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Monday, March 03, 2014

Snyder: First replays of spring training show it can be quick

And down the Shooty Babitt hole we go…

The new replay system for the 2014 season is being used in spring training games. Monday, there were two reviews within just a few minutes of each other, marking the first uses of the new system.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons challenged the on-field call that the runner was safe due to the first baseman’s foot being off the bag. The review took around two minutes—per a Twins beat writer—and upheld the on-field ruling of the runner being safe.

Minutes later, there was a review in the Diamondbacks-Angels game on a caught stealing call. Angels manager Mike Scioscia challenged it and again the ruling on the field stood. This one again sounded quick:

...The overwhelming majority of the complaints about expanded replay seem to be because some think it’ll drastically slow down the game. The two replays Monday seem to indicate it won’t take too long and we also have to keep in mind that these were the first two uses. As the season progresses, familiarity should probably make things speedier.

 

Repoz Posted: March 03, 2014 at 05:15 PM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nfl, zzzzz

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   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: March 03, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4665675)
When I first started, lack of familiarity made things speedier.

Oh wait, you were talking about something else.
   2. john_halfz Posted: March 03, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4665680)
I am dismayed that two minutes counts as "quick." Unless there is continuing game action during that two minute break. Not only that, it took 2:34.

I know there's sentiment for getting these things right to uphold the sacred integrity of baseball. But I also don't go to the games to watch John Gibbons v. Joe West.

The only silver lining for me will be if Joe West's umpire reviews end up taking the longest.
   3. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 03, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4665689)
2:34 is probably shorter than a lot of on-field arguments, but probably longer than some too.

But anyway, my own complaints about expanded replay have nothing to do with slowing the game down and everything to do with the ridiculousness of limiting the number of times per game that it is deemed important to get a critical call right.
   4. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 03, 2014 at 06:15 PM (#4665695)
2:34 is probably shorter than a lot of on-field arguments, but probably longer than some too


True, but arguments are usually a lot of fun. Fans are usually pretty amped up during an argument either because the idiot manager of the opponent is protesting such an obviously right call or the brave and true home manager is fighting the good fight. In either case, fans enjoy arguments.
   5. cardsfanboy Posted: March 03, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4665698)
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons challenged the on-field call that the runner was safe due to the first baseman’s foot being off the bag. The review took around two minutes—per a Twins beat writer—and upheld the on-field ruling of the runner being safe.


Two minutes is NOT quick. Anything more than 30 seconds is too long. (and with today's technology, even 30 seconds is an absurdly long time, realistically speaking it can and should be done inside of ten seconds before even the manager gets time to decide to argue the call)
   6. JE (Jason) Posted: March 03, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4665704)
I am dismayed that two minutes counts as "quick."

Typical commercial breaks consist of four 30-second spots. Um, coincidence?
   7. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: March 03, 2014 at 07:29 PM (#4665740)
Two minutes is NOT quick. Anything more than 30 seconds is too long. (and with today's technology, even 30 seconds is an absurdly long time, realistically speaking it can and should be done inside of ten seconds before even the manager gets time to decide to argue the call)
This is simply unrealistic.
   8. Lassus Posted: March 03, 2014 at 07:31 PM (#4665742)
Typical commercial breaks consist of four 30-second spots. Um, coincidence?

Yes. I say so only because there are so many folks involved, it would be too easy to catch someone dogging the process.

But, familiarity breeds ease and forgiveness. That's the major trouble, time-wise.
   9. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: March 03, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4665745)
The only silver lining for me will be if Joe West's umpire reviews end up taking the longest.


That will only happen if the calls are very close and could go either way. If West is as bad as everyone says, his bad calls should be overturned within seconds.
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: March 03, 2014 at 08:02 PM (#4665754)
This is simply unrealistic.


No it isn't. I'm as pro-replay as they come, but only if it's done right, and this abomination is not being done right. In the last 20 years of watching baseball, I have never seen the TV broadcast take more than 20 seconds to come up with a decent enough replay that you can honestly say whether the call is right or wrong. And realistically that is the standard they should be going for. Not to make sure the calls are perfect 100% of the time, but that the quickly obvious calls should be overturned as fast as possible, and to forget chasing NFL's replay system.

