Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell

Blown call sparks expanded replay debate

Boston manager John Farrell is certainly on-board with expanding the use of replays in baseball after an admitted blown call cost the Red Sox the potential tying run in a loss a night earlier. Speaking to reporters at Fenway Park on Tuesday night about three hours before Boston opened a three-game series against Seattle, Farrell said he believes that with better technology baseball can get more “out or safe” calls correct.

BOSTON — Boston manager John Farrell is certainly on-board with expanding the use of replays in baseball after an admitted blown call cost the Red Sox the potential tying run in a loss a night earlier.

Speaking to reporters at Fenway Park on Tuesday night about three hours before Boston opened a three-game series against Seattle, Farrell said he believes that with better technology baseball can get more “out or safe” calls correct.

Trailing by a run in the eighth inning of a 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Monday, pinch-runner Daniel Nava was called out by home plate umpire Jerry Meals attempting to score on a fly ball. After watching the replay, Meals later admitted to a pool reporter from the Associated Press that he was “wrong on my decision.”

Major League Baseball is looking at a vast expansion of video review by umpires for the 2014 season and is examining whether all calls other than balls and strikes should be subject to instant replay.

Currently, baseball uses replay only for home runs, but Farrell thinks the game would be better served by expanding its use.

“In plays like last night, I think it furthers the debate,” he said. “I’ve always felt that the advances in technology, how it’s come into the game, there’s no reason to think that it can’t be used to a greater extent without prolonging the time of the game, particularly on plays that are not continual plays. That was out or safe. There’s really no other continuance, such as a play that’s in the gap with multiple men on and less than two outs.”

The use of replay has been in place for home run calls since August 2008. Commissioner Bud Selig initially wanted to add trap plays and fair/foul calls down the lines for 2013, but change was put off while more radical options were examined.

In Monday’s game, replays showed that Nava slid into the top portion of the plate before Rays catcher Jose Molina came across to make the tag. Farrell and Nava argued, with Farrell getting ejected.

About 25 minutes after the game, standing in the umpire’s room, Meals said: “What I saw was Molina blocked the plate and Nava’s foot lifted. But in the replays, you could clearly see Nava’s foot got under for a split second and then lifted, so I was wrong on my decision. From the angle I had, I did not see his foot get under Molina’s shin guard.”

With the loss, the Rays retook first place in the AL East, jumping over Boston to grab a half-game lead.

The same umpiring crew was in town for the series opener against the Mariners.

Farrell just wants to see the calls made correctly and understands that the lengthening of games is an option that the league is likely trying to avoid.

“I know it’s an ongoing conversation with the commissioner’s office and those that are on the field committee,” he said. “How it’s ultimately implemented, I think that’s the challenge in all of this. I know there’s a lot of sensitivity in the overall time of game to not slow things down. In situations like last night, I think the most important thing and the overriding thing is to call things the way they should be.”

When discussing the options other professional leagues use, Farrell even had a solution.

“I think there’s a limit to how many times you can challenge a call,” he said.

When asked if “once” would be OK with him, he said: “I’d be in favour of it.”

The first-year Boston manager even had an idea.

“There could be one guy in New York that could monitor all the games.”

Just Posted

Updated: Red Deer welcomes 2019 Canada Winter Games Team Alberta

About 250 Alberta athletes are participating in the Games

Syrian immigrants feel welcomed

Winter Social held at Festival Hall to promote multiculturalism

Small group rallies with pro-immigration message

Group wanted to counter misinformation on United Nations migration agreement

Trump says ‘things are going very well’ with North Korea

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Saturday that “things are going very… Continue reading

NDP won’t stop until Trans Mountain is built, says minister

Deron Bilous speaks at Red Deer chamber luncheon

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Kriechmayr edges Swiss favourite Feuz to win WCup downhill

WENGEN, Switzerland — It takes a special run to beat Switzerland’s best… Continue reading

WestJet plane heading to Victoria slides off Edmonton runway, no injuries

EDMONTON — A WestJet plane has slid off an icy taxiway at… Continue reading

Sam Bennett scores twice, Flames beat Red Wings 6-4

Flames 6, Red Wings 4 CALGARY — Sam Bennett scored twice including… Continue reading

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Most Read