of a catch at 1st base, but the rule for catching the ball in the outfield or at 2nd (making the player control the ball all the way through the transfer) is now stricter?


All I heard was the interpretation of the catch at first base. Don't know about any other catch situations.
   26. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4685959)
so this new rule interpretation reduces the definition of a catch at 1st base,


I don't think it reduces the catch requirement, but rather it changes the moment at which a caught and controlled ball becomes effective for the purposes of timing. For instance, if the ball disappears inside the glove and is subsequently bobbled, it's not a catch until controlled.
   27. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4685964)
If the batter assumed an out when none was indicated, thats on him, not the ump.

No, it's on the ump for not signaling "out" when a player obviously caught the ball.

Which Ackley clearly did -- the call was a joke and a disgrace.

Replay has caused significant changes to the rules of baseball, simple as that.
   28. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4685970)
No, it's on the ump for not signaling "out" when a player obviously caught the ball.

Which Ackley clearly did -- the call was a joke and a disgrace.

Replay has caused significant changes to the rules of baseball, simple as that.


Not so simple

A CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it; providing he does not use his cap, protector, pocket or any other part of his uniform in getting possession. It is not a catch, however, if simultaneously or immediately following his contact with the ball, he collides with a player, or with a wall, or if he falls down, and as a result of such collision or falling, drops the ball. It is not a catch if a fielder touches a fly ball which then hits a member of the offensive team or an umpire and then is caught by another defensive player. If the fielder has made the catch and drops the ball while in the act of making a throw following the catch, the ball shall be adjudged to have been caught. In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional.
Rule 2.00 (Catch) Comment: A catch is legal if the ball is finally held by any fielder, even though juggled, or held by another fielder before it touches the ground. Runners may leave their bases the instant the first fielder touches the ball. A fielder may reach over a fence, railing, rope or other line of demarcation to make a catch. He may jump on top of a railing, or canvas that may be in foul ground. No interference should be allowed when a fielder reaches over a fence, railing, rope or into a stand to catch a ball. He does so at his own risk.
If a fielder, attempting a catch at the edge of the dugout, is ?held up? and kept from an apparent fall by a player or players of either team and the catch is made, it shall be allowed.


Emphasis mine.

Note, I didn't see the play, but if the description # 22 is correct, that the ball popped out of the glove, that indicates to me the release was not voluntary.
   29. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4685986)
No, it isn't correct. The ball didn't "pop out" of his glove. He caught the ball one-handed in his glove and didn't catch it cleanly with this throwing hand when he transferred it from his glove to his throwing hand.(*) It was obviously, self-evidently, no questions asked, a catch. (As was the one Hamilton caught in the same LF a few nights earlier, which replay also absurdly overturned.)

What's now happening is that umps/people are seeing balls "pop out" of gloves on catches because replay is making them "define" catches.

(*) Baseball players have caught balls one handed for decades. Once you catch a ball one handed, nothing else need happen successfully for the play to be a catch -- and there's certainly no requirement that a player successfully transfer the ball without incident to his throwing hand. The idea that it does is a pure invention and an obvious rule change.
   30. Bruce Markusen Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4685987)
There is actually no rule that says "tie goes to the runner." It's not in the rule book, and to my knowledge, never has been. It's one of baseball's urban legends.

I believe the theory for this rule (or non-rule) is based on the belief that are no ties; either the runner beats the throw to the base, or the throw beats the runner to the base.
   31. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4685990)
Baseball players have caught balls one handed for decades. Once you catch a ball one handed, nothing else need happen successfully for the play to be a catch -- and there's certainly no requirement that a player successfully transfer the ball without incident to his throwing hand. The idea that it does is a pure invention and an obvious rule change.

It's not necessary to transfer the ball to the throwing hand in order to keep it a catch. But IF you DO attempt to make the transfer in a single motion, and the ball THEN pops out and goes to the ground, it's always been within the umpire's discretion to rule that you never had possession of the ball in the first place. This may not be exactly what you're referring to, but it should be pointed out.
   32. esseff Posted: April 14, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4686000)
Here's the play, and I need to correct the original description to say he slid several feet with the ball, not took several steps. Despite Ray Fosse's contention, I think it's a clear catch and that Ackley was intentionally releasing the ball to his throwing hand when it came loose. The play on video.

   33. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: April 14, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4686003)
Yeah, I'd rule that a catch.
   34. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: April 14, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4686004)
I still can't believe baseball has instant replay. What a catastrophe.