Even in the NFL massive abomination, the tv broadcasts gets a much better replay long before the refs make the decision on the field. It's a stupid system that needs to go away.
   11. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 03, 2014 at 08:32 PM (#4665766)
In the last 20 years of watching baseball, I have never seen the TV broadcast take more than 20 seconds to come up with a decent enough replay that you can honestly say whether the call is right or wrong. And realistically that is the standard they should be going for. Not to make sure the calls are perfect 100% of the time, but that the quickly obvious calls should be overturned as fast as possible


Hyperbole aside (20 seconds? Really? It usually takes more than 20 seconds before they even show you a second angle), a replay system that limits itself to overturning only those calls that are obviously wrong after a quick look is a setup for even more controversy than incorrect calls create without a replay system. What is MLB's response going to be if there's a close-up freeze-frame of the play that shows it should have been reversed, and it takes 35 seconds to queue that up instead of the allotted 20? Limiting yourself to overturning only those calls that are obviously wrong after a quick look is also way too much of a presumption in favor of the call on the field IMO, which is "chasing the NFL's replay system" in and of itself. If you're 99% sure that the call should be reversed, then you should reverse the damned call instead of hiding behind a contrived "irrefutable evidence" standard. Otherwise you ARE just wasting time.

EDIT: Also, a big part of why the NFL system is so laborious is the insistence that the final decision reside with the referee on the field (or at least maintaining the appearance that it does). It's utterly ridiculous for the referee to go to the sidelines and stick his head under a hood to watch the replay. He can watch it on the jumbotron with everybody else in the stadium, and the guy in the booth can just tell him to reverse it via bluetooth.
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: March 03, 2014 at 08:37 PM (#4665767)
Not saying to allot 20 seconds or what not, just stating that the goal should be mass majority of calls should be able to be clearly over turned or kept within 20 seconds. Mind you, if it's taking 2+ minute to make the call, then accept the umpires ruling. There is absolutely no reason for it to take that long. If it does, the old "tie goes to the runner" rule applies(or in this case, stick with the original call), it was good enough for 150+ years, it still good enough.

   13. JE (Jason) Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:37 PM (#4665806)
Yes. I say so only because there are so many folks involved, it would be too easy to catch someone dogging the process.

But, familiarity breeds ease and forgiveness. That's the major trouble, time-wise.

I'm willing to wager that, within a year, all baseball replays on nationally televised games will result in two-minute commercial timeouts. Welcome to the summer of the NFL, folks.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:49 PM (#4665809)
In the last 20 years of watching baseball, I have never seen the TV broadcast take more than 20 seconds to come up with a decent enough replay that you can honestly say whether the call is right or wrong.


You could keep showing the replay for another 20 years, and there's no way you could conclusively say whether Matt Holliday was safe at home in the 2007 one-game playoff with the Padres.
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:36 PM (#4665822)
You could keep showing the replay for another 20 years, and there's no way you could conclusively say whether Matt Holliday was safe at home in the 2007 one-game playoff with the Padres.


Exactly, and in that case, the call on the field stays.

The replay they come up with in the broadcast within 20 seconds of the play is as good as you are going to get and if it's not conclusive enough, more angles isn't going to help.
   16. Sunday silence Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:24 AM (#4665837)
It's utterly ridiculous for the referee to go to the sidelines and stick his head under a hood to watch the replay.


I think you're right about this, and MLB is getting away from that concept early on. So maybe it will work out.

You could keep showing the replay for another 20 years, and there's no way you could conclusively say whether Matt Holliday was safe at home in the 2007 one-game playoff with the Padres.****


Exactly, and in that case, the call on the field stays


I think you're missing a point here. We all understand, today, that the call was too close. But at what point DURING THE REPLAY do you say that? Do you wait 20 seconds and say it's too close to call? Just because we all understand today that the play was too close is no proof at all, that that play couldnt have stood a few more seconds of analysis.

WHat about that infield fly rule that dogged the Braves a few years back? Some of us are still arguing it. If the play is that divisive and constrovesial, I think we'd rather spend 90 sec. or so to try to get it right, or at least make sure we it's too close to call.

The worst thing, as pointed out by australeopithecus, is to summarily dismiss something in 20 sec. and then realize a minute later that you were wrong.

I think a better question might be: HOw many times have you made a mistake in haste, when another 90 sec. would have prevented that? I know myself I make hasty decisions all the time.

Also another thing, how many replays do we expect? I am unclear on the rule, if the manager gets the first challenge correct he gets another challenge? But only if it's the sixth inn. or prior? How does that 6th inn. thing work anyhow?
   17. Sunday silence Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:30 AM (#4665840)
I can recall replays involving balls hitting near the wall that certainly needed close analysis and more than two angles to be certain. Not Jeffrey Maier by stuff of more recent vintage. Like there was an Orioles game last year I think that was real close. or how about that ball Clemente hit in game 4 of the '71 series, that hit the foul ball and landed in the field? You would certainly need at least two more like three different angles to see what happened

And a lot of those close to wall, did it go over or not? plays; those could only be seen once you blew up the frame by frame. That has to take some time. There's no point to ruling something a HR and then find out 60 sec. later that when you blow up the frame that ball was hitting someone's hand or something.

