White Sox learn replay lesson

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox got their first taste of Major League Baseball's replay system Wednesday and in the process they learned a valuable lesson.

With a runner on first base in the seventh inning, White Sox center fielder Afdam Eaton moved under an easy fly ball. He appeared to catch it, but while quickly transferring the ball to his throwing hand it fell to the ground.

The Twins' Trevor Plouffe returned to first base, thinking a catch was made. Eaton returned the ball to the infield, but instead of second baseman Leury Garcia touching second base just to be thorough, he returned the ball to pitcher Daniel Webb.

The umpires initiated a review, and Eaton's catch was overturned, and Twins runners were put on first and second base.

Asked if things would have been different had somebody stepped on second base with the ball, Ventura wasn't completely sure, but he would have liked to have seen somebody do it.

"I think if we had done it clean it would have mattered," Ventura said. "But the way we finished out the second part of that play didn't give them a chance to think about it."

Ventura said players have been told to finish the play, something that figures to take some time getting used to. Now that the umpires' call won't always stand, an adjustment will have to be made.

"Your natural reaction is you go with how the call is because that's how everybody grew up," Ventura said. "It's just changed. You have to get used to it and they have to change their mindset on how they react to those situations.

"We talked about it, but it's like telling your kids something. They might not believe it till they actually see it or go through it. Now that it's happened it's kind of waking everybody up how that call is going to be made and how the end of it is done."

To his credit, Eaton felt he made the catch and dropped the ball on the transfer, something completely allowable under the rules, but he still took ownership of the miscue.

"I (stunk) and I need to catch the ball and take it back in the other hand in a timely manner," Eaton said. "I thought I had it caught, but with the new replay, they go by the rule book, let's put it that way. When we didn't have the replay every now and again … not that you get away with stuff, but it wasn't as slowed down in a minuscule second. I just need to catch it and make sure I transfer it. I thought I caught it. They're right. I just work here and I just go by what they say."

Yet another issue that surfaced is that the six-minute delay from the end of the play to the completion of the review, affected Twins strategy. Manager Ron Gardenhire didn't want his starting pitcher Kevin Correia returning to the mound after the lengthy delay on a cold day.

Major League Baseball ended up issuing a release explaining the lengthy delay.

"We had two replays occur at the same exact time, and while we were prepared, it made the review processes take longer than normal," the MLB statement read. "Overall, we are pleased with the first few days of the new system, and we do not expect the length of the review in (Wednesday's) Twins-White Sox game to be typical."

As teams and players get used to the new system, expecting the unexpected will be the norm.

"That's part of it," Ventura said. "That will happen to us I'm sure at some point but you better be prepared for it."