This is what happens when you let control freaks like Tony LaRussa have positions of authority.

I would be fine with this level of nitpickiness in post-season games, but to have this kind of crap in a 162-game schedule is ludicrous. The umpiring has never been bad except for Angel Hernandez. Joe West isn't even a bad umpire, he's just a jerk.

At least the NFL has better justification for replay - a 16-game season is small, the rules are ever-changing, and the referees aren't full-timers.

Can't there be a compromise to the idiocy of the current implementation? Give the team 3 "contests" a week (Monday thru Sunday) and let them decide to use them when it's most important. Three a game means the manager will use these things on plays that are rather meaningless.

   35. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 14, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4686006)
That is a sweet hobo beard Ackley is sporting.
   36. smileyy Posted: April 14, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4686014)
I think the justification for "ties go to the runner" is in the previously quoted: (emphasis mine)

(j) After a third strike or after he hits a fair ball, he or first base is tagged before he touches first base;



If they happen at the same time (within the limits of perception), then the ball did not get there before, as required by the rule.
   37. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 14, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4686017)
Here's the play, and I need to correct the original description to say he slid several feet with the ball, not took several steps. Despite Ray Fosse's contention, I think it's a clear catch and that Ackley was intentionally releasing the ball to his throwing hand when it came loose. The play on video.

There were actually two Ackley plays with the same issue in the same game. I think this is the second one. (I watched it on condensed game, which leaves out the context and the announcers, so I'm not entirely sure what happened. Both were clearly catches.)

   38. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: April 14, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4686020)
If they happen at the same time (within the limits of perception), then the ball did not get there before, as required by the rule.


Good point. I misread that rule. Funny thing is, I knew it said just that, but somehow transposed it after reading 7.08. So a strict reading of the rulebook indicates the burden is on the defense at first, but on the runner at the other 3 bases. As an umpire I should know this.
   39. esseff Posted: April 14, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4686026)
On the other Ackley play, the batter, Cespedes, had conceded the catch and headed to the dugout, so the Mariners relayed the ball to first base and he was out anyway.
   40. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 14, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4686027)
Can't there be a compromise to the idiocy of the current implementation? Give the team 3 "contests" a week (Monday thru Sunday) and let them decide to use them when it's most important. Three a game means the manager will use these things on plays that are rather meaningless.

Fifth ump (*) in headquarters watches every play. If he sees one called wrong, within no more than 90 seconds, he beeps the crew chief and tells him and the play is overturned.

"Transfer plays" on catches can't be reviewed. Neighborhood plays around second, in every form, can't be reviewed.

That's the only sensible way to do it.

It's absolutely absurd that baseball has put in place two de facto rules changes just to accomodate an awful replay system -- but exactly what you'd expect from a Bud Selig-led operation. It's easy to raise ticket prices and shake down cities and add playoff teams, not so easy to add an effective instant replay system.

(*) Actually, it would probably have to be two or three, because one isn't going to want to take all the heat for a bad call.
   41. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 14, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4686032)
Can't there be a compromise to the idiocy of the current implementation?


What I'd like to see is scoring plays reviewable (including home runs). Everything else goes in the \"#### happens" category in my mind.

In truth SBB's suggestion in #40 probably makes the most sense but for that reason will never get implemented. It really kills me that MLB decided to follow the NFL model rather than the entirely sensible NHL model.
   42. bunyon Posted: April 14, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4686037)
As an umpire I should know this.

As an umpire we just hope you're looking in generally the right direction when there is a play. :)


I'd have called the play linked above a catch as well.
   43. Russ Posted: April 14, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4686040)
What's frustrating to me is that baseball ALREADY has a mechanism in place to prevent these sorts of delays from becoming interminable -- the rule on mound visits. You visit a pitcher on the mound once, that's fine. You visit him again, you have to pull him. Why don't they just tie the reviews to the mound visits? If you want a play reviewed, then it counts as a mound visit (either in the current half inning if you're on defence or in your immediately following next half-inning if you're on offence), WHETHER OR NOT IT COMES TO FRUITION.