What about that foul ball last year where the guy was falling into the stands in short LF? You cant do that one in one angle can you? You'd have to zoom in and see if the ball fell out of his hand or whatever.

What about that play, who was it, the RF was running and over the CF wall and into the bull pen as the ball went over the fence during the playoffs when that ball was headed out? You definitely wanted to see that one over again and I certainly felt that more than one angle was needed.

And I recall another play in the playoffs I think last year, where it was real close at first and at first everyone was convinced and then later they showed a freeze frame and the ball hadnt yet arrived. THe freeze frame, as I recall, was the only shot that was definitive.


CFB: you saying you dont recall any plays like this?

EDIT: here's the Tori Hunter play blown up, you dont think plays similar to this would require very close analysis:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/14/torii-hunter-david-ortiz-wall-pics-video_n_4098708.html
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:40 AM (#4665842)
I think you're missing a point here. We all understand, today, that the call was too close. But at what point DURING THE REPLAY do you say that? Do you wait 20 seconds and say it's too close to call? Just because we all understand today that the play was too close is no proof at all, that that play couldnt have stood a few more seconds of analysis.


Roughly a couple of minutes, the goal is to balance speed with accuracy.

WHat about that infield fly rule that dogged the Braves a few years back? Some of us are still arguing it. If the play is that divisive and constrovesial, I think we'd rather spend 90 sec. or so to try to get it right, or at least make sure we it's too close to call.


That call was a poor judgement call by the refs, but it was 100% right within the rules, there is no way that a replay could have overturned it, and even someone as nuts as Sam, understands that.

My point is that a vast majority of the calls can be, and should be done nearly instantaneous. Very few disputable calls really need more than a few seconds to conclusively overturn. NFL is horrible with them, because if you have ever watched a game, the tv broadcast have a conclusive replay from multiple angles long before the refs eyes have even adjusted to the replay camera.

This article is acting like 2+ minutes is a good thing. 2+ minutes is unacceptable most of the time.
   19. cardsfanboy Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:48 AM (#4665848)
Also another thing, how many replays do we expect? I am unclear on the rule, if the manager gets the first challenge correct he gets another challenge? But only if it's the sixth inn. or prior? How does that 6th inn. thing work anyhow?


You get one challenge per game. If you challenge and are correct in the challenge, you retain the right for another challenge, no more than two challenges per game. After the 6th inning, the crew chief has the discretion to challenge a call at will. If a manager has used his challenge and after the sixth inning he can request a review but the crew chief isn't required to do it.

As far as homerun calls are concerned, they are not subject to challenges, but a manager can request a review, but the umpire isn't required to do a review. For homerun calls same rules in place as previous seasons.

   20. Baldrick Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:56 AM (#4665852)
You get one challenge per game. If you challenge and are correct in the challenge, you retain the right for another challenge, no more than two challenges per game. After the 6th inning, the crew chief has the discretion to challenge a call at will. If a manager has used his challenge and after the sixth inning he can request a review but the crew chief isn't required to do it.

As far as homerun calls are concerned, they are not subject to challenges, but a manager can request a review, but the umpire isn't required to do a review. For homerun calls same rules in place as previous seasons.

God this system is so stupid.
   21. Squash Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:57 AM (#4665853)
I don't think CFB is saying a hard and fast 30 second rule (at least I don't think he is), but rather that the great majority of plays are pretty obvious after one or two replays, which is true. Part of the issue is that everyone's insisting on going through with the THE UMPIRES ARE STILL IN CHARGE bit where they stroll over to the dugout and put on the headphones and figure out how to turn on the VCR and everything. That's all wasted time. Put one guy in the booth, have him tune in the local FSN broadcast for crissakes, then use this new invention a cell phone (or an old invention, a walkie talkie), call down, and give the verdict.

If a call takes longer (such as the Holiday call) it takes longer. And if it's one of those very rare plays where you really can't tell then you punt it and go with the call on the field. But so much time is spent on the rigamarole (with both the new MLB system and the NFL system) that is just pointless and makes everyone hate the system.


To be truthful, I think they want it to take a bit of time - they want the whole process to seem weighed and such. Too quick of a turnaround will make it feel arbitrary and encourage managers to use their challenges. Plus there's the appeal of the extra commercial break. I'd guess two minutes is pretty much right where they want to be.
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:07 AM (#4665857)
God this system is so stupid.



Here is the full list of rules....
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:11 AM (#4665859)
I think that this is pretty funny.

