CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Premium Article The Call-Up: Tommy La ... (05/29)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Skewed Left: Dallas Ke... (05/22)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Skewed Left: The Econo... (06/05)
Next Article >>
Daily League Strategy:... (05/30)

May 29, 2014

Skewed Left

What We've Learned About Replay

by Zachary Levine


When a totally new system like Major League Baseball’s expanded instant replay—complete with brand-new job descriptions and job openings and technology—is assembled on the eve of the season, you’d imagine its implementation would look more like an evolution than the arrival of a fully formed process.

And by most accounts it has been. Whether it’s the change in the transfer rule that tangentially went along with it, or managers getting used to the silly choreography of how to argue with an umpire while simultaneously looking back at the dugout for a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down, everybody involved in the process seems to be getting better at it.

“We’re getting a little more educated in different ways not to manipulate the system but to use it properly,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “We went in with a plan, but I think we’ve been able to refine and make it a little bit better along the way. … Every team’s going about this in their own method. We’re keeping records on all the calls—specific calls that are made, leverage situations.”

Major League Baseball is keeping records too, and in the face of all the fears from this spring that teams would seriously game the system and massively disrupt the flow of the game, the records portray a pretty good picture.

According to data obtained from Major League Baseball’s central office on Tuesday, there were 381 traditional replay reviews—15 percent of which were umpire-initiated rather than challenge-initiated—plus four more looks to check counts or other record-keeping procedures in the first 759 games. Those challenges totaled 830 minutes, meaning that the replays averaged 2:09.

(The measurements will tell you that replay review has added 1:06 to each game, but that’s a pretty blunt estimate considering that it measures only the time from the challenge to the decision and not the manager’s stalling with an eye on the dugout. And it assumes no delay that would come with full-length arguments without replay.)

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

7 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

jmercan

Is there any data on which umpires have been challenged the most often? And overturned the most often? Is there any sense that MLB is using replay data to assess umpire performance?

May 29, 2014 06:51 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Zachary Levine
BP staff

I suspect at the end of the year, we'll have more significant data on that. The data isn't real clean on that, but it looks like Jim Reynolds with 13 is the leader. Small numbers, though.

May 29, 2014 12:23 PM
 
akamikedavid

Is there anywhere that keeps track of team success rates of challenges. I know the Giants run out the stat that Bochy has been pretty successful with his challenges so far this year but is that the Giants keeping track on their own or are those stats out there.

May 29, 2014 11:19 AM
rating: 0
 
Aarcraft

This site is keeping track of all of replays http://baseballsavant.com/apps/replays.php

May 29, 2014 11:48 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Zachary Levine
BP staff

Yes, that's a terrific site for that sort of stat.

May 29, 2014 12:24 PM
 
sbnirish77

I still hear announcers talking about managers using / keeping their challenges after the 6th inning (when all such decisions should be solely left up to the umpire).

And I've seen managers go out to the field after the 6th inning, look-in to the dugout, and get the umpire to go to the review after getting the thumbs up from the dugout.

All of this suggests there really is no real distinction about pre- and post 6th inning.

I've NEVER seen a manager go out after the 6th and told to get back to the dugout.



May 29, 2014 20:31 PM
rating: 1
 
drawbb

You know who blathers on constantly about "how long" a replay takes? Beat writers and broadcasters whose own jobs center around deadlines and time slots. Yet they conveniently ignore the fact that replay has virtually eliminated manager/umpire arguments, which took quite a bit of time each game.

You know who doesn't care about how long a replay takes? Everybody else who just wants the calls to be right.

Jun 01, 2014 17:31 PM
rating: 0
 
You must be a Premium subscriber to post a comment.
Not a subscriber? Sign up today!
<< Previous Article
Premium Article The Call-Up: Tommy La ... (05/29)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Skewed Left: Dallas Ke... (05/22)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Skewed Left: The Econo... (06/05)
Next Article >>
Daily League Strategy:... (05/30)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Painting the Black: Pedro Alvarez's Trip Fro...
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, Apri...
Premium Article What You Need to Know: April 17, 2015
Going Yard: How Bryant Can Crush
The Call-Up: Kris Bryant
Premium Article Rubbing Mud: So You Want to Trade Your Draft...
BP Boston

MORE FROM MAY 29, 2014
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: Pitchers at the Plate: Even ...
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Kazmir's 'A' Game
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: No Way, Jose
Premium Article Perfect Game Presents: 2014 MLB Draft Rankin...
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Wednesday, May...
Fantasy Article The Stash List: Seventh Edition
Fantasy Article TTO Scoresheet Podcast: Scoresheet Player Tr...

MORE BY ZACHARY LEVINE
2014-06-19 - Premium Article Skewed Left: The Missing Mound Charge
2014-06-12 - Premium Article Skewed Left: The Wisdom of Pinch-Hitting wit...
2014-06-05 - Premium Article Skewed Left: The Economics of the Singleton ...
2014-05-29 - Premium Article Skewed Left: What We've Learned About Replay
2014-05-22 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Dallas Keuchel Defies his Desti...
2014-05-13 - Premium Article Skewed Left: How Much Losing Jose Fernandez ...
2014-05-08 - Premium Article Skewed Left: The Five Teams That Don't Have ...
More...

MORE SKEWED LEFT
2014-06-19 - Premium Article Skewed Left: The Missing Mound Charge
2014-06-12 - Premium Article Skewed Left: The Wisdom of Pinch-Hitting wit...
2014-06-05 - Premium Article Skewed Left: The Economics of the Singleton ...
2014-05-29 - Premium Article Skewed Left: What We've Learned About Replay
2014-05-22 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Dallas Keuchel Defies his Desti...
2014-05-13 - Premium Article Skewed Left: How Much Losing Jose Fernandez ...
2014-05-08 - Premium Article Skewed Left: The Five Teams That Don't Have ...
More...