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Slow trot, hand signs part of replay strategy

4/3/2014

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers manager Ron Washington started to sprint toward umpire Jim Joyce in the sixth inning of Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Phillies and slowed himself down.

Washington was rushing out to argue a call and determine whether to challenge it before realizing that slowing down time was part of the strategy.

"I caught myself," Washington said. "I've got to try to control myself. In spring training I was getting out there too fast and I was making calls and forgot that we had a review working."

Washington asked Joyce what he saw and then got a signal from bench coach Tim Bogar that the call was right and shouldn't be challenged.

"I told Jim, 'You won that one,'" Washington said. "He started laughing, but said that's why we've got the system in."

The second time, Washington walked very slowly to second base umpire Cory Blaser and by the time Washington turned around so he could see the dugout, he was told to challenge.

"They are working tremendously fast," Washington said. "The process worked extremely well. The umpires have been very cooperative. They know that when I come out there, I have to put myself in a position to see my dugout and that's because of time restraints. When you walk out there and you ask them what they think they saw, they've been very cordial about telling you what they saw."

Inside the Rangers' video room assistant advance scout Joey Prebynski has all the angles he needs to make a quick decision. Prebynski said he's able to view the angles he needs even before television shows it to viewers at home. Prebynski said it's more about training his eye as to where those cameras are than starting and stopping the frames. He was able to do it quickly Tuesday.

Prebynski calls Bogar, who then gives Washington one of three signals: a thumbs-up, a thumbs-down or a side-to-side wave that indicates he's not sure.

"Then I'll go with what I feel," Washington said, taking into account the inning and situation in the game at that point.

Washington was surprised by how quickly the dugout got him the answers he needed and was pleased with the results. He's open to tweaking the system as well, saying that if MLB wanted to review every scoring play, he'd be for that. But he still likes the idea of having a challenge and having to make a call as to whether or not he should use it.