Force play (except the fielder's touching of second base on a double play)

That is pretty funny, they explicitly rule the area play is not subject to review.


   24. SoSH U at work Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:14 AM (#4665861)

That is pretty funny, they explicitly rule the area play is not subject to review.


That's because no one involved in Major League Baseball wants to absolutely require middle infielders to be in contact with second base during the commissioning of a forceout double play. It's only a subset of fans who get worked up about it, but the players, managers, general managers are perfectly fine with a little wiggle room around the keystone.
   25. cardsfanboy Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:33 AM (#4665869)
I have no problem with them making that decision on the area play, I just find it interesting/funny that they explicitly made it exempt from any type of review.
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: March 04, 2014 at 02:36 AM (#4665877)
First time reading through all the replay rules a few others that I like.

SCOREBOARD REPLAYS

Clubs will now have the right to show replays of all close plays on its ballpark scoreboard, regardless of whether the play is reviewed.


About freaking time.

The umpires on the field will not have a monitor to review the play and they will not leave the field at any time.


I knew this, but feels it's already at least one step better than the NFL system.

No monitors or additional electronic equipment will be permitted in the dugout.

This part I don't agree with, it seems quite archaic to stick to the rules of the past.
   27. Sunday silence Posted: March 04, 2014 at 05:35 AM (#4665885)
But look at the positive side: This is an extremely progressive system. The very concept of having centralized HQ to review this. This by itself is ahead of the NFL.

FOr one thing, while it doesnt ensure consistency, it sure as hell makes very consistent decisions possible. 2) it really takes it out of the hands of on field umps. Hopefully this will decrease the impact of CB BUcknor types. It would have to dont you think. If say CB gets overruled say 4 or 5 times in one week what will happen? HE will either have to step up his game, face complete ridicule or retire. It really puts pressure on these guys for the first time. But it's fair because it's coming from a neutral or rather detached source.

I think this is very progressive.

Also how many possible challenges can you have in one game. Four? (theoretically more but at ump discretion) You're ######## about 4 x 2 minutes, in theory? That seems overreacting, it'll probably be more like 1.5 challenges per game, so probably 3 or 4 min. per game. Does that really bother you?

Would I trade 4 min of game time, to see some of these umps have to get a decision from HQ in NY. Yes. I'd probably pay money to see that.
   28. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:06 AM (#4665929)
No monitors or additional electronic equipment will be permitted in the dugout.

This part I don't agree with, it seems quite archaic to stick to the rules of the past.


I think this is a good thing. Teams should be required to make a near-immediate decision on whether or not they want a challenge (they shouldn't need to use a challenge at all but we're in agreement on that). There shouldn't be any benefit to gaming the system; send the catcher to the mound, have the center fielder come get a new mitt, let the pitcher scratch himself then after 4 minutes of studying the video...hey, replay!! #### that, challenge or don't and get on with the game.

If we must have a stupid challenge system there should be a 30 second limit on issuing the challenge (I haven't read the rule in full, if that actually exists already...never mind).
   29. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:01 PM (#4666526)
no more than two challenges per game.

IOW, about 4 innings worth of C.B. Bucknor.

ETA: Coke to [27]
   30. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 05, 2014 at 09:16 AM (#4666607)
RE 28: Teams will be allowed to have an employee in the clubhouse monitoring replays and calling the dugout to tell the manager whether to challenge. Given that, why not just let them have a TV monitor in a corner of the dugout? If anything, it should make the decision on whether to challenge a little faster.
   31. Obo Posted: March 05, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4666692)
Force play (except the fielder's touching of second base on a double play)

So if the batter beats out the relay the play at second becomes reviewable? Seems a bit odd.
   32. Sunday silence Posted: March 05, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4666740)
Take a look at the thread about bunt doubles; look how much time we spent on analyzing Cano's double and whether he stepped out of the box. You really think calls like that should take less than 1 min?

I do think the biggest issue is going to be the stall while the people in the dugout decide on whether to challenge. This obviously happens in football which has the same rationale for stalling, a challenge system. And because baseball is played without a clock there has always been a bit of stalling in it. So...
   33. cardsfanboy Posted: March 05, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4666746)
So if the batter beats out the relay the play at second becomes reviewable? Seems a bit odd.


I wonder how the rule is actually worded or if that is an accidental loophole. I would imagine that the intent was obviously the phantom play, but they might have written the rule wrong which could lead to some comic gaming of the system at some point.

Take a look at the thread about bunt doubles; look how much time we spent on analyzing Cano's double and whether he stepped out of the box. You really think calls like that should take less than 1 min?


