No other major league manager has been more critical of the new video review system than John Farrell of the Boston Red Sox. He's not just complaining to complain, although the Red Sox seem to have gotten the short end on some big calls so far. Regardless of how it's affected his team, Farrell made a necessary point to MLB Network Radio on Sirius/XM on Tuesday: Taking away challenge power from managers surely will speed up the game's pace, even with replay a part remaining of the process going forward:
"I think they should just take it out of the managers' hands. So, you're not going to slow the game down. If there's someone that's reviewing every play going on, then you send down the message, 'Hey, reverse that call.' You're eliminating the manager walking out, so hopefully that wouldn't slow things down, but you're also governing it within the umpire's group. If the umpires are using video as another way of getting the calls right, then, you know what? It keeps it in your hands."
While it's not realistic to expect a manager never to challenge — small "C" — a close call or say, "That should be reviewed," Farrell is definitely onto something. The power and accountability should be with the umpires. Replay should be a tool that helps them make more accurate calls. If a fifth umpire were part of the rotation at games, in the press box, working with replay HQ in New York, we would be another step toward replay fulfilling its intentions.
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