John Schuerholz announces 'historic' MLB rule change
Under the new rule, a manager who sees a call he feels is incorrect can file a challenge with the crew chief or home plate umpire. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
WASHINGTON -- Bruce Bochy has plenty of questions about the sweeping instant replay proposal tentatively approved by owners on Thursday.
Such as: What will they give him to issue a challenge? A hankie? Or maybe one of those little light-up buzzers they hand you at a restaurant to let you know your table is ready?
“I’ve gotta get my arm back in shape,” the Giants' manager said.
Although he has some questions (and reservations) about how it will be implemented, Bochy’s stance on replay remained the same. He’s all for it.
“However we end up doing it, I think I’ll be fine with it,” Bochy said. “As long as we have a chance to review at least a play or two … I think it’s going to be good for the game. The home run (reviews) have been good for the games and I think the fans enjoy that.”
Elements of the proposal, as reported by the Associated Press:
A manager who sees a call he feels is incorrect can file a challenge with the crew chief or home plate umpire. Only reviewable plays can be challenged. Non-reviewable plays can still be argued by managers, who can request that the umpires discuss it to see if another member of the crew saw the play differently.
Reviewable plays cannot be argued by the manager.
Challenges not used in the first six innings will not carry over, and a manager who wins a challenge will retain it.
The home run replay rules currently in use will be grandfathered in to the new system.
Some of those elements are very debatable. Is a call in the last three innings any more or less important than a call in the first six? Are three challenges too many, or not enough? Could a manager use them for gamesmanship purposes to throw a pitcher out of his rhythm, etc.? And is there any issue with the final decision being made by someone in front of a TV screen in New York?
Bochy didn’t have a problem with the final decision being made remotely. But he hasn’t thought through all the points, other than one quick conversation with Giants CEO Larry Baer, who attended the meetings in Cooperstown, N.Y.
“I’ll sit down and talk to other baseball people,” Bochy said. “I’ll get a better feel for where we’re at. I want to sit and think on this for a day.”
Bochy was confident that expanded replay wouldn’t slow down the game.
“That’s what you’d be concerned about, but I think they’ll keep the game moving,” he said.