Yes, I think that 1 minute would have been too much on a relatively minor infraction of a rule. This is baseball, not lawyer ball.
I don't want them bothering to go to replay on minor crap. Let's focus on the big and obvious. Primary reason for replay is
1. Was he safe/out and called out/safe?


and that is pretty much it. Some people worry about homerun calls, so I don't mind them being included, but really that is all replay is necessary for. Everything else, leave alone until the system is perfected.
   34. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: March 05, 2014 at 01:46 PM (#4666750)
What will be interesting to me is how different teams look at the value of "holding on" to their challenge until certain moments. For example, if there is a bang-bang play at first base with two outs and the bases empty in the second inning of a scoreless game, you would have to be very certain of an overturned call to use your challenge in that situation, right? What about a double-vs-home run call in the same situation? What about in the 6th inning of a 5-1 game in which you are leading? And so forth...

Also, football has much more complicated decisions to make on replays than baseball does. Think about the challenge of trying to figure out if a player had "made a football move" in order to determine possession. Or whether or not a receiver had control of a ball while getting the second foot in bounds. There are multiple variables occurring on that call.

In baseball, there are very few multi-variable situations. A force play is almost never a question of whether or not the runner and fielder had their foot on the bag. Rather, it is about answering one question: What got there first, the ball or the runner? We've had a rule for over a century that says if it is a tie, then the runner gets the call. A trap vs a catch - one variable: Did the ball hit the ground?

I think this is going to actually go very quickly, once the system is in use for a short amount of time...it's the easiest sport in which to review a call...
   35. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 05, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4666756)
Take a look at the thread about bunt doubles; look how much time we spent on analyzing Cano's double and whether he stepped out of the box. You really think calls like that should take less than 1 min?


Yes it should. If you can't tell in one minute, stop looking.
   36. cardsfanboy Posted: March 05, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4666763)
What about a double-vs-home run call in the same situation?


Not subject to a challenge call. Subject for a request for a review, but not a challenge. (although I guess if they called a double and you thought it was a homerun...that might be subject)

Home run calls that are currently subject to instant replay review will continue to be reviewed at the Crew Chief's discretion. Managers may request that an Umpire review a home run call, but managers cannot challenge home run calls.


Also, football has much more complicated decisions to make on replays than baseball does. Think about the challenge of trying to figure out if a player had "made a football move" in order to determine possession. Or whether or not a receiver had control of a ball while getting the second foot in bounds. There are multiple variables occurring on that call.


And they lawyer balled that sport to the ground.
In baseball, there are very few multi-variable situations. A force play is almost never a question of whether or not the runner and fielder had their foot on the bag. Rather, it is about answering one question: What got there first, the ball or the runner? We've had a rule for over a century that says if it is a tie, then the runner gets the call. A trap vs a catch - one variable: Did the ball hit the ground?

I think this is going to actually go very quickly, once the system is in use for a short amount of time...it's the easiest sport in which to review a call...



Exactly. In theory replay should be pretty simple and fast in baseball. That is why a challenge system is stupid. It's not necessary, most replays could be done and decided before the next pitch.
   37. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 05, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4666826)
cfb -

A chunk of the time that elapses during replays in the NFL is used to determine where the ball should be placed, the down markers, correct time on the clock, ensuring no other rules come into play, etc. There is more to a replay than just overturn or uphold.
   38. cardsfanboy Posted: March 05, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4666846)
A chunk of the time that elapses during replays in the NFL is used to determine where the ball should be placed, the down markers, correct time on the clock, ensuring no other rules come into play, etc. There is more to a replay than just overturn or uphold.


Too much of the time in the NFL is spent adjusting their eyes to the changing light condition. That is why the NFL system is utterly ridiculous. And again, too much of their time is worrying about the minutia of the play instead of just trying to get it mostly right in a timely manner.

My comments are about baseball though, it's fairly easy sport to handle replay on. No reason to waste their time sucking up 2 minutes to determine something that is easily determined in a few seconds.
   39. cardsfanboy Posted: March 05, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4666878)
Watching the Cardinal game and they just did a replay. Play on field stands. But it's very apparent that the Cardinal announcers are utterly clueless on the rules of the replay. Throughout the entire game they have been saying that you can't challenge after the 6th inning. Which is not at all the case. You cannot challenge after the 6th inning if you have used up your challenge, but you can request a review from the crew chief that he can do or not do at his discretion, but if you still have your challenge left, you are free to use it. They are acting like the 7th inning and later rule is more restrictive than it is.

Mind you, it is McLaughlin, and he's arguably the most incompetent announcer in baseball (only redeeming quality is he isn't afraid of stats)

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