Whether the Rangers are improved in 2014 will be played out over the next six months.
But no arguing that their sport is already better.
The umpires got a call wrong in last night’s game against the Phillies. And for the first time in the history of the Rangers, it was overturned, corrected and, yes, changed.
I know, what a concept.
Like I’ve always said in football and basketball and tennis, I don’t care how long it takes to get a call right, just get it right. The use of replay in all sports is slowing games down, but also making them more accurate. After all, what’s the point of any game: To finish fast? Or to determine a fair winner? Give me fair over fast. I don’t understand the argument against replay. It’s as though some folks pang all winter for baseball’s Opening Day to finally start and then, once the season starts, the critics of replay are moaning about how long their precious games are taking to finish.
If last night is any indication, the Rangers already have the mechanics of baseball’s replay system perfected.
It goes like this: After a close play, manager Ron Washington strolls – and I mean, leisurely s-t-r-o-l-l-s – out to argue the call with the umps. (Recall now how silly it was for manager to sprint on the field screaming at an umpire with zero chance of having the call overturned.) Meanwhile, assistant advance scout Joey Prebynski is looking at replays. While Wash argues/stalls, Prebynski makes his determination and communicates it to bench coach Tim Bogar, who then relays the message to the manager on the field.
It happened twice in the 6th inning, with Wash once being informed by Bogar that a call was right and not challenging. But the other occurrence saved Texas a precious run, when the umps got it wrong.
Martin Perez wheeled and fired a perfect throw to second baseman Donnie Murphy, who tagged a diving Ben Revere on the back. But the umps called Revere safe. Wash calmly came out, challenged, and was given the green light by Bogar from the dugout, and 2:18 later the umps reversed the call and signaled Revere out. On the next pitch, Marlon Byrd singled up the middle, a hit that surely would have scored Revere.
No doubt that Washington and the Rangers will whiff on a replay during the season. But so far they’re 1-0. And because of their challenge – and the late-inning heroics of Adrian Beltre – the Rangers are 1-1.
Sorry, Ian Kinsler.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.