As I was watching the game tonight, I couldn’t help but think about how I would change the replay system after watching Rick Renteria chatting with the home plate umpire about if Darwin Barney was hit by a pitch or if it hit the bat. I didn’t time the conversation, but it was at least a few minutes before Renteria walked back to the dugout and gave up the argument. We’re not privy to the conversation or the result, since no one is mic’d up, but my guess is that Renteria was stalling for time to give their replay guy a chance to view the replay. What bothers me is the fact that managers are able to do this.

Brad Ausmus, manager of the Tigers, was interviewed today on Baseball Today with Buster Olney and talked specifically about the fact that he does it. He’ll walk to the mound to stall for time and then look back to the dugout for the thumbs up or thumbs down. That is not a good system. Why the manager is even involved in the process is beyond me. There really needs to be one umpire in the booth somewhere with the ability to buzz down to the crew on the field when he wants to take a look at a play. If he feels like the play was close enough to view, he needs to buzz down and let them know to halt play for 30 seconds or a minute to give him a few extra seconds to review. There is no reason why a manager should have time to stall and then possibly not even want to challenge. MLB has said the system is a work in progress, so we’ll see how they adjust as the year goes on, but I think when all is said and done, the manager’s role in the process will all but be eliminated.

  • Travis Wood, despite a fairly high pitch count early, pitched really well. It was a tough day to pitch with the wind gusting out, but he did a good job. It was interesting to see him mix in a few more curveballs than we’re used to seeing. Last year he used the curveball just under 2% of the time. I’m curious to see if that will be higher this season.
  • Welington Castillo absolutely crushed the home run he hit in the 2nd inning. It was one of the hits that as a fan, I feel comfortable flipping the scorebook and watching it fly. No need to run that baby out.
  • I continue to be baffled by Renteria’s lineup construction. Today, a day after Mike Olt went yard, he sits…with the wind blowing out.
  • On the flip side, I do like the fact that Renteria is willing to leave a reliever out there for more than a batter. I’m not much of a fan of the traditional LOOGY concept so I was happy the other night to see James Russell face a righty and seeing Wesley Wright pitching a good amount of pitches instead of going with someone else.

Get To Know Your Opposing Starting Pitcher
Cliff Lee

Lee certainly hopes to rebound in a big way from Monday’s effort on Opening Day in Texas. He allowed 11 hits, eight runs, one walk and struck out just one in five innings, uncharacteristic for one of the game’s top lefties. ~ MLB.com

Lee’s repertoire includes two fastballs (four-seam, two-seam) that reach 90-93 mph, an 85-88 mph cut fastball, an occasional slider, as well as a circle changeup and a curveball.

Lee usually appears stoic and confident on the mound. It is considered one of his greatest attributes when pitching in pressure situations

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail