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Most managers don’t want a challenge system. Baseball is doing it anyway.

Aug 15, 2013, 4:04 PM EDT

The former head of the umpires is against a challenge system. So too are the men tasked with doing the challenges:

If the managers don’t like it who, exactly, is this best for? And why?

I’ve seen interviews with Bruce Bochy and Bob Melvin so far today, each of which are headlined something to the effect of “manager happy with expanded replay.” But you read the comments and what they’re happy about is the notion of getting wrong calls right.  Which is an easy notion to agree with, one would hope.

They both copped to having questions about the details, though. I bet there will be more questions as time goes on. All the while, I bet MLB will talk about how “everyone loves this new system,” much the way they do with the All-Star Game and everything else MLB does. Don’t buy it.

  1. The Dangerous Mabry - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    Who is it best for? The companies that make the flags. That’s my conspiracy theory here, and I’m sticking with it.

    • Francisco (FC) - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:34 PM

      This is but the first tiny step in the Global Flag Confederation’s plans for world domination.

    • dondada10 - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      The red flag is so played out. I hope Bud at least as something unique planned for a challenge like the manager releasing a dove or sending a billow of smoke into the air.

      • donnaturner6566 - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:32 PM

        Only seriusly intrested persons required .. please,
        you have to work and use the computer and internet, and if you can do that and dedicate some time each day then you can do this with no problem. I have been working with this for a month and have made over $2,000 already. let me know if you need more here you go.. click as new agent

    • dan1111 - Aug 16, 2013 at 1:43 AM

      Perhaps it is being done to allow more commercial breaks.

  2. adenzeno - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    Typical MLB/Seligsian BS…….Like interleague, 15 team divisions, the Astros to the AL, the All Star Game….

    • Bryz - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      I’d argue that 15 team divisions and moving the Astros to the NL were good decisions. The All-Star Game deciding WS home field advantage is a travesty and although I approve of interleague play, I understand that there are many that disagree with it.

      • apmn - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:33 PM

        No, moving the Brewers BACK to the AL would have been a good decision.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 15, 2013 at 7:15 PM

        Astros belong in the NL West. Move Arizona to the AL. That swimming pool is DH-worthy.

      • johnnysoda - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:59 PM

        I totally disagreed with moving the Astros to the AL West. It cheapened the integrity of the leagues, IMO.

        If they had to move teams, they should’ve:
        (A) move the Brewers back into the AL Central, where they were in the first place. The divisions would, as such, look like this:
        AL East: BOS, NYY, BAL, TOR, TBR
        AL Central: DET, CLE, MIL, MIN, CHW
        AL West: LAA, TEX, SEA, OAK, KCR (Royals move divisions)
        NL East: ATL, WSH, NYM, PHI, MIA
        NL Central: PIT, STL, HOU, CIN, CHC
        NL West: LAD, SFG, SDP, COL, ARI

        (B) move the Diamondbacks to the AL West. They were actually supposed to be in the American League along with Tampa, but several AL teams objected, so they moved to the NL. The divisions would now be:
        AL East: BOS, BAL, NYY, TOR, TBR
        AL Central: DET, CLE, MIN, CHW, KCR
        AL West: TEX, OAK, LAA, SEA, ARI
        NL East: ATL, NYM, WSH, PHI, MIA
        NL Central: PIT, STL, MIL, CHC, CIN
        NL West: LAD, SFG, SDP, COL, HOU (Astros move divisions, but stay in-league)

        Those, IMO, would’ve been much better alternatives.

  3. goawaydog - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Both managers should throw their flags at the same time during the ceremonial first pitch and just get it over with.

  4. yahmule - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    Of course managers don’t want to have to make the call. One more thing to be second guessed about. The problem is leaving it in the hands of the umpires could be equally problematic because they don’t want to give the impression that they believe a call is questionable. From day one as an umpire, it is drilled into you to sell the call and be emphatic.

    “HE’S OUTTA THERE!!! …but, you know, it was kind of close, let me double check.”

  5. einjzmolf - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Solution: don’t use it?

