TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Biertempfel: Expect less yelling with MLB's replay system

Pirates/MLB Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
AP
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle (right) argues a call with umpire Mark Carlson during the fourth inning Thursday, April 10, 2014, in Chicago.

Pirates podcasts

  • Loading...

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Saturday, April 12, 2014, 8:11 p.m.
 

MILWAUKEE

Instant replay never will guarantee that every call in every game will be right, but baseball can live with that. It will lead to more interruptions and slow things to even more of a crawl on many nights, but fans will adapt. And some high-definition replays will require squinty second and third looks that will spark debates, but at least that will give sports radio callers something to gab about.

Replay also will result in fewer old-fashioned rhubarbs between angry managers and defensive umpires. We'll see less of Clint Hurdle's “purple face,” that peculiar flush the Pirates manager gets when he's in a shouting match. Lloyd McClendon never again will steal first base. Billy Martin's ghost can't be happy with how the game has evolved.

“I think it has changed the landscape of the game,” Hurdle said.

Under the expanded system this season, managers are allowed to discuss a disputed play with the umpire before deciding whether to issue a challenge.

In essence, the manager is stalling for time while another team employee frantically watches replays to judge whether there is enough cause for a challenge.

The manager-umpire chats generally have been cordial. There is no need to stir up emotions.

“When you go out there, they know why you're out there,” Hurdle said, grinning.

Ejections won't entirely go away, though.

Chicago Cubs manager Rick Renteria was tossed from a game against the Pirates on Tuesday for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout. There weren't many fireworks, though.

Renteria began grumbling out loud in the eighth inning when Cubs relievers Pedro Strop and James Russell walked three batters. In the ninth, Renteria groused again and was ejected by umpire Jeff Nelson while Renteria was standing on the top step of the dugout.

After he got the hook, Renteria went onto the field and yelled at Nelson for a minute or so. But there didn't seem to be a lot of passion to the debate, and Renteria later declined to say what exactly was discussed.

“That was between me and Jeff,” Renteria said.

Balls and strikes are not subject to replay review.

Renteria was the first manager to issue a replay challenge. He did it on Opening Day against the Pirates, and the call was upheld. After the game Tuesday, a reporter told Renteria he also was the first manager this season to be ejected.

“I don't know if that's very good, but ... OK,” Renteria said with a shrug.

The instant replay process might usher in an era of detente between managers and umpires, but there still will be occasional renewals of hostilities. Balls and strikes will remain a contentious issue. And any manager who loses his challenge could become a powder keg later in the game.

“I think what you'll see is, after you (lose) that challenge, you might see it go back to old school,” Hurdle said.

Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Pirates

  1. Ejections, heated moments mark Pirates’ win over Reds
  2. Starting 9: Examining Pirates’ deadline decisions
  3. Pirates notebook: New acquisition Happ more than happy to fill spot in rotation
  4. Biertempfel: Players, MLB agree logic of season’s setup needs to be examined
  5. Reds solve Cole, stave off Pirates’ 9th-inning rally
  6. Hurdle: Soria likely to assume setup role with Watson
  7. Gameday: Pirates at Reds, Aug. 2, 2015
  8. Marte’s 2 fine defensive plays rescue Pirates in victory over Reds
  9. Pirates farmhand Suchy learns limits of his size, strength
  10. Gameday: Pirates at Cincinnati, Aug. 1, 2015
  11. Pirates place Burnett on 15-day disabled list