Two by two, managers and players are getting a taste of the new replay system and the extended home plate collision rules. Fredi Gonzalez used his first challenge less than a week before opening day—and didn’t get the verdict he wanted.
According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, Andrelton Simmons was called out on a close play at first base to end the third inning. After review, umpires upheld their call.
As St. Bonaventure University’s baseball coach and an avid Cleveland Indians fan, Larry Sudbrook is torn on the new replay system. “As a coach, I would love the ability to get calls right, but this is just another delay in the game,” he said.
He said the game of baseball has a lot of down time as it is; now the Majors are adding another one to two minutes of delay.
As for the home plate collision rule, Sudbrook does not agree. He noted that in high school and college these rules were established for liability reasons, yet as a coach he will still yell for his catcher(s) to block the plate with a runner coming home, ball or not. “It has been part of the game since the beginning. It will be hard to put in full effect,” said Sudbrook.
In the 2014 season, all 30 teams in the MLB and their fans will have a love/hate relationship with these additions, but whether we like it or not they are here to stay.