BOSTON — Now that manager challenges are on the verge of becoming a real thing in Major League Baseball, we’re left to envision what exactly the scene will look like.
Will John Farrell reach into his sock and hurl a red flag? Will Joe Girardi storm the field as Jon Lester hurries to throw a pitch to make the previous play non-reviewable? Will Joe Maddon struggle to ring a buzzer that suddenly malfunctions at the wrong time?
Who knows, really? But it’s worth considering as MLB seeks to expand video replay in 2014.
“Initially I think when a manager throws a red flag out of wherever it comes from — wherever he throws it — I think that’s going to be interesting for people,” Girardi said Friday. “I think they’re going to probably get a little excited to see it for a while. I don’t know how it’s viewed upon in football — whether they like the challenge calls or not — but the big thing is to get the calls right.”
Getting calls right seems to be a point of emphasis. Farrell has long been a proponent of expanded video replay, and Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava, who has been involved in some close calls this season, also thinks it’s important to get things right despite his fondness of baseball’s human element.
In addition to keeping the human element, game length has also been a sticking point in expanding the use of video replay. The prevailing thought among opponents of more video review is that baseball games — which are long enough as it is these days — will become way too lengthy, and fans will lose some interest as a result.
Girardi told reporters prior to Friday’s Red Sox-Yankees game that he understands the concern about game length. But the Yankees manager also made it clear that he isn’t exactly adjusting his managerial style to fit certain time constraints.
“I don’t think they want to have things drag out. I think they want to keep things moving,” Girardi said. “When you’re evaluated on wins and losses and how your team does, as a manager, you want the emphasis to be right. My perspective might be different from a lot of other people’s.”
Girardi’s overall perspective might be slightly different, but his desire for accuracy to reign supreme seems to be shared by many.