JUPITER, Fla. -- The Red Sox had their first encounter with Major League Baseball's new instant replay system during Wednesday's 8-6 Grapefruit League loss to the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. MLB has selected certain games throughout Spring Training in which to test the system.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Cardinals' Stephen Piscotty hit a comebacker to Noe Ramirez, who started an inning-ending 1-4-3 double play by firing to second baseman Heiker Meneses. St. Louis runner Joey Butler was called out at second, a ruling which manager Mike Matheny asked the umpires to review.
Crew chief Jerry Meals put on a headset to communicate with an additional umpire watching the replay from a truck, and the out call was confirmed. The entire process, beginning with Matheny emerging from the dugout, took less than two minutes.
In the meantime, the Red Sox defenders left the field, and the Cardinals' next reliever came onto it. Neither is supposed to happen.
"You know, the awkwardness is gonna be that inning-ending play," manager John Farrell said. "What we've been informed is that the umpires will hold the defensive team on the field. We came off the field.
"If you've got to call a team out of the dugout, particularly a pitcher, they're trying to avoid that delay for a pitcher having to go into the dugout and sit. But it's a work in progress. We're just seeing it for the first time."
In Spring Training, managers are allowed an unlimited number of challenges in selected games to practice the procedure. During the regular season, managers will have at least one challenge to use. If any portion of a challenged play is overturned, then the manager who challenged the play will retain the ability to challenge one more play during the game. No manager may challenge more than two plays in a game. Once the manager has exhausted his ability to challenge plays during the game and after the beginning of the seventh inning, the crew chief may choose to invoke instant replay on any reviewable call.