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Jose Bautista calls MLB’s replay system “a joke”

Jul 6, 2014, 6:55 PM EDT

Melky Cabrera AP

The Blue Jays were victims of what appeared to be an incorrect call at the plate in the eighth inning of Saturday night’s game against the Athletics. With Melky Cabrera on first base, Jose Bautista doubled down the left field line. Cabrera motored around the bases, heading home in an attempt to cut the Athletics’ lead to 3-2.

Left fielder Craig Gentry hit shortstop Jed Lowrie on the fly, and Lowrie made a quick turn and throw to catcher Derek Norris. Norris swiped, but Cabrera appeared to slide under the tag. Home plate umpire Bill Miller called him out. Cabrera beckoned manager John Gibbons to challenge the call, and so the play was reviewed. Replays from various angles seemed rather clear that the tag was never made, but the call was not overturned.

After the game, Bautista called the replay system “a joke” to the media, as the Jays have been victims of the replay system not working as intended several times. Via Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi:

“This whole replay thing has become a joke in my eyes. I think they should just ban it, they should just get rid of it, I don’t really understand the purpose of it, but getting the right call on the field is not the purpose. That’s pretty obvious and evident. I don’t know what kind of agenda the people that are doing the replays are on, what their plan is, what their purpose is, who they’re looking after. But obviously getting the right call on the field is not what they’re doing.”

Here’s the video of the controversial play, which includes multiple replay angles:

Bautista has not yet been reprimanded for his comments, but he likely will have to pay a fine. He certainly is not alone in his feelings on how the replay system has worked thus far.

  1. chargrz - Jul 6, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    Get rid of it! It ruins the game.

    • renaado - Jul 6, 2014 at 7:26 PM

      Right….. But we should all know, if it weren’t for the replay system blown calls would be very many if it weren’t for this.

    • paperlions - Jul 6, 2014 at 8:02 PM

      So they screwed this one up, yeah, that sucks….but replay has already corrected 100s of calls to improve the integrity of results on the field. Just because something isn’t immediately perfect doesn’t mean you just abandon it.

      • 18thstreet - Jul 6, 2014 at 8:35 PM

        Man, David Ortiz is such a baby! I’m so tired of listening to this guy complain about EVERYTHING!

        Wait, there’s other players who complain about things? My mistake.

      • paperlions - Jul 7, 2014 at 7:06 AM

        Apropos of nothing and elegantly crafted strawman. Well done.

        No one ever says that Ortiz is the only person that complains, just that he complains a lot, which he does.

  2. jre80 - Jul 6, 2014 at 7:22 PM

    It is a joke. More like embarrassing. Watchin these managers do a walk out and have a how’s the weather talk with umpires until they get thumbs up or thumbs down from dugout. Hell with that. If u walk out there, then that’s a challenge. Plus the most important part, still not getting calls right

  3. realgone2 - Jul 6, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    The whole system is stupid.

    • baberuthslegs - Jul 6, 2014 at 7:35 PM

      It’s more stupid when the call goes against your team.

  4. indaburg - Jul 6, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    I don’t know how one misses that call on replay. Who is reviewing the calls at the Replay Command Center? Mr. Magoo? I understand Bautista’s frustration.

    I was in favor of replay for years but the way it has been implemented, it’s almost as if it was set up to fail.

    • baberuthslegs - Jul 6, 2014 at 7:40 PM

      There was never any hope of this system satisfying everyone. At least MLB is trying, and tweaks are and will be occurring. Let’s hope we live long enough for them to get it partially right.

      • indaburg - Jul 6, 2014 at 7:44 PM

        I hope so. No system will ever be perfect, but it seems like MLB’s strategy on instant replay was “let’s satisfy as few people as possible.”

      • recoveringcubsfan - Jul 6, 2014 at 8:42 PM

        MLB is not trying; MLB is just jerking off, as they said in Blazing Saddles. This is a stupid stunt and an insult to fair play.

    • paperlions - Jul 6, 2014 at 8:05 PM

      MLBs problem is that they tried to do the bare minimum (not necessarily setting the system up to fail, but making it hard to be a true success) rather than doing it right….but, to their credit, they are trying and they have already shown a willingness to modify the rules on the fly to fix errors in the system.

