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Banister, Pirates visit Replay Operations Center

NEW YORK -- With the Pirates in the Big Apple and Major League Baseball's Replay Operations Center in Manhattan, bench coach Jeff Banister was among the handful of Pirates personnel who paid the command center a visit Tuesday.

It was a very productive trip, according to manager Clint Hurdle, who was unable to attend.

"They took notes, they shared information," Hurdle said. "We had a bunch of questions, so it was a give-and-take opportunity. They've come back and relayed the information forward to me."

Among the topics of conversation was baseball's new ban on home-plate collisions. Monday, umpires reversed a call on a play in which the Mets' Juan Lagares was originally ruled out at home. Umpires called Lagares safe after deciding that catcher Russell Martin obstructed the plate illegally according to the new rules.

The infraction came when Martin originally set up straddling the plate. Even though Martin later moved off to the side -- and had only the lower half of his leg blocking the plate by the time Lagares arrived -- Lagares was automatically safe due to Martin's positioning when he first set up to receive the throw.

"As soon as that throw is let go and he's already straddling the plate, [the rule is broken]," Banister said. "If you're here [off to the side] and you move and it takes you there, you're still in good shape."

Another clarification Banister sought was how officials decide where to place the runners. He pointed to a recent play where Josh Harrison didn't catch a ball that an umpire originally said he did. After a review confirmed the ball was not caught, replay officials used multiple factors to decide where to place the runners, including each runner's position at the time and which element -- the umpire's signal, a base coach's signal, etc. -- caused the runners to stop.

Banister also came away with a greater understanding and appreciation of the work that goes on at the Replay Operations Center.

"It isn't one guy, but a collective effort to make sure everybody's on the same page," Banister said. "It was awesome. I enjoyed every minute of it."

Tim Healey is an associate reporter for
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