Tony LaRussa responded Monday to criticism from Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell about Major League Baseball’s new replay system one night earlier.
LaRussa, a former manager himself and one of the designers of the new system, wants skippers to have some patience during this period of transition for the game.
“One thing I’d say to John — and I’d love to talk to him because I have great respect for him — is that, in fairness to the process, we need to keep working at it,” LaRussa told ESPN.com. “I don’t know what the period of time is, whether it’s a month or six weeks or whatever it is, but we all have learned from what we’ve seen.
“… But I think it’s premature to say the process isn’t going to work or he doesn’t have confidence in it because, in my opinion, the process has been really remarkable in how well it’s worked so far. I’m amazed, in fact, that we haven’t had more hiccups.”
One of Farrell’s primary complaints after his ejection Sunday night was that the umpires misinterpreted the rules of what constitutes a catch at first base. Farrell said he had been informed that a catch is complete when the ball enters a player’s glove, not when it hits the webbing. LaRussa, however, said the opposite is true.
“So what’s upsetting John about this call is explainable,” La Russa said. “The way the replay umpires are looking at it, it’s when the ball hits the back of the glove, that’s when it’s deemed a catch.”
MLB had previously admitted to making a mistake on a safe call at second base during the Red Sox-New York Yankees game Saturday afternoon — a move LaRussa called a positive step in the process.
“I applaud the honesty of that response,” he said.