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.