CINCINNATI -- Two games into the 2014 season, the Cardinals have yet to witness Major League Baseball's expanded instant replay for themselves. That has not, however, stopped manager Mike Matheny from further study of how the system is working.
Though neither Matheny nor Reds manager Bryan Price has challenged a call during this series, Matheny said he has been reviewing video of every call that has been challenged elsewhere. The Cardinals' video coordinator has collected those tapes for Matheny, who has used the exercise as a way to better prepare for circumstances and plays that may arise this season.
"We're seeing how crazy stuff is going already," Matheny said. "I think we've spent most of the spring thinking we're prepared for it, but we're seeing stuff happen this season already that nobody anticipated. I doubt that's going to change. It seems to be a hot topic for baseball to break this down and try to decipher how this is going to play out. I still think it's going to be for the best in the long run, but I think we've got some bumps that are going to happen along the way."
Among those early issues are some long review times and an instance in which replay couldn't be used to review a call at home plate. In that latter case, Giants manager Bruce Bochy had already used and lost his challenge, and because the play happened before the seventh, the crew chief could not unilaterally request an instant-replay review. The Giants lost the game by one run.
Matheny, who challenged three calls during Spring Training trial runs, said he intends to continue watching all reviewed plays this season.
"It's going to be interesting how the conversations go," Matheny said, "because I think they have gone in the direction they didn't want it to go, which is why doesn't something just be done to get the call right and not for putting the managers here on the seat?"