Melvin no fan of imposing replay time limit

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Melvin no fan of imposing replay time limit
April 22, 2014, 6:15 pm
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We’re still getting used to this thing. If you look at the system, there are a lot of angles that you have to go through.
Bob Melvin on MLB's instant replay system

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OAKLAND – Much has been made about the lengthy delays that have come with instant replay review, but A’s manager Bob Melvin isn’t so sure a time limit should be placed on reviews.

A seventh-inning review in Monday night’s game against Texas clocked in at a hefty 3 minutes, 45 seconds. The overturned call worked in the A’s favor, as it was determined that Josh Donaldson’s throw to first beat Shin-Soo Choo to first and Choo was ruled out.

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It was the rare occurrence where a call was overturned after such a long delay. Generally it seems that the longer officials in New York look at a play, the less chance that the call will be overturned.

Melvin pointed out that some of the longer reviews come out of necessity.

“I think as far as last night, there was an angle that showed he was out, and I think they had to filter through and find that angle,” Melvin said before Tuesday’s game against Texas.

When replay was first introduced in the offseason, the hope was that most reviews could be completed in 60 to 90 seconds. But the first few weeks of the regular season have been marked by much longer delays. The A’s have had a couple in the neighborhood of four minutes.

But Melvin thinks it’s premature to introduce a time limit now, partly because of the time it takes for clubhouse personnel to review different angles of a play and relay to the bench whether a play is worth challenging.

“We’re still getting used to this thing,” he said. “If you look at the system, there are a lot of angles that you have to go through. I think each and every video guy, based on the call and where it is, is trying to have a good idea of what’s gonna be the best angle for that call and go straight to that feed. Everybody’s still feeling it out.”

NOTES: Center fielder Coco Crisp (rib injury) and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (bruised right heel) are both in Tuesday night’s lineup. Crisp injured his ribs making a diving attempt on a fly ball Monday. He went for X-rays after the game and they came back negative. Melvin said he would make sure Crisp was OK after batting practice. … Reliever Eric O’Flaherty, coming back from “Tommy John” surgery, had a bullpen session and threw all of his pitches at full distance for the first time since his procedure. Melvin has estimated that O’Flaherty could be facing hitters by the time the A’s return from their next road trip, a 10-game jaunt to Houston, Texas and Boston that begins Thursday and runs through May 4.

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