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Friday, January 31, 2014

Nationals’ Matt Williams: Instant Replay Will Be Interesting

This is not going to start well.

When Matt Williams was recently asked about MLB’s use of instant replay for the 2014 season, a smile immediately flashed across his face.

As a first-time manager for the Washington Nationals, Williams will at least be on even ground when it comes to that new component of the game.

“I’m not the rookie, anymore,” Williams said, referring to how all managers will be dealing with the new rule for the first time. “Everybody is now in my boat. So, it’s going to be interesting to understand at what point do we want to do it, how it impacts our team and our game at that point. It’s going to be interesting.”

...Williams said teams had to be careful with how they request a replay because of the restrictions. He offered at least one scenario in which he would take advantage of the new rule.

“It could be a [Stephen] Strasburg-[Clay] Kershaw matchup where there may be very few [runs] scored,” Williams said. “And, we have a scoring opportunity with a man on third base and a have a ground ball to the infield, which we think [the runner] potentially beat to score us a run. That’s a scenario. But there’s a million of those.”

Williams said another issue would be if managers tried to stall while other team officials monitored the play to determine whether the play was worthy of instant replay. The rules say a manager must react in a timely manner, meaning before the pitcher and catcher are set to face the next batter, if he wants to officially review a call.

“There’s some cagey managers in this game,” Williams said with a sheepish grin.

Repoz Posted: January 31, 2014 at 11:19 AM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nats

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   1. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 31, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4649260)
Williams said another issue would be if managers tried to stall while other team officials monitored the play to determine whether the play was worthy of instant replay.

How would we be able to tell? Baseball is one big stall these days.
   2. boteman digs the circuit clout Posted: January 31, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4649331)
The headline omitted the scare quotes around "interesting".
   3. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: January 31, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4649339)
He offered at least one scenario in which he would take advantage of the new rule.

“It could be a [Stephen] Strasburg-[Clay] Kershaw matchup where there may be very few [runs] scored,” Williams said. “And, we have a scoring opportunity with a man on third base and a have a ground ball to the infield, which we think [the runner] potentially beat to score us a run. That’s a scenario.


The man's a genius. I never would have thought that would be a time to use IR.
   4. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: January 31, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4649370)
I feel sad we never got to see Tony Larussa piss people off with this
   5. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 31, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4649453)
I feel sad we never got to see Tony Larussa piss people off with this

Tony: Is our reliever ready yet?
Bullpen coach: Nope. He needs a few more tosses.
Tony: Thanks.

[LaRussa throws the challenge flag on a routine ground ball where the runner is out by 5 feet.]
   6. cardsfanboy Posted: January 31, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4649457)
I feel sad we never got to see Tony Larussa piss people off with this


He helped design the damn system...he's doing his part to piss people off. I wasn't in the room, but I'm pretty confident that TLR was the voice asking for managers challenge when every sane person was saying "what type of idiot would want that?"
   7. BDC Posted: January 31, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4649521)
I think if the challenge is unsuccessful, the manager should have to remove his pants.
   8. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: January 31, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4649528)
[LaRussa throws the challenge flag on a routine ground ball where the runner is out by 5 feet.]


I think the first time a manager pulls a stunt like that, he should be tossed. Second time, suspended.
   9. God Posted: February 01, 2014 at 12:45 AM (#4649709)
I feel sad we never got to see Tony Larussa piss people off with this


He wouldn't have been able to check with anyone about whether to challenge, because he never would've gotten the phone to work.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: February 01, 2014 at 01:14 AM (#4649714)
The stall scenario is an interesting, and potentially objectionable, aspect to the whole thing. Now, it shouldn't be much of an issue if the play being considered for a challenge happens between batters. But if a guy is thrown out trying to steal/is ruled safe stealing, or there's a pickoff play, it will be interesting to see how the umpires move things along if one side or the other is trying to delay to consider whether a challenge is necessary.

I wonder if they'll need to create a rule that any intentional timeout (manager goes to the mound, batter goes down to review the signs with the third base coach) will preclude a team from challenging the previous play. And umps may have to just start calling automatic balls/strikes when one side is clearly not interested in proceeding.

   11. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 09:43 AM (#4649744)
[LaRussa throws the challenge flag on a routine ground ball where the runner is out by 5 feet.]

I think the first time a manager pulls a stunt like that, he should be tossed. Second time, suspended.

Or perhaps given the Verlander "unwritten rules" treatment: a fastball high and inside?

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