City Royals manager Ned Yost leans against the batting
cage before the start of the AL wild-card playoff
baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Tuesday,
Sept. 30, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo.
Showalter, Don Mattingly and every other manager in these
playoffs, it promises to be a most challenging postseason.
This is the
first October in which skippers can contest an umpire's
call. Nearly everything is subject to replay review, except
for balls and strikes, but managers only get one challenge
per game if they're wrong.
how they did during the regular season, some teams are
better than others at spotting a play that should be
like the job our guy did," said Showalter, set to lead
Baltimore against Detroit in the AL Division Series.
"You call up, they say, 'He missed it,' and you
ain't exactly brain surgery," he said.
and the Orioles, who hired a former minor league umpire as
their replay coordinator, hit exactly 50 percent this year.
They contested 28 calls, 14 got overturned.
League Baseball average was a bit better — 53 percent.
Managers made 1,051 challenges and 557 resulted in
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus watches during baseball
practice in Detroit Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. The
Detroit Tigers start the playoffs at the Baltimore
Orioles in Game 1 of the American League Division
mean, I don't know our numbers, but we got a bunch of calls
overturned that we wouldn't have had last year," Kansas
City Royals manager Ned Yost said.
real well, in fact. He'd gotten it right almost 63 percent
of the time going into Tuesday night's thrilling AL
wild-card win over Oakland.
manager Mike Matheny didn't fare so well at slightly under
39 percent. Of his 31 challenges, only 12 were correct —
he tied with Cincinnati manager Bryan Price for the fewest
reversals in the majors.
came to those oh-so-slow strolls from the dugout onto the
diamond, waiting for a bench coach to flash the thumbs-up or
thumbs-down, Mattingly nearly matched the MLB average with
reversals on 53.8 percent.
year's crop of playoff managers, Washington's Matt Williams
was best at 64.5 percent. San Francisco's Bruce Bochy was
over 61 percent.
of the Athletics didn't spend much time trying out the
review system. He made the fewest challenges overall in the
majors with 26 and was right on 14 of them.
put Bill Duplissea, a former minor league catcher and
previously Kansas City's bullpen catcher, in charge of
Orioles manager Buck Showalter looks on in the dugout
during the seventh inning of a baseball game against
the Blue Jays in Toronto, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. The
Orioles won 1-0.
got a real good video analyst. Very seldom does he ever make
a mistake," Yost said. "You know we can't see it,
so he's got to almost like suggest what we need to do."
he'll tell us, 'Look, this is bang-bang, this is something
that I think might be inconclusive,' or you get on there,
boom, 'Challenge, right off the bat,' you know that he's
dead on it."
rates of the other playoff managers: Detroit's Brad Ausmus
was 59 percent, Pittsburgh's Clint Hurdle was 57 percent and
the Los Angeles Angels' Mike Scioscia was 56 percent.
said the Orioles changed how they handled replay challenges
over the course of the season, but declined to share details
of those adjustments.
replay guru is Adam Gladstone, who spent four years umpiring
in the independent minor leagues and then worked in the
front office for an Orioles' affiliate.
hired an ex-umpire. I know a lot of guys were hiring
ex-players or somebody from the organization. I wanted
somebody that really thought about it through an umpire's
eyes, and could take the emotion out of it," Showalter
The best in
the big leagues at challenging was New York Yankees manager
Joe Girardi, getting reversals on 23 of 28 tries for 82
percent. Chicago Cubs manager Rick Renteria contested the
most calls and got the most overturns, going 25 of 56.
a lot better than the NFL's first year, I can tell you that.
They had to shut it down for two years," Showalter
said. "So we're ahead of the curve where they're