      • indaburg - Jul 6, 2014 at 8:17 PM

        The problem is that they’ve been reactive, instead of proactive. Many of the issues could have, and should have, been anticipated (e.g. Blue Jays loophole from the other night). Maybe I’m asking too much. At least MLB hasn’t formed a committee to oversee a committee to monitor yet another committee to analyze these issues and come up with a solution in a few years. Isn’t that how it usually goes?

        But seriously, they can’t blow obvious calls like this if they want the system to have credibility. There was clear and convincing evidence.

      • paperlions - Jul 6, 2014 at 8:19 PM

        I agree. I am just so used to MLB being 40-100 yrs behind the times that any time they actually change for the better, I am happy that they just did something. If MLB was a medical practice, they’d still be using leaches and blood letting….that is how slow they are to adapt to the world.

    • clydeserra - Jul 6, 2014 at 11:05 PM

      yeah, they screwed that call up. there have been a few others too.

      And there is the interpretation screw ups like the one in Oakland on thursday and one in Pittsburgh?

      But overall its ok. could be better.

  5. tigersfandan - Jul 6, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    He may have a point, but Bautista is not the right guy to be saying this. His repeated incidents with umpires, including past comments to the media, have damaged his credibility and it would almost look like he has an axe to grinde. Remember that time last season when Tom Grieve said Bautista was acting like a ‘crybaby’? Well, here we go again.

  6. Stiller43 - Jul 6, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    It helps get the correct calls in many instances…including todays game nats vs cubs where neither ump made a call and settled on safe before a review

  7. blabidibla - Jul 6, 2014 at 7:45 PM

    I wouldn’t say that replay was conclusive enough to overturn. Stop crying.

    • canadiansportsfan77 - Jul 6, 2014 at 8:50 PM

      you don’t see the foot of gap in between Melky and Norris??

      • blabidibla - Jul 6, 2014 at 8:59 PM

        No. Tell me the exact frame and I’ll be happy to look again.

        If the glove so much as touches his jersey, he’s out. it looks to me like he moved the jersey.

  8. armorgan67 - Jul 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    Some of you need to take a step back and breathe. The system is in it’s first year. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would think that the system would be perfect. The replay system is here to stay. In this day and age baseball can’t afford to be behind everyone else when it comes to technology. To go back to the game without the replay system would be suicide PR wise. Give it some time. The NFL and the NBA still make mistakes with their systems so they fine tune it all the time and so will MLB.

    • 18thstreet - Jul 6, 2014 at 8:38 PM

      This is a reasonable, measured response.

      He’s obviously a witch.

      • daveitsgood - Jul 6, 2014 at 9:11 PM

        Let’s not be hasty. We must first find out if he weighs as much as a duck.

      • paperlions - Jul 7, 2014 at 11:25 AM

        Doesn’t this mean that all ducks are witches? How has no one ever realized this?

  9. jason9696 - Jul 6, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    Melky Cabrera was clearly safe at home plate. What’s the point of having replay if it’s not going to work? They should just get rid of it. It slows the game down too much. Besides over a 162 game season the calls usually even themselves out.

    • rivermaya99 - Jul 6, 2014 at 8:17 PM

      Stupid stupid stupid stupid coment, should stick to it, just wait, seen many call blown with no replay, don’t want to happen again, system is not perfect but the we need to trust it

  10. chill1184 - Jul 6, 2014 at 8:17 PM

    The fact that Bautista may be fined is pathetic.

  11. sparkysaballer - Jul 6, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    If you look at the replay at 1:08, it’s quite convincing that he is safe. Terrible call. Why don’t they have all the angles available to them?

    • blabidibla - Jul 6, 2014 at 10:12 PM

      1:08 is an image of the umpires listening to their headphone for a response from replay.

  12. mpzz - Jul 6, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    Well, he probably missed the tag, but you cannot tell for sure from any of those angles.
    The main complaint I have about the replays is the time it takes. There’s no reason for it to take five or six minutes. The video isn’t going to change no matter how many times they look at it.

  13. nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 6, 2014 at 11:53 PM

    To those whining about how replays “slow the game down”, I’m curious: what’s the big hurry? Do you stick around for extra innings?

    • renaado - Jul 7, 2014 at 12:10 AM

      “To those whining about how replays “slow the game down”.

