The 21st time was the charm for MLB’s new instant replay system.
The first 20 reviews under the new system resulted in the play in question being upheld. Tuesday, for the first time, a replay finally overturned an umpiring call.
The Mariners’ Lloyd McClendon became the first manager to successfully challenge a play when, after review, a force out at second base was overturned.
The umpires ruled the Mariners’ base runner out initially, but replay showed that Angels second baseman Andrew Romine lost possession while transferring from his glove to his throwing hand on the double-play turn.
In the pre-review world, an ump might have called the runner out on that play even if they noticed the slight bobble. But thanks to replay, such plays will now be much more closely scrutinized, and umps will likely be forced to call things they would have let slide in the past.
In other words, all variations of neighborhood plays, whether they cover bobbles, feet touching bases or anything else where a slight margin of error was once allowed, are an endangered species.
And you thought the “completing the process” call in the NFL was a mess. MLB now has its own “completing the process” clusterbleep to sort out.
This ought to be fun.