This way you will not be restricting the number of challenges in any meaningful way (well, up to the number of position players), so there is no need for automatic reviews. But you'll be making the managers think carefully about the importance of the review. And you're probably eliminating the time wasted at another point, as you're deleting potential mound visits from later on.
   44. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: April 14, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4686042)
I've never seen a manager visit the mound when his team is hitting.
   45. winnipegwhip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4686047)
Show the play in question on the big screen and let the manager debate it with the umpire on the field. At least we get the drama of the manager pleading his case and the umpire stating why the call should be upheld or acknowledging the change.
   46. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: April 14, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4686051)
What I'd like to see is scoring plays reviewable (including home runs). Everything else goes in the \"#### happens" category in my mind.


Easily the most sensible.

The game REQUIRES snap decisions by the umpire. The idea that "we have to get it right no matter the cost" is stupid. Play another sport for a living if you can't live with the occasional umpire mistake.

We're only two weeks into this and the animosity with the umpires (and the replay officials at HQ) is already at a high level.

There needs to be some sort of bonus system to reward the better umpires. The post-season jobs and the crew chief jobs used to go to the umpires the league agreed were the best and most professional. But now those have turned into tenure assignments so the quality of work is less of a factor. Note that I said "reward the better umpires" not "punish the bad umpires". I don't want to turn it into a situation where animosity can increase - if an umpire has been around 18 years and still isn't a crew chief then he can swallow his pride and continue doing the job or he can take his ego and go work a different league.
   47. Gaelan Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4686066)
Instant replay is an irredeemable catastrophe. I thought it would be a total disaster but I never imagined what has happened. It's the Calvin Johnson situation almost every single game. Ackley had the ball for four or five seconds before "dropping" the ball.

It's bad enough that they've changed the rules to accomodate instant replay but they've changed the rules in such a way as to make nonsense of experience.

If you are in favour of instant replay at this point I kind of hope you die. No one who is this wrong about something should be allowed to have opinions or thoughts on anything else. You are an enemy of civilization.
   48. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4686073)
Technology is not going to perfect us or set us free. Enough with the delusions.
   49. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4686076)
Here's the play, and I need to correct the original description to say he slid several feet with the ball, not took several steps. Despite Ray Fosse's contention, I think it's a clear catch and that Ackley was intentionally releasing the ball to his throwing hand when it came loose. The play on video.

I watched the play three times, and it's clearly a judgment call that IMO could have gone either way, though I wouldn't argue with the umpire's ruling of a catch.

Fifth ump (*) in headquarters watches every play. If he sees one called wrong, within no more than 90 seconds, he beeps the crew chief and tells him and the play is overturned.

"Transfer plays" on catches can't be reviewed. Neighborhood plays around second, in every form, can't be reviewed.

That's the only sensible way to do it.


I might reduce that time to 45 seconds, but other than that, I agree with those two ideas. Of course I'd really just like to do away with replay altogether, since mostly what it's done so far is just to delay the games even more.

---------------------------------------------------

What's frustrating to me is that baseball ALREADY has a mechanism in place to prevent these sorts of delays from becoming interminable -- the rule on mound visits. You visit a pitcher on the mound once, that's fine. You visit him again, you have to pull him. Why don't they just tie the reviews to the mound visits? If you want a play reviewed, then it counts as a mound visit (either in the current half inning if you're on defence or in your immediately following next half-inning if you're on offence), WHETHER OR NOT IT COMES TO FRUITION.

Another excellent suggestion. Those managerial stalling trips are even worse than the replays themselves.
   50. PerroX Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4686087)
I hate replay so much I've given up on American sports.

They don't have that #### in soccer, do they?
   51. Chone Mueller Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4686088)
I'm late to the party so this may have been kicked around already. If so, I apologize.

I have two big problems with what I've seen so far this season. First, is the stall with the manager coming out of the dugout to argue without issuing a challenge. Obviously, this is done so his clubhouse crew has time to review the video before the manager decides to formally challenge the call. The second is the manager coming out to argue with the umpires after the replay decision is made remotely.

If the manager is going to call for a replay, shouldn't it be limited to what the manager/players/coaches saw with their own eyes? If a call is so close the manager doesn't have the guts to risk losing his challenge based on what he saw, then the umpire couldn't have been terribly wrong. I can't think of an obvious remedy. Time limits would present a new set of problems. Coming out of the dugout shouldn't trigger an automatic challenge because there are other reasons for the manager to come out.

As for the second issue of arguing after the replay decision (which I've seen Sciocia and Farrell do), wasn't the replay scheme supposed to eliminate this? The umpires on the field didn't make the call so what's the point in arguing with them? I think I'd like to see a penalty for this, such as an autommatic three-game suspension.
   52. jmurph Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4686091)
They don't have that #### in soccer, do they?


