Joe Torre says managers won’t be allowed to kill time while deciding whether to challenge a call

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One of the more annoying parts of instant replay was how managers, while waiting to hear back from someone in their dugout for direction on whether to actually challenge a call, would meander out onto the field and stall. Usually they’d “ask for clarification,” but it was a stall, make no mistake.

Joe Torre acknowledged yesterday that was a problem and said something would be done about it for 2015:

“That was really my baby,” Torre said. “The one thing we talked about challenging, I didn’t want to take away from the manager the fact that he could run out there and argue. I didn’t really plan on them meandering out there and having conversations, You live and learn.

“I think that’s one area [where] we’ll do something different. We’ll eliminate some of that standing around because 10 seconds in our game seems like a lifetime. Hopefully we can make that a little more comfortable.”

I’m curious to learn what can actually be done about this given that we’re still treating replay review like a game. If you’re going to put it on the manager’s shoulders to challenge missed calls and if you’re going to penalizing him for being wrong by taking away his right to challenge later in the game, he is going to have to know if he’s right to challenge. That will take time and a quick video review of his own, whether he’s on the field or off of it. Otherwise you’re just asking them to gamble.

Of course, this will probably not concern the people who thought it was cool to make a game out of replay in the first place rather than actually put the responsibility on umpires to make sure their calls are right. Gambling is a game! One that can be even more fun than the lower-stakes gambling we had with the rule last year.

Video: Cubs score run on Pirates’ appeal throw

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2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.

One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.

The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.