We expected loopholes.
After all, you don’t change almost 150 years of history overnight. So when baseball expanded their replay system it wasn’t surprising that mangers quickly figured out a way to game the system.
That’s how we’ve come to know ‘The Stall. You want the basic gist?
Close play happens. Managers take a slow walk out to see the umpire. Talk with him about something (anything, really). Wait to get a signal from the dugout if they should challenge the play or not from someone monitoring the replays in the clubhouse area. Then they either walk back to the dugout or challenge the play.
Sometimes, like yesterday’s game, Mike Matheny will stall on a play like Jacoby Ellsbury’s steal of 2B and eventually challenge before losing. So it’s not a perfect art, this stall.
The Wall Street Journal examined this trend and broke down the stats:
So basically, the stall, as expected is delaying the game even further. Comparisons to the NFL are bandied about as well.
If the WSJ is taking requests, I’d love to see how much time is wasted by managers stalling only to not then challenge the call. I bet umpires don’t feel any better than when that happens.
Photo: Courier Press