There's a goalline review thing for goal/no goal in at least a few leagues. But it's done in real time and I don't believe there is any stoppage to speak of.

I will say I enjoy the hell out of a tennis review. I'm convinced the digitized replay is at least 35% made up, but it's fun nonetheless.

   53. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4686092)
Instant replay is an irredeemable catastrophe. I thought it would be a total disaster but I never imagined what has happened. It's the Calvin Johnson situation almost every single game. Ackley had the ball for four or five seconds before "dropping" the ball.


It's almost as if the umpires don't want it to work.
   54. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4686093)
I hate replay so much I've given up on American sports.

They don't have that #### in soccer, do they?


There have been calls for goalline technology to review goals, but no.

The "episodic" American sports have been greatly damaged by commercialization and replay -- no question about it. Both basketball and baseball grind down to complete bores as the game nears its end.

Luckily, the "flow" sports -- soccer and hockey -- have stayed relatively pure, to their great favor.
   55. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4686096)
Fifth ump (*) in headquarters watches every play. If he sees one called wrong, within no more than 90 seconds, he beeps the crew chief and tells him and the play is overturned.


Extra ump per game, or for all of the games ongoing at the same time?

Particularly if it's the latter (but if it's the former as well), I would be incredibly incensed of I were an on-field umpire at a game, overruled by some desk guy in New Jersey without context.

   56. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4686100)
First, is the stall with the manager coming out of the dugout to argue without issuing a challenge. Obviously, this is done so his clubhouse crew has time to review the video before the manager decides to formally challenge the call. The second is the manager coming out to argue with the umpires after the replay decision is made remotely.


The fix on the first one is a no brainer. If the manager comes out to argue that is a challenge, end of disucssion. The second one has a mandatory penalty, ejection. It doesn't seem to be a major problem at the moment. I don't know what happened on Scioscia's but Farrell was arguing no matter what last night. Given the circumstances (the call the day before, team struggling) he was probably looking for an excuse to throw a hissy fit.


There's a goalline review thing for goal/no goal in at least a few leagues. But it's done in real time and I don't believe there is any stoppage to speak of.


In soccer (in the EPL anyway) the referee wears a wristwatch linked to the system. If the ball goes in the net it buzzes within one second to let him know. That's the extent of it.
   57. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4686101)
I agree with #52. Tennis has gotten the replay system exactly correct. I deal with a lot of tennis "purists" and have never heard a bad word about replay in the sport.
   58. Greg K Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4686105)
The "episodic" American sports have been greatly damaged by commercialization and replay -- no question about it. Both basketball and baseball grind down to complete bores as the game nears its end.

Luckily, the "flow" sports -- soccer and hockey -- have stayed relatively pure, to their great favor.

I may be understanding you wrong, but I'm not sure if staying pure is what helps hockey (which I agree generally flows better than hockey or football). Hockey has been commercialized just as much, and also uses replay. They've just managed to find ways to be fairly unobtrusive about it. NHL replay systems seem to be an obvious model for MLB to follow. No challenges, just have the control room in New York watching all the games and radio in to the umps when they want to take a second to look at something. It's not like the next pitch comes 2 seconds after a close play at first base. The next batter takes his time walking up and the infielders throw the ball around...if the guys in New York haven't seen anything that makes them think twice in that time then no problem.

One thing I think the NHL does that keeps things "pure" is no commercial breaks in playoff overtime. That is freakin' awesome.
   59. Greg K Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4686107)
Particularly if it's the latter (but if it's the former as well), I would be incredibly incensed of I were an on-field umpire at a game, overruled by some desk guy in New Jersey without context.

As far as I understand that's how the NHL works. I haven't heard of too many referees throwing a hissy fit because some guy in the control room in Toronto wanted to take a closer look.
   60. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 14, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4686108)
One thing I think the NHL does that keeps things "pure" is no commercial breaks in playoff overtime. That is freakin' awesome.


Unless you need to go to the bathroom. I thought my bladder was going to burst during one of the Bruin playoff games last year.
   61. Greg K Posted: April 14, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4686111)
I agree with #52. Tennis has gotten the replay system exactly correct. I deal with a lot of tennis "purists" and have never heard a bad word about replay in the sport.

I believe cricket uses the same technology to determine LBW, but I'm fuzzy on whether that is just for TV analysis or if that is a procedure that is actually used by officials.
   62. Greg K Posted: April 14, 2014 at 05:05 PM (#4686112)
Unless you need to go to the bathroom. I thought my bladder was going to burst during one of the Bruin playoff games last year.

