Wash's challenges foretell era of replays


ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers manager Ron Washington went out four different times to discuss calls with umpires in Friday's 3-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners.

So how many of those would he have challenged under the 2014 expanded replay challenge system that is pending approval by owners, players and umpires?

"I don't know," said Washington, who will get one challenge during the first six innings and two from the seventh on under the proposed expanded replay.

There were two plays at second base and one at home plate Friday that were close enough to need several looks on replay to see exactly what happened.

The first one occurred in the bottom of the first when Elvis Andrus tried to slide around the tag of Seattle catcher Humberto Quintero at home plate. Quintero blocked the plate and was able to tag Andrus on his pant leg.

In the third inning, Ian Kinsler's foot came off second base while receiving a throw from third baseman Adrian Beltre, a close enough play for Washington to come out and ask for explanation.

And in the fourth, A.J. Pierzynski slid over the bag at second base and wasn't able to keep his hand on the base before getting tagged out.

Washington said all three calls were correct after he watched them on video, and he commended second-base umpire Angel Hernandez for being in the correct position on the plays at second base.

"Live, I couldn't tell," Washington said. "Live, it looked like both of those plays [at second base] were safe. But ... I've looked at the replays.

“Other people can go look at it and come up with their own conclusions. But in reality, they were off the bag."

Friday night provided a strong glimpse at how difficult it will be for managers to decide whether or not to challenge a particular call.

"It's going to be tough," Washington said. "It's not going to be as easy as you think it's going to be. That's where the base coach has to really, really focus in to give you, as a manager, what they really thought."

Washington has said he's in favor of expanded replay, and Friday's game did nothing to alter his opinion. He said it will be good for the game.

"Not only is it giving you a chance as a manger to do some challenges, but as an umpire, it's giving umpires a chance to focus on their jobs a little harder," Washington said. "Now, will they be wrong some times? Yes? But most of the time, they'll be right.

“Because now they have to fight to get themselves in the right position because they're being scrutinized,” he said. “And those that don't, I don't know how long Major League Baseball will keep them around."

Does Washington foresee a time when a coach or some club personnel will be up in the press box watching replays to decide whether or not a call should be challenged, like it's done in the NFL and college football?

"I don't think so," Washington said. "It may happen, but I'll be ..."

At that, Washington starting rocking in his chair.