Maddon: Replay process needs to change
CHICAGO -- Joe Maddon watched a replay of Chris Denorfia's slide into second base on the video scoreboard at Wrigley Field and felt his outfielder was safe. It may not have been the smartest baseball play -- Denorfia will tell you that -- but after a review, the call stood, the game was over, and Maddon was fuming.
The Cubs trailed, 5-2, with two outs in the ninth against the Dodgers when Denorfia lined a ball to left field. He tried to advance to second, but Scott Van Slyke's throw to second baseman Kiké Hernandez was on target. Second-base umpire Jordan Baker called Denorfia out.
Maddon challenged the call, but it was not overturned, and the Cubs' winning streak ended at four games.
"I cannot believe the conclusion," Maddon said. "Even as a fan, standing in the dugout at that particular moment, I wish whomever made that call could have been at Wrigley Field and looked at the big [video] screen if they wanted to see something definitive.
"To say there was nothing definitive right there, I could not disagree more strongly," Maddon said. "I have no idea why they would say that. It makes zero sense to me whatsoever. I'm just being honest. It made no sense."
If the call was confirmed, Maddon said he could've accepted that.
"To say it stands is not a really cool way to go at that particular moment with the game on the line, and it was obvious from that one shot that [Denorfia] was absolutely safe, no questions asked," Maddon said. "Right now, I'm curious if you need more than one confirming opinion in regards to making the change, becuase that might be the worst non-overturn I've seen at this point."
How would Maddon like to see the review system changed?
"I think it screams for an independent group back there to research the video, as opposed to working with umpires who are actually on the field," he said. "I think you should get a bunch of nerds back there who know how to look at the video, and then come to a conclusion. I think it would be much more interesting that way."
Currently, umpire crews take turns handling the reviews in New York.
Denorfia, who hit a walk-off sacrifice fly on Tuesday in a 1-0 win over the Dodgers, was trying to make something happen.
"It's not a smart baseball play," he said. "It's something I know not to do, to get thrown out when we're trying to put an inning together. A lot of things went good for them. It didn't matter -- I shouldn't have gone to second."
He could see the play unfolding in front of him but said he was "already committed" and headed for second.
"I tried to get my arm around [the bag], and it was really close," he said. "I think if they called me safe, they wouldn't overturn it. They had to stick with the call they made."
Did he think he was safe?
"At that time, I was pretty angry at myself for doing that," Denorfia said. "I knew it was close and knew it was going to replay."
And when Denorfia watched the replay on the video scoreboard at Wrigley, he said, "it was too close to overturn."
"You cannot get thrown out there," Maddon said, "and he didn't."