That's part of the fun!
Back when I was in school the Flames and Canucks had a pretty vicious playoff series. One game went to triple (I think) OT. Because I was in Saskatchewan there was no real local team, so you had fans of all sort of teams, including Flames and Canucks in the communal room I was watching it in. My one friend, who was a Flames fan and gets rather too anxious when it comes to sports, afterwards said the intermissions were a godsend so he could go back to his dorm and throw up. That's some fun sports spectating! Unfortunately I'm a Leafs fan and was out of the continent for last year's playoffs, so I haven't really watched a hockey game I've cared THAT much about for years.
   63. PerroX Posted: April 14, 2014 at 05:07 PM (#4686114)
I'd go see hockey live, definitely. Football is the worst with all the stoppage in play, for multiple reasons.

We seem to be a vocal minority -- most people like replay. The decisive factor is the tremendous sums resting on the outcome of games.
   64. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 14, 2014 at 05:08 PM (#4686117)
Unfortunately I'm a Leafs fan and was out of the continent for last year's playoffs


That might've been for the best.
   65. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 14, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4686122)
I'd go see hockey live, definitely


If you haven't, do so. No sport viewing experience is as improved by going in person as hockey.
   66. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 14, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4686123)
Rugby -- at least English Premiership rugby -- goes to the instant replay on "tries," i.e., touchdowns. They mike up the booth and the ref, so you can hear them talking.
   67. Chone Mueller Posted: April 14, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4686133)
The fix on the first one is a no brainer. If the manager comes out to argue that is a challenge, end of disucssion.


I don't agree it's so simple. A manager can have a legitimate reason to question an umpire over interpretation of a rule. He could also have an argument over something that isn't subject to replay. I don't think it's so simple as saying if he comes out of the dugout to argue, it triggers the use of his challenge.
   68. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: April 14, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4686150)
If the manager is going to call for a replay, shouldn't it be limited to what the manager/players/coaches saw with their own eyes?


I LOVE this. Make 'em all wear google glass and the replay MUST come from the arguer's version.

   69. ursus arctos Posted: April 14, 2014 at 07:07 PM (#4686174)
Greg, in cricket matches where the teams have agreed to use the Decision Review System, the television technology is available to the third umpire. But not all series use DRS, and not all international matches have the same level of technology available (given that it is paid for by the broadcasters). The most contentious part of the DRS has traditionally been the "predicative element" of the Hawkeye system, which attempts to divine the path of the ball after it pitches on the ground. This isn't an issue in the tennis application of Hawkeye, as the only relevant factor is where the ball pitched, not what it did next.

SBB, all top flight rugby uses a Television Match Official, who can review anything the on field referee refers to him (and only such matters, the referral has to be specific). Tries are the most frequent sources of review, but you also seem them on players going out of bounds, forward passes, and even personal fouls. The miking of both the ref and the TMO makes the process much more transparent for fans.
   70. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 14, 2014 at 07:13 PM (#4686176)
I agree with #52. Tennis has gotten the replay system exactly correct. I deal with a lot of tennis "purists" and have never heard a bad word about replay in the sport.


Tennis is different in the sense that players don't even have lines people/chair judges until they reach the professional circuit. For most of their tennis-playing lives, they're making the calls themselves. I think this helped make the transition to the replay system a lot smoother.

   71. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: April 14, 2014 at 07:46 PM (#4686193)
I will say I enjoy the hell out of a tennis review. I'm convinced the digitized replay is at least 35% made up, but it's fun nonetheless.

I agree with #52. Tennis has gotten the replay system exactly correct. I deal with a lot of tennis "purists" and have never heard a bad word about replay in the sport.

Not only is tennis's system not "exactly correct," it's completely indefensible.

First of all, they have the technology to get the calls right (well, to the same degree as the review) almost instantaneously, but because, as demonstrated here, there are people who like looking at video boards in anticipation of the cartoon rendering, they instead implemented a system that guarantees lots of missed calls. With only three challenges per set, and because players aren't in position to judge most of the boundaries and must therefore guess, there's a reluctance to challenge early in sets, leading to more incorrect calls that go unchallenged than calls that are overturned.