      People who’re against it only makes the statement “slowin the game down” as a a lame excuse.

  14. ridiculousbacon - Jul 7, 2014 at 12:34 AM

    My two cents…. Every team’s owner approved this system, so fans & Bautista should send their complaints directly to their front office. I guess I’m 50/50 on the replay system, on one hand it’s a step in the right direction & on another it’s just a cop out to avoid firing numerous awful umpires & having a credible, merit-based officiating system.

    • ridiculousbacon - Jul 7, 2014 at 12:44 AM

      I also think having a bunch of mystery umpires calling the shots from New York just invites the hostile managers & players. To some extent you can’t blame them, they’re powerless and no one on the field has any authority in those situations.

  15. randygnyc - Jul 7, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    The replay system isn’t perfect, but for its first year of implementation, it’s damn good. Since human beings are involved, it’ll never be 100%. But it sure beats the way it was done previously. And for those that are complaining that it slows down the game, you’re a joke. Baseball is a game that averages 3 hours. The extra 5-10 minutes per game is nothing compared to trying to get the right calls. Managers combined can only get 4 reviews a game and that’s only if they review earlier in the game and get it right. Nothing is perfect, but MLB is trying to do better. Bautista was off base with his comments. And yes, I would say the same thing if Jeter, girardi or any other Yankee had said similarly inappropriate sentiments.

    • bengalsucker - Jul 7, 2014 at 8:17 AM

      Saying it’s “damn good” is a bit far fetched. Like I said in my comment below, I know it’s in it’s first year of implementation but some of the calls I’ve seen that they’ve gotten wrong are just bad. It’s like they’re doing it on purpose sometimes. The system is FAR from “damn good”.

  16. manhandler1 - Jul 7, 2014 at 2:06 AM

    This system is absolutely hilarious. The guy with the suitcase….the umpires with their little headphones on…the guys in New York who take 10 mins to come to a decision that any absolute moron can see from looking at the vids for 15 seconds. Wow! How did they come up with this one?

  17. bbk1000 - Jul 7, 2014 at 6:33 AM

    I’m really hoping they get the system fixed before it adversely affects a team that matters……

  18. canadatude - Jul 7, 2014 at 7:34 AM

    They should have a system that will send umpires to AAA when they don’t perform, just like the players.
    Computers can track the strike zone calls and game-changing call missed like this would all be dealt with at the source.

  19. bengalsucker - Jul 7, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    I get that a new system will have it’s kinks. But I’ve seen more than a couple handfulls of reviews that were just flat out wrong and everyone BUT the reviewer in New York knew it. If you see dirt between the glove and the player, he wasn’t tagged. It’s pretty simple. Some of the calls from replay are just horrendous. It borderlines the thought of it being intentional that they want to get these wrong to “get back” at the MLB for implementing replay. I think that’s a far fetched conspiracy theory but you have to shake your head at a lot of these calls. They’re just flat out bad. Any monkey reviewing a screen would see he was safe. Except for the guy in the secret replay booth in New York.

  20. mrznyc - Jul 7, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    Its a judgment call no matter where it’s done, on the field or in the studio – Leave the game on the field.

  21. nbjays - Jul 7, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    The biggest problem with umpiring in Major League Baseball is a complete lack of standards and accountability. When a player is performing poorly, he gets sent down to AAA (or lower) to work on the things that will allow him to return to performing at a major league level. The umpires need the same thing… if a guy has consistent problems recognizing the strike zone, or being in the best position for tag plays, or simply has issues with being confrontational and disruptive, then send him down and promote a top-performing minor league ump to replace him.

    The day MLB takes this problem seriously is the day that umpiring will improve throughout baseball.

  22. voidhelix - Jul 7, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    Farcical isn`t strong enough. The fact that every review goes to NY ( a rival of Toronto..and I realize not the Yankees directly), means the system` s not impartial. This wan`t even close and yet they took 20 seconds to still not see it. I don`t think umpires are even communicating with anyone, it` s the appearance of a review that`s important. Umpires like Bill Miller and Joe West need to be expunged from baseball.

  23. gymtruthteller - Jul 7, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    There is nothing wrong with the idea of replay. The issue is the idiots in charge of running it are literally too stupid to see what is right in front of them.

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