JUPITER, Fla. -- Since Major League Baseball has agreed to expand instant replay in 2014, the Cardinals will use this month of Grapefruit League games to practice the process they'll use to challenge calls during the regular season.
With 18 of their spring games scheduled to be televised, the Cardinals will use that video to run through their new replay protocol. They will have someone stationed in front of the TV with a walkie-talkie that will allow him to communicate with the dugout. That is how manager Mike Matheny will get word as to whether or not he should challenge a call.
MLB has said it plans to have each team play five games during which instant replay will be used. In the games where it is not available, the Cardinals will simply go through the motions in a dry run.
"A lot of it is conversations amongst ourselves, amongst our staff of trying to figure out how to optimize the time we have out here," Matheny said. "There are some things that mechanically we're going to have to do a little differently, and there are games where we're going to do that. We'll be talking with the opposing managers, the umpires and try to maybe practice some of those days.
"Whether I go out there or not, there will be sometimes that I will and there will be sometimes where I'm talking about it at least, and maybe using some kind of communication between our video room and our bench. Just set the mindset for what's going on."
Matheny and his coaching staff actually started this preparation last season in the expectation that replay would soon be expanded. He and bench coach Mike Aldrete would discuss calls that they thought the umpire may have gotten wrong and talked through whether or not it was worth challenging.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less