The opening game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres on Sunday night made some MLB history, as it was the first regular season game with the new instant replay rules.
In the spring, the Dodgers had a few games with the new rules and even went through the process, but Sunday marked the first time instant replay was available in an MLB game.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly is in the middle regarding instant replay:
I guess we don’t really know, Mattingly said. We’ve had a few games to mess with it and try it. I’m fairly comfortable with the way it works and pretty confident in the technology, and how fast it is and how clear it is. I feel OK with it. I’m sure there will be tweaks as we go along with it, but I think it’s OK.
Mattingly’s feelings may change once the Dodgers benefit from an instant replay review, but until then, he doesn’t feel much either way. The team’s first spring game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was their initial trial with the new rules and it was quickly put to use in the first inning. Outfielder Mike Trout drove the ball past Yasiel Puig and Trout tried to get an inside-the-park home run but the relay home got him out. Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia challenged the play, but the call was confirmed.
Many complained that games will now take longer with the reviews; however, the review was rather quick, especially for a trial stage. Now, the Dodgers will have the technology available to them for all games and it may be useful at a key time. Mattingly did mention that he would save his one initial challenge for a time that could be beneficial.
Only time will tell how the new rules will effect the season, but the Dodgers and their manager will be looking to take advantage.
VIDEO: Don Mattingly Meets With Team To “Clear Air” Over Yasiel Puig