Picking spots to challenge calls important
The challenge of umpires’ calls through video replay has become integrated into the game slightly more than a month into the season. When Yankees catcher Brian McCann was ruled safe on a bang-bang play at first base, you fully expected that Angels manager Mike Scioscia would emerge from their dugout.
He did but wisely decided against challenging the call after getting a negative signal from one of his coaches who had checked with someone in the clubhouse monitoring the telecast. The play was close, but since it appeared that McCann’s cleat hit the base at precisely the same time as the relay from shortstop Erick Aybar hit first baseman Albert Pujols’ glove there was no conclusive evidence to reverse the call.
The play proved inconsequential. Had the call been reversed, McCann would have been out as the second half of a double play. He remained on base instead but did not advance as Alfonso Soriano and Kelly Johnson were both struck out by Angels starter Jered Weaver.
Scioscia was smart not to challenge because had it been rejected he would have lost a chance to challenge again before the seventh inning. This is part of the new system that makes managers think twice before asking for a video review unless they are certain the original call was faulty.