Major League Baseball needs to make another tweak to the rules of the replay system. After a play is judged using video, managers should be given an explanation as to why the decision was made. Or they should at least get an opportunity to ask. At times this season, the umpires on the field have allowed discussion, even argument — which seems especially fair, in light of expanded replay still being just a month old. Not in the case of Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price.
What happened to Price on Sunday, getting run immediately after he started to question a replay decision, is what the rules say should happen. Because, heaven forbid, they should take too long with the seemingly endless back and forth of replay. We can't be out here all day!
Price challenged the call of umpire Greg Gibson that B.J. Upton of the Atlanta Braves was safe at first base on a pickoff move by Johnny Cueto in the first inning. The one replay angle the public got appeared to show that Upton was out, and clearly so. The video drones going over the play at review headquarters did not see it that way. What did they see? Nobody knows. Crew chief Bill Miller told Price to get lost before he could argue the case.
#Reds Price: 'It seemed to me very apparent the runner was out and he wasn't called out. I didn't get it.'— ctrent (@ctrent) April 27, 2014
Price said he knew he’d get tossed, but ‘we’re not going to bend over and take it’ #Reds— ctrent (@ctrent) April 27, 2014
Homer Bailey said he was tossed after telling the umps they got the call wrong even after reviewing it. at least he said, that was the gist— ctrent (@ctrent) April 27, 2014
#Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez on Price’s challenge: ‘I thought they had a nice appeal, but you never know.’— ctrent (@ctrent) April 27, 2014
In the interest of transparency and fairness, this is no way to go about it. Like any other manager, Price at least is allowed to engage the umpires on the field after they make a call. He's allowed to ask for an explanation of their ruling. Even some argument is tolerated. But once a judgment comes down from the dudes in the video booth, that's it, the rules say. Stay in the dugout or else.
That it's time-consuming shouldn't matter. Let's worry about getting the delays down later, as we go. Not allowing a manager to question what the video booth sees is wrong. The booth needs to tell the umps on the field why a decision was made so they can tell the manager. Anything less is a bad policy.
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