When Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks broke for second base, made a bit of an awkward slide, and was called safe on a third-inning stolen base this afternoon, Joe Girardi came out of the Yankees dugout slowly. He was going to argue, but he was in no rush.
“Very slow compared to what I usually do,” Girardi said.
Welcome to a world with instant replay. Girardi took his time going onto the field, then he stalled by asking the umpire what exactly he saw on the play. All the while, Girardi was focused on Tony Pena in the Yankees dugout. Pena was on a walkie-talkie with coaching assistant Brett Weber, who was watching replays on a television screen. When Weber saw that Hicks was out, he sent the message to Pena, who relayed a thumbs up to Girardi, who challenged the call and got it overturned.
That’s basically the low-tech version of the way the Yankees will handle replay in the regular season.
“I actually think it’s going to work good,” Girardi said. “I do. There will be some glitches every once in a while, and some things might take longer than they want, but I actually think it’s going to work good. It took 45 seconds or whatever from the time I asked, and they don’t have all the replays that they’re going to have during the season, so it was pretty quick.”
It actually took 44 seconds according to the official count. It might not have been a pivotal play, but you can bet there will come a time in the regular season when replay completely changes the course of a game. Today was the first time the Yankees successfully challenged and overturned a decision this spring.
“You’ve got a chance (to change a call),” Girardi said. “It feels pretty good, actually. The great thing about it is, no one wants to be wrong, whether it’s me or them. I can remember as a player complaining about strikes and balls, and I go watch it and I see, you know what, I was wrong. It’s the heat of the moment. Everyone has to make a quick decision. There have been a lot of times I’ve argued calls that I thought for sure I was right, and I was wrong. But now we have replay to reassure everyone.”
Associated Press photos