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.
José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.
Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”
In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”
Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”
Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:
Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”
I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.