    • yahmule - Aug 15, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      But how will baseball get along without it?


  6. joerevs300 - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    I find this hilarious…

    “MOST” could mean 16 out of the 30 managers didn’t want this challenge system. So I guess now that automatically = that it is bad for baseball. How funny.

    It would be nice if people actually grew a pair and stopped using “anonymous” and “sources” to write stories. Turns out HBT is no different than ESPN, etc. in that regard.

    • ditto65 - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      Good that you understand what a simple majority is.

      And by the way, “Tony LaRussa” is not an “anonymous source”.

  7. chunkala - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    Boy, these managers have such a difficult job. Fill out a lineup card and then take a nap for 3 hours. Give it a rest, their job is easy, I’ll take the multi-million dollar deals if they can’t deal with a little added pressure.

  8. rje49 - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    What gets me is when the umps look at replay and still get it wrong! This year, Steven Drew has lost 2 homers that way. With the second one, the ball landed beyond the center field wall in Fenway, on the platform in front of the camera, and bounced UP. If the ball had hit the wall instead, what in the world would have made it bounce UP? It really makes you wonder what could the umps have been looking at and how well the system works. They gave him a triple, and luckily he ended up scoring anyway.

  9. brianforster - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    advanced statistics have made managers job the easiest head coaching gig in pro sports. why would they want to add anything that would make their job more than just doing what the numbers tell you to do?

  10. imnotyourbuddyguy - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Most managers won’t bring their best pitcher in the bullpen in a tie game either. Managers like to stick to their silly ways.

    And to answer “If the managers don’t like it who, exactly, is this best for? And why?”
    The answer is Baseball and the owners. They are somewhat bending to the majority, who want expanded replay.

  11. ndnut - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Bud Light: “Why am I doing something the managers do not want? Because I’m Bud F**king Selig, that’s why!!!!!

    • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 15, 2013 at 7:17 PM

      Ever try decaf?

  12. buddaley - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    The challenge system is about the worst way to implement replay. It does not make it more likely that calls will be right; it simply adds an element of gamesmanship that has nothing to do with baseball strategy.

    If replay is a good idea, then have it automatic with an umpire in the booth or some other system devised to be sure that, to the extent possible, all bad calls or all specific categories of bad calls are reversed. The way they have it, a manager has to decide in the first inning whether a call was egregious enough to throw the flag or whether he should hoard his challenge for a situation that never arises. So if he uses it early, and in the 5th inning a game deciding type of play arises, he is helpless. Utterly stupid.

  13. moogro - Aug 15, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    I think managers would rather manage, and have umpires do the umpiring. And managers, when the umpires don’t get it right, want an umpire in a replay booth to correct the other umpires. That way, the managers can get back to managing. Wouldn’t we all rather have that?

  14. rcali - Aug 15, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    I think we should go back to the P.A. announcer screaming the batters name at the top of his lungs without the use of any modern audio equipment. I don’t think catchers should wear these protective masks either. Time to get rid fo the pine tar so bats more freely fly into the stands. And that netting behind home plate, another dumb idea. Back my my day you took a line drive off your forehead and you liked it, we loved it. Who needs these darn lights anyway, let’s play all the games during the day, just like the good old days.

  15. savvybynature - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    So Jim Bowden tweets that Tony LaRussa said that a majority of the 30 coaches in the league told him that they don’t like the proposed challenge system, and we get a headline that reads “Most managers don’t want a challenge system.”

    Is this third-hand tweet really considered credible evidence of something? Why don’t we just do away with the charade of journalism school completely while we are at it?

  16. mrpinkca - Aug 16, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Unfortunately, there is a solid 15% of umpires who will never overturn a call no matter how bad it was.

  17. steelcurtainwereonpedstoo - Aug 16, 2013 at 7:07 AM

    This is just Selig trying to put the A-Rod fiasco on the back burner because he was against IR from the start.

  18. wjarvis - Aug 16, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    So does this mean every time there’s a close play (that goes against the home team), we’ll have to wait until they show the replay at the stadium so the manager can decide if they want to challenge the play?

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