John Farrell Does Not Like the Video Replay System
In a sport as vaunted in tradition as baseball, change doesn’t come without friction. In the case of the new video replay system, Red Sox Manager John Farrell became the face of the resistance this weekend.
After two challenges went against the Sox in an uninspiring series against the Yankees, Farrell is now vocally questioning how well the system works.
“I know that arguing a challenge play is not allowed, evident by spending most of the game inside [the locker room],” he told reporters. “But on the heels of yesterday and today, this is a tough pill to swallow. It’s extremely difficult to have any faith in the system, the process that’s being used.”
Those are strong words, but not quite as strong as the language he used with umpires on Sunday. Indeed, Farrell is referring to his ejection from Sunday’s game after the Yankees challenged what looked like a double play to end the inning. Umpires overturned the call and instead ruled the Yankees runner safe at home, giving them the game-winning run.
Farrell jumped out of the dugout to argue. The folks at Barstool have helpfully created a Vine to display where exactly he told the umpire he might deposit the “horse shit” review system. (We’ll leave it to you to lip read.)
Farrell was a bit on edge, given that the Red Sox lost a review challenge on Saturday that looked like it should have gone their way, too. The MLB later admitted to having mishandled the play, saying they didn’t have the conclusive footage that would have led them to the right call, but Farrell wasn’t satisfied.
“On the heels of [Saturday], it’s hard to have any faith in the system, to be honest with you,” Farrell said. “This is a tough pill to swallow.””
Given how hotly debated a replay system was in baseball, the MLB’s admission of error, and the presence of a fiery dissenter in the form of Farrell, is attracting notice. As the Globe’s Dan Shaugnessy puts it, “Coming from the universally respected manager of the defending world champs, it’s Throwdown Time for the replay debate.”
Its long seemed like people would accept change if they bought the MLB’s argument that it removed the human element of calling games. There is, of course, a bigger picture beyond just two specific challenges in two April matchups. But with the two incidents coming so close together and with such drama, so far, the Red Sox aren’t convinced.