In the first year of instant replay review, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been helped and hurt by the new rule.
Through Tuesday night’s game, the Dodgers have won 17 of 31 replay challenges on the year, including a pair on Tuesday that helped them keep an inning going in which they scored six runs. One of the plays that was overturned came when Mattingly challenged a ruling on the catcher blocking the plate and became a missed tag.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the Dodger manager shared his sentiments about replay:
From the beginning, replay has been a work in progress,” he said. “It will continue to get better.”
Mattingly then expanded on the new rule on collisions at the plate:
It’s definitely taken collisions out,” he said. “It’s given an advantage to the catcher on that. But the language is cloudy. It’s doing what it’s supposed to do as far as getting rid of collisions, but I think the language needs clarification. In Spring Training, the language was changing all the time, and it causes this. It’s the interpretation of the guys in the [Replay Command Center] in New York. You get on exactly the same play, one calls it out, one calls it safe.”
It’s clear the new ruling is still going through growing pains, as the call has been ruled differently in different games. Until it is fixed, Mattingly and other managers will continue to challenge the play and see what happens.
While the Dodgers have done fairly well in winning challenges, they have also had 19 calls overturned against them on opponents’ challenges. Replay will continue to play a role in the stretch run and the Dodgers can hope that it benefits them more than it hurts them.
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