Manager Ron Washington had nothing but praise for the process the Texas Rangers have devised when it comes to using baseball’s new replay system.
There were a pair of close calls in the top of the sixth inning Tuesday night that Washington considered using his challenge on — and he picked the right one.
Washington declined to challenge a play at third base in which Philadelphia’s Cesar Hernandez just beat Adrian Beltre’s tag on a sacrifice bunt. That proved to be a wise decision as another questionable call happened later in the inning.
Rangers starter Martin Perez appeared to pick off Ben Revere at second base, but umpire Cory Blaser originally ruled Revere slid in before second baseman Donnie Murphy applied the tag. Washington, however, asked for a review and won it.
That call saved the Rangers a run in what became a 3-2 victory.
“The process worked extremely well,” Washington said. “The umpires have been very cooperative and they know when I come out there I have to put myself in a position to be able to see my dugout.”
Washington liked the speed of those in charge of helping him make the decision. Bench coach Tim Bogar gets a recommendation from assistant advance scout Joey Prebynski, who has multiple angles to see the close calls in a nearby video room.
“They got the kinks out,” Washington said. “I never expected to get the answers that fast. In spring training, I was still trying to hold conversations [with umpires]. Now it’s quicker than I expected.”
Still, it took the umpires headquartered in New York 2 minutes, 18 seconds to overturn the call once Washington got the go-ahead from the dugout to challenge it.
“I don’t know what’s happening in the headphones that keeps those umpires there that long,” Washington said. “I don’t know what their process is. I know we got it fast.”
Washington admitted there will be times when he has to go with his initial instinct. If the early replays provide no clear answer, the dugout will give Washington a “50-50” sign.
There will be several factors Washington considers, from the play itself to its potential impact to the inning of the game. If Washington feels it’s worth burning his challenge, he will.
“When I see this [50-50 sign], then I’m going to go with my gut,” Washington said.
But Washington hopes to limit the number of those types of challenges. He is learning to slowly walk out to the umpire to allow the most time possible for his guys to look at various replays.
In the past, managers would dart out to the umpire to argue their case. That isn’t necessary anymore, and Washington has learned that.
“I’ve got to control myself,” Washington said with a grin.