Yost, other managers meet to sort out replay rules
Torre and La Russa provide guidance for skippers
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals manager Ned Yost and other team skippers met Tuesday with Joe Torre and Tony La Russa, who represent Major League Baseball, on the new instant replay procedures.
After the two-hour meeting, Yost and team officials were continuing to ponder how to approach the replay, which has been widely expanded beyond the home-run replays used since 2009. Now managers can challenge many types of plays subject to TV replays.
"We do have a plan but there's going to be a little ironing-out process I think," Yost said. "You're going to get one challenge before the seventh inning and if you get it right, you get another one. So there's going to be some strategy involved there if you want to use that challenge in the first or second inning. And if you do, you better darn sure be right that it's a conclusive outcome. But we'll see how it'll all work out."
The system being put in place is supposed to be quick-responding so the flow of games is not disrupted. So when a manager goes out to question a call, he can get word from the bench quickly on whether or not a challenge is prudent.
"That's what they keep telling us and I hope they're right," Yost said.
Yost said the Royals will have non-uniformed personnel monitoring the calls on video.
"We're going to have guys [who] that's going to be their job. They're going to sit and review the video with the replay computer system that they've set up -- it's a whole new system just for replay and it'll be installed in every video room, home and the road, for each team. We'll have somebody manning that," Yost said.
"If you've got something that you think you want to review, you go out and discuss it with the umpire until, hopefully, you can have somebody look at it real closely."
It'll take some study for the teams to learn which plays can or cannot be challenged.
"There's like a page of stuff that can be challenged and four pages of stuff that can't be," Yost said. "You can't challenge catch-no catch in the infield, you can challenge a hit by a pitch if the umpire calls a foul ball, but you can't challenge a ball when you think a guy intentionally ducks into a pitch."
On the so-called "neighborhood play" at second base where an infielder gets the out even though he doesn't really tag the bag, because a runner is bearing down on him but is "in the neighborhood," no challenge is allowed on the theory that it's an injury-avoiding precaution.
"But you can challenge the play if there's not a runner bearing down on you so that kind of eliminates it being a neighborhood play," Yost said.
Things could get complicated at times, too.
"If you have multiple challenges, which is possible, say at first and second, you can challenge multiple calls on the same play. And opposing managers can challenge the same play," Yost said. "So it gets a bit confusing but once we see it in action, I think it'll simplify itself a little bit."
The system will be tested in five of the Royals' Spring Training games.