Mike Scioscia admitted he had “no recourse” when it came to an instant-replay system that didn’t seem to work as it should Friday night, when a call on a force play at second base that clearly looked wrong was not overturned.
But the Angels manager did make a suggestion that makes sense: Baseball should augment the group of on-field umpires who rotate through instant-replay headquarters in New York with independent arbiters who are not umpires.
“I think you need guys in New York who are just replay officials who have an understanding [of the game]; then you build continuity,” Scioscia said before Saturday’s game against the San Francisco Giants.
“Right now, they rotate through, so there’s a different standard every night to what is going to overturn a call. You need a little more continuity in that regard.”
With the Angels trailing, 1-0, in the seventh inning Friday night, Kole Calhoun led off with a single, and David Freese followed with a grounder that Giants third baseman Casey McGehee misplayed. The ball caromed to shortstop Brandon Crawford, who threw to second for what umpire Doug Eddings ruled was a force out.
Scioscia challenged the call, and replays clearly showed Calhoun’s foot touching the bag before the ball reached second baseman Matt Duffy’s glove. But the call was upheld after a review, which stunned Scioscia.
“I don’t think there’s anybody in the world who’s going to see that replay and not think Calhoun was safe,” Scioscia fumed. “That just baffles me. It is 100% obvious that Kole was safe.”
Scioscia did not speak to Joe Torre, the chief baseball officer who oversees umpires, on Saturday, but he said he sent video of the play to the commissioner’s office.
“New York has to take a really close look at what’s happening in the replay booth,” Scioscia said. “I talked to other managers, and it’s uncanny the amount of calls that look pretty straightforward that are being called in opposite ways. It’s a work in progress.”