Before another umpire's call and video review went against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night, manager John Farrell already was doubting the "validity" of the replay system being used by Major League Baseball in part because of what happened a day earlier.
Farrell blew his top at umpires Sunday night afterFrancisco Cervelli of the Yankees was called safe at first base after a three-minute review, reversing the call made on the field in the bottom of the fourth inning. Instead of an inning-ending double play, the reversal allowed the Yankees to extend their lead by a run. The Yankees went on to win 3-2.
Farrell no doubt was still steamed by the unbelievable findings of replay on Saturday, when Dean Anna of the Yankees obviously came off the second-base bag but video reviewers somehow missed it, and he came out Sunday to argue with crew chief Bob Davidson. It was a bizarre scene, with Cervelli on the ground beyond first base grabbing his hamstring in pain, and many of the Red Sox players clustered in the infield and waiting out the replay review. A veritable three-ring circus.
Farrell lost it, gesturing at his own eyes with two fingers and also at the press box, and screaming at Davidson something to the effect of,"You can take your replay system and shove it!" And we'll leave it there. Davidson ejected Farrell because managers aren't allowed to argue replay calls. Umpires have been lenient on managers regarding this part of the rule because the system is new, but Farrell obviously wanted to get run — so he was run.
After getting a chance to cool down and watch more replays in the clubhouse, Farrell doubled down:
Farrell: "Any angle that we looked at, you couldn't tell if the foot was on the bag behind Mike Napoli's leg."— Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) April 14, 2014
“Where this became conclusive is a hard pill to swallow,” Farrell said. “On the heels of yesterday, it’s hard to have any faith in the system.”
Oh, brother. Though it was a close play, replays backed up the reversal: Cervelli beat the throw to Napoli at first. Farrell was watching the replays with his heart as much as his head. Anger was clouding his judgment. And his arguing with Davidson was comical; MLB needs to introduce holograms of the replay umpires in the truck, so managers can argue with the right guy. It wasn't Davidson's fault.
It's clear that Farrell doesn't like replay, and he certainly has a right to be upset after what happened Saturday. But it worked Sunday. It got the call right. Just because it's not 100 percent infallible in the first two weeks of the season doesn't mean everyone should have as little "faith" in the system as Farrell says he does. In the process, he was making the Yankees look like the good guys. Here they are, needing Carlos Beltran to play first base for the first time in his career after Cervelli heroically sacrifices his hamstring to beat out an infield grounder, and Farrell is shouting at poor old Bob Davidson, when it's beyond his pay grade. Perhaps Farrell's mood has as much to do with Boston's 5-8 record.