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Major League Baseball wants a 30-second limit on manager replay challenges

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Jayson Stark of ESPN reports that Major League Baseball wants a 30-second time limit for managers to decide whether or not to challenge an umpire’s call. Whether it will be a hard limit or a guideline, strongly encouraged from above, is not yet clear.

As Stark notes, the total time the average replay review takes has been going down year-by-year. The decision about whether to challenge or not, however, has been lagging, with each team employing a dedicated reply guy who calls to the manager when he thinks a call should be challenged.

I’ve still never seen a compelling explanation of why the decision to review a play should be the subject of a manager’s challenge. Doing so turned replay into a matter of gamesmanship and strategy and has led to things like the replay review to see if a guy’s hand came off the bag for a milisecond as he slid. An impartial umpire in the booth, aware that such things have been allowed by umpire discretion for 150 years, would ignore it. In the hands of an interested party of course such imperfections will be exploited.

I suppose that’s another conversation, however.

Report: Brewers have made formal contract offer to Yu Darvish

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Yahoo Japan reported on Sunday (Monday there) that the Brewers have made a formal contract offer to free agent pitcher Yu Darvish. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has confirmed Yahoo Japan’s report. The length of the offered contract and the value are not known at the moment.

Darvish recently said on his personal Twitter account that the Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Astros, Twins, and “one more team” have been in the running for his services. The unnamed team was believed to be the Dodgers, but it may well be the Brewers.

The Brewers could certainly use Darvish’s arm. Chase Anderson and Zach Davies currently lead the starting rotation and the club added Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo this offseason.

Darvish, 31, posted a 3.86 ERA with a 209/58 K/BB ratio in 186 2/3 innings between the Rangers and Dodgers in the regular season last year. He faltered in the playoffs, specifically in the World Series, where he gave up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings across two starts. Darvish was apparently tipping his pitches, however, which is a correctable issue.