Second, any ball erroneously called out mid-rally that is challenged and overturned doesn't even result in justice for the wronged party, it results in him being forced to play the point over again without the benefit of the great shot he'd hit. If he happens to be returning serve, his expectation of winning that point may have dropped by as many as 70 percentage points.

In summation, #### everyone who shares your view. With jagged glass.
   72. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: April 14, 2014 at 08:24 PM (#4686205)
Jesus, am I glad we didn't have replay for the first 140+ years of baseball. Some of those Yankees-Red Sox games might have run on until daybreak.

Hell, with replay this game would still be going on!

I still can't believe baseball has instant replay. What a catastrophe.

QFT. So why did they do it?

1) To make baseball more "relevant" (i.e. more like football).
2) To lengthen games, and thus sell more ad time.
3) Somebody's palm's gettin' greased.
   73. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 14, 2014 at 09:10 PM (#4686224)
Show the play in question on the big screen and let the manager debate it with the umpire on the field. At least we get the drama of the manager pleading his case and the umpire stating why the call should be upheld or acknowledging the change.

Since the more eyes the better, MLB could then have the fans vote online on overturning the call. Participatory democracy! What could go wrong?
   74. Sunday silence Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:06 PM (#4686287)
Attention cyber baseball fans! The apocalypse is not upon us. Baseball will continue to be with us for the month of April and quite possibly May too.

Changing one thing, namely the manager stall/delay, and implementing a system where the challenge has to be made w/o benefit of watching a replay should alleviate most of the current belly ache. As pointed out, if you cant make that call with real eyes in real time, then it's probably so close that it's not worth arguing about. Most of the time wasted seems to be wasted here as this can happen several times a game. Challenges are apparently taking 1 min 56 sec or so; which doesnt seem unbearably long if you're only going to do 1 or 2 per game.

It seems unbearable, if you combine 1 or 2 replays along with 4 or 5 manager stalls, each one of 90 seconds. Then it's bad.

Also simply going to a merit system for home plate umpires in the playoffs would help a great deal. Even better if they could put these top home plate umpires in place by say early Sept. That would be effin great.

But dont let that stop you stat nerds! Continue to wail and gnash your teeth.
   75. Robinson Cano Plate Like Home Posted: April 15, 2014 at 01:41 AM (#4686337)
Also, dropping replay entirely should alleviate most of the current belly ache.
   76. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 15, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4686468)
Here's the play, and I need to correct the original description to say he slid several feet with the ball, not took several steps. Despite Ray Fosse's contention, I think it's a clear catch and that Ackley was intentionally releasing the ball to his throwing hand when it came loose. The play on video.

watching the replay that was absolutely a catch.
   77. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: April 15, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4686504)
I agree that this was clearly a catch.

However this:

Ackley had the ball for four or five seconds before "dropping" the ball.
is simply a huge exaggeration. At *most* he had it for 2 seconds.
   78. PerroX Posted: April 15, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4686512)
I've seen a good half-dozen hockey games live, NHL including playoffs. But at 2 hours away, I probably won't go out of my way to do so now. But I would if someone asked me to go.
   79. theboyqueen Posted: April 15, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4686523)
The need for replay began when we began constructing stadia with yellow lines rather than fences to demarcate home run/out of play territory. Whoever invented this needs deserves eternal damnation (what is the first example of this?). Out of this silliness we birthed the current replay monstrosity. I don't understand why we can't build stadiums with fences. Technology should be used when it can be used in real time to replace human error (ie ball/strike calls). Anything else is clearly not worth the trouble.
   80. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 15, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4686527)
when it can be used in real time to replace human error (ie ball/strike calls).


It amazes me the number of people that just blindly accept that the pretty pictures we see on Brooks Baseball or the Pitch Zone's on broadcasts are infallible. Technology is great, not perfect and the current mess with replay should be a pretty good reminder of that.
   81. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: April 15, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4686548)
QFT. So why did they do it?


The same reason Bud Selig does ANYthing: somebody in the media criticized him.
   82. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: April 15, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4686553)
It amazes me the number of people that just blindly accept that the pretty pictures we see on Brooks Baseball or the Pitch Zone's on broadcasts are infallible.


My biggest pet peeve before wide-scale replay was put in (and MLB.com is the worst offender). The strike zone is 3-dimensional: everyone knows the height and width, but the umpire calls a depth, too.

   83. theboyqueen Posted: April 15, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4686587)
I didn't say we HAD the technology for ball-strike calls (although we probably do), just that if we did we should use it only if it can be employed in real time.

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