Instant replay in baseball is going to be a big deal for the few couple weeks of the 2014 season while the process works out the kinks. The first official managerial challenge went to Toronto’s John Gibbons during today’s Grapefruit League game between the Jays and Royals in Fort Myers, Fla.
Here’s what happened: Chris Rahl hit an absolutely routine grounder to short in the sixth inning. The throw by Munenori Kawasaki pulled Jared Goedert’s foot off the base and Rahl was ruled safe. Gibbons challenged the call. ESPN’s Jayson Stark writes the umpires took two minutes and 34 seconds looking over the review and upheld the initial safe call.
As you can see for yourself, via the GIFs and screenshots, it’s awfully difficult to tell — without the help of an outfield camera angle — if Goedert’s foot comes back to the base in time to beat the runner. (Where’s the 1080p, MLB?)
Figure that as time goes by, the process improves on all fronts. It’s still going to be weird, though, to have games stop while the umpires put on headsets for reviews. If plays like this continue to crop up, where it’s hard to determine a bang-bang play at the base, we’re in for some trouble.
Maybe we just ended up with the closest, most inconclusive call right away. Good luck Bud!