Lloyd McClendon says baseball should take another look at replay system
M’s manager says replays have caused uncertainty on what is allowed and what is not.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Manager Lloyd McClendon said he’s “not sure” if replay is good for baseball. This is the first year replay has been used during the regular season.
“You try to be politically correct with your statements,” McClendon said, “but I’m really worried about where we’re headed with replay and the effect it’s having on the games and the effect it’s having on the fans.
“Hell, I don’t even know what to celebrate anymore. You don’t know what’s going to be challenged. For me, I think it’s slowing the game down a little. I’ve been trying to be a fan of it. I initially thought it was going to be good for the game, but I’m not so sure. I’m really not.”
Tied in with that is the new transfer rule, meaning when a player catches the ball, he must cleanly transfer it from glove to hand for it to be ruled a catch. When asked if he had figured out yet what’s considered a catch this season, McClendon said, “No. I’m as frustrated as the next person.”
Mariners left fielder Dustin Ackley was involved with two such plays Saturday against the Oakland A’s. Ackley twice hauled in catches only to lose the ball as he was pulling it out of his glove.
Ackley said because outfielders use bigger gloves than infielders, it can be difficult to cleanly find the ball, particularly when needing to quickly get rid of it.
The Mariners were also involved with the transfer rule against the Angels this season. Josh Hamilton appeared to catch Corey Hart’s line drive in left field but lost it on the exchange. The umpire initially ruled Hart out, forcing Justin Smoak to hold at second base because of the call on the field.
McClendon challenged the play, and it was eventually ruled an error on Hamilton. But Smoak was not allowed to advance, and McClendon argued that it was the out call on the field that kept Smoak from running.
McClendon said it’s even more important for players to focus on an umpire’s call now instead of acting on the instinct of what looks like a catch.
“We knew going in that it was going to be a period of adjustment,” McClendon said. “The one thing I don’t like is they said, ‘We won’t make adjustments until the end of the year.’ Maybe we ought to think about making adjustments right away.”
• Pitcher Taijuan Walker will start Tuesday for Class AAA Tacoma in another rehab start after having a shoulder injury in spring training. McClendon wouldn’t say if that would be Walker’s last rehab start before joining the Mariners.
The Mariners want to get Walker’s pitch count and innings up because he missed so much of spring training. They don’t want him to have any limitations when he joins the big-league club.