John Farrell says it’s “extremely difficult to have any faith” in instant replay

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Just yesterday, as some folks were lamenting the allegedly lost art of managers arguing and getting ejected in the age of instant replay, a manager argued and got ejected for arguing over a call on instant replay.

The manager was John Farrell of the Red Sox and his anger came on what would eventually be called a fielder’s choice in the fourth inning. The play, which would give the Yankees their third and decisive run in the game, came when Francisco Cervelli hit into what at first glance appeared to be an inning-ending double play. That’s what umpire Bob Davidson ruled anyway. Joe Girardi came out to challenge it. After a three-minute review, the call was reversed, Cervelli was safe and the Yankees were awarded their third run of the game.

Watch the play here and judge for yourself.

It’s about as close as it gets from where I’m sitting. I think he’s safe. It’s certainly the case that if you called him safe, it’d be damn hard to say he was conclusively out on replay. This case was vice-versa, of course, so to make the call that the replay officials ultimately made, you had to say that he was clearly safe in order to overrule the initial out call. I’m not 100% sure you can say you had that here, but that’s what the replay officials said.

Farrell, whose Red Sox were victimized by a botched replay call the day before, didn’t think they had it. He came out to argue and was quickly ejected. After the game he was still frustrated:

“Extremely difficult to have any faith in the process that’s being used . . . We felt it was clear that the replay was inconclusive. Any angle that we looked at, you couldn’t tell if the foot was on the bag behind Mike Napoli’s leg. Where this became conclusive is a hard pill to swallow. On the heels of yesterday, it’s hard to have any faith in the system.”

You can bet there will be additional fallout as the days go on. Heck, as the hours go on today.

 

 

 

Angels’ Andrelton Simmons opts out of final 5 games

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has opted out of the remainder of the Los Angeles Angels’ season.

The Angels announced the four-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop’s decision Tuesday before they faced the San Diego Padres.

Los Angeles (24-31) is still technically in the playoff race with five games left in the regular season, and Simmons clearly caught the Angels by surprise, although the club said it respected his decision.

The 31-year-old Simmons, who can be a free agent this winter, is finishing his fifth year with the Angels. After spraining his ankle in late July and missing 22 games, Simmons is currently batting .297 with 10 RBIs while playing his usual stellar defense, albeit with four errors in 30 games.

“At this time, I feel this is the best decision for me and my family,” Simmons said in a statement. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we would like to sincerely thank the Angels organization and Angels fans for welcoming and making us feel at home.”

Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged he was caught by surprise when general manager Billy Eppler told him about Simmons’ decision Monday night after Simmons went 1 for 4 with an RBI single in the Angels’ home finale. Maddon texted Simmons, but hadn’t heard back by Tuesday afternoon.

“I’ve really enjoyed this guy a lot,” Maddon said. “I’m a big fan. This guy is a good baseball player, and I’ve enjoyed the conversations, too. It’s just unfortunate. He’s really a big part of what we’re doing right now.”

Simmons is a favorite of Angels fans for his defensive wizardry, and owner Arte Moreno has described Simmons as perhaps his favorite player to watch on the roster. Simmons has batted .281 with 36 homers and 281 RBIs during his five seasons with Los Angeles, and he won the Gold Glove in 2017 and 2018.

“He’s a thinking kind of a player, and I’ve enjoyed him a lot,” Maddon said.

Simmons will be a free agent this winter, and the Angels have an obvious replacement for him in David Fletcher, who has a .374 on-base percentage while regularly hitting leadoff for the Angels during his breakout major league season. Fletcher has been playing second base since Simmons’ return from injury.

But the Angels haven’t publicly closed the door on Simmons’ return, and he could be given a qualifying offer. Maddon has repeatedly said he would like Simmons to return in 2021 if possible.

The Angels haven’t had a winning season during Simmons’ five years in Anaheim, although Simmons said last week he wasn’t discouraged by the lack of team success. Simmons played his first four major league seasons in Atlanta, and he hasn’t appeared in the postseason since 2013.

Simmons also said he hadn’t been involved in any recent contract talks with the Angels, but he had enjoyed playing for the club. When asked if he wanted to return to the Halos, Simmons said he would have to “plead the fifth.”