JUPITER, Fla. -- With the dress rehearsal now complete, the Cardinals feel prepared to enter the season ready to utilize the new expanded instant replay system that was introduced to clubs this spring.
Each team had a select number of exhibition games in which a makeshift replay system was available so that everyone could practice protocol. Manager Mike Matheny ended up challenging three calls. None of the three were overturned, though umpires did not have access to the same extensive technology that they will have during the regular season. The intention was simply to allow teams to go through the process.
"It was nice to be able to do it a couple times knowing that we were handicapped a little bit with the delay, with the video review," Matheny said. "It would have been nice to have all the technology in place so you could really work it. But I think it's also a pretty good testament to our umpires. We had a lot of young umpires, we had a bunch of umpires who hadn't been umpiring for the last several months, and we still had very few opportunities to really get out there and test the system. That shows you they're a whole lot better than any of us want to admit."
During Major League Baseball's demonstration of the new instant replay system at the MLB Advanced Media headquarters on Wednesday, it was explained to reporters that in a review of 2,431 games during the 2013 season, only 377 calls were missed.
Matheny said that the Cardinals will "be aggressive" in challenging calls during the season. "We're going to test the system," he said. "We have to."
Bench coach Mike Aldrete will serve as the point person in contact with the team's video coordinator. He will then signal to Matheny whether the skipper should challenge.