Ron Washington gets his first taste of instant replay


Mar 4, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Umpires use instant replay to review a call during the game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Texas Rangers at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The Los Angeles Angels won the spring training game 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington used his first instant replay challenge this week in spring training against the Los Angeles Angels.  This was the first game that Washington was able to use instant replay and more than likely if this was a regular game, he wouldn’t have used it.  But since the Rangers did have the opportunity to use it, the manager wanted to get a chance to see exactly how the process was going to work.

On the play, it seemed pretty apparent that Adam Rosales didn’t get the tag on the J.B. Shuck as he stole second.  Later after Rosales said that he knew he didn’t get the tag in time and Washington commented that he thought it was close enough to try out the replay.

After the 90 second review, Washington weighed in his thoughts.

"“It won’t always be that simple,” Washington said of the replay. “Sometimes I might be out there losing my mind.” (USA Today- Bob Nightengale)"

Also umpire Jim Joyce commented on the replay.

"“It was perfect,” Joyce said. “I hope they all go as smooth as that. That was a good one to review.” (USA Today- Bob Nightengale)"

This will be the first season for the expanded instant replay rules in baseball.  Until now, the only thing that was reviewable were home run calls.  Now, under the new rules, basically 90% of all plays are reviewable.  Plays that cannot be reviewed included the neighborhood rule, and strikes and ball.

Managers will be able to use one challenge with in the first 6 innings, if they get the challenge correct, they will have an extra challenge, max of 2 challenges.  After the 7th inning, the umpires will then have the option to review a play.  Replays will be reviewed in New York at the Replay Command Center by the Major League Umpires – Replay Officials for all games once the season begins.

If you are keeping a tally, which you should count spring training, Washington is 0-1, but expect there to be a lot more strategy in replays once the season starts.  Also, once the season starts, the teams will have a person at a screen watching and reviewing plays before they decide to challenge it.  Also, in spring training, there are not as many cameras.  I’m excited to see these rules in place, they should have been in place a long time ago, baseball has always been behind the times with this.

Many people are baseball purist, but in my opinion I want to see the call right.  It is hard to describe the feeling when your team loses because of bad call.  That play sticks with you for a long time, just ask Jim Joyce and Armando Galarraga.  Joyne knew the call was wrong, but at the time, he couldn’t reverse it.  Galarraga could have had a perfect game.  I also don’t think the reviews will add to much time to the game, with a dedicated team and instant replay booth in New York, it should run smoothly and quick.  If you have 4 challenges, each for 90 seconds, that is only 6 more minutes. It take longer to get a hot dog at a concession stand.  We’ll be ok, deal with it.  No one complains about instant replay in football, and that America’s favorite sport.  After a year or so of expanded instant replay in baseball, everyone will be asking why wasn’t it done sooner.  I’m excited about, I hope you are too, and what’s important, the call will be right.