MLB Replay Committee Chair John Schuerholz Happy With Early Results
Braves President John Schuerholz on Thursday said he thinks the MLB replay reviews during Spring Training have "gone very well so far," according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. Schuerholtz added the reviews have "calmed everybody's fears" of long delays and "unnatural breaks in the action." Four calls were "reviewed over the first two days of replay use this spring." According to MLB, total time between the call and the next pitch "averaged just under three minutes." It took an "average of nearly 38 seconds after calls for managers to initiate their challenges," and the reviews themselves "averaged 1 minute, 27 seconds." Schuerholz, who chairs MLB's replay committee, said that the league "expects that total review time can be between 60 and 90 seconds once the season begins." Schuerholz said of replay use in Spring Training games, "We're not using that direct connectivity to BAM or using their feeds ... so that's why it's going to go not quite as smoothly." Asked why reviews were not being handled out of N.Y. during the spring, Schuerholz said, "I don't think anybody is ready yet. We're going to need every day to get this thing aligned perfectly." Stark wrote the "biggest advantage of having calls reviewed in a temporary replay booth on site is that it gives umpires working spring training games an opportunity to get familiar with how the system works." Schuerholtz said that since those umpires will "serve as replay umpires at least twice during the season, it's important they get that experience" (ESPN.com, 3/6).
UNDER REVIEW: In L.A., Kevin Baxter notes both the use of instant replay and MLB's new rule "preventing catchers from blocking the plate" came into play in Thursday's Angels-Dodgers Spring Training game. After Angels CF Mike Trout's "one-out line drive squirted under a diving" Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig and "rolled to the center-field wall, Trout tried to circle the bases, only to arrive back home at the same time the ball did." Umpire Gerry Davis "called Trout out, sparking an immediate protest" from Angels manager Mike Scioscia. While determining that the catcher was "inadvertently drawn into the runner by [Dodgers LF] Hanley Ramirez's throw from left field -- which is legal -- they also checked the tag, which got Trout before he touched the plate." Scioscia said, "Procedurally, we're hopefully starting to understand this replay a little bit more. As it was, I didn't use a challenge because of the crew chief's ability to look at a play at the plate." The "official time of the review was 72 seconds" (L.A. TIMES, 3/7). The AP reported a "power outage got in the way of the only contested call" during Thursday's Phillies-Yankees game. Phillies 1B John Mayberry Jr. was "thrown out at third base in the seventh inning trying to stretch a double." Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg "wanted to challenge the ruling, but when third-base umpire Vic Carapazza was ready to go to replay, there were no television feeds available because of a momentary power outage at the ballpark" (AP, 3/6).