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Most would agree that replay has served its intended purpose of getting as many missed calls corrected as possible in MLB. However, most would also agree that the system has some glaring flaws.
Most importantly, it’s not getting every call corrected. Beyond that though, there are instances where it appears umpires and replay officials are unnecessarily overanalyzing calls, leading to wasted time and ultimately some bad decisions.
That may have been the case Wednesday night in Cleveland, and you can plainly see how manager Terry Francona reacted. Francona, along with Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway, were ejected from Cleveland’s 13-5 loss to Minnesota after arguing a close call that upon closer inspection looked to be a terrific catch by right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall.
On the field, it was ruled that Chisenhall trapped the ball. However, replay appeared to show Chisenhall getting his glove under the ball, which should have resulted in an inning-ending catch. After review though, the call upheld, meaning the inning continued. Max Kepler was awarded a single and the Twins were gifted two additional runs.
Here’s a closer look:
Here's Lonnie Chisenhall's fine full-extension catch to end the third inning. pic.twitter.com/V1bixkfOk0
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 4, 2016
— FatGolfer (@fatgolfer1969) August 4, 2016
It takes a couple angles to put it all together, but it does look like a catch. Though obviously the officials felt it wasn’t a clean enough angle overrule the call.
When umpire Fieldin Culbreth signaled safe, Francona and Indians dugout went crazy. By rule, players and coaches are not allowed to argue a replay ruling, so some ejections were racked up in a hurry. That also included pitcher Corey Kluber, who wasn’t even on the hill Wednesday night.
Ejected tonight: Francona, Callaway, Kluber
Dejected tonight: Everyone in the stands and dugout
Rejected tonight: Everyone in my mentions
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) August 4, 2016
Yeah, it was one of those nights for Cleveland.
It was also one of those moments for replay that will be questioned.
We’ve shared our concerns with replay before, so there’s no sense rehashing everything. But there will hopefully come a time when some tweaks are made and some flaws are filled in.
If you’re going to run people out of the building for arguing a replay ruling, that’s fine. That’s designed to keep the game moving. But you also have to be able to see the play and get it right without nitpicking or overthinking too much or too long.
If that starts happening more often, there will be nothing to argue about.
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