Managers that got the most out of the replay system


I’m absolutely certain that some while back we had a conversation on here about which managers/teams were using replay well, and which were very much not….but I’ll be damned if I can find it now.   I can’t even remember who it was that posted this link to Baseball Savant’s replay challenge tracker, but it’s still sitting in my bookmarks.  I do remember that, at the time, I thought Joe Maddon was pretty good at using his challenges, Kevin Cash was pretty terrible at using his.

Now that the season is over, one of the folks over at JABO has compiled a more detailed study on the success and failure of managers in terms of replay.  They aren’t just looking at the success/failure rate of challenged calls, they are looking at the timing of those challenges as well by folding in leverage data.

8 thoughts on “Managers that got the most out of the replay system

  1. Maddon was not nearly as “good” at replay last year–that made me think there is a learning curve and/or the quality of the review he’s receiving from the Cubs is better to say yea or nay, let’s go to review. If there’s anyone who will learn quickly, it’s Maddon.

    I was not aware that Cash was not waiting for video review. That explains a lot. The Rays may want to reassess that process since it seems like Cash has a good feel for higher leverage situations and he’s not as terrible as the raw data suggests. It’s interesting that a team as data and evidence driven as the Rays allows their manager to not wait for the video review.


    1. There could also be a huge element of luck.

      First, a team has to have an umpire blow a call to be able to challenge it & they need such blown calls to occur at high leverage situations.

      Second, the reviewers have to actually correctly overturn the call…there are plenty of instances of clearly wrong calls that for some reason are not over turned.

      Given the samples sizes (generally less than 50 challenges/year), there is a huge element of both bad and good luck needed to rate highly in this challenge system.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. More seriously, the idea that you can “win” challenges or that they have anything to do with smart management is idiotic. It isn’t as if the manager has any control over the outcome by being “better” at his job in some way. At best, it really just tells you who wastes challenges, but if you have nothing to lose in a game situation, why not? Further, using challenges to break up your opponents’ momentum or to buy time to warm someone up — that has an advantage to the team that’s really unrelated to the outcome of the challenge or the actual play being disputed. This is just another pointless stat that people will make much of as if it means anything. And, again, it isn’t even about how good your team is, so to me, it’s just a distraction.


    1. It mostly tells you who has better review teams telling the manager if the play is out or safe. Or it’s telling you who has the worst umpires blowing calls against their teams. Its pretty silly to pretend there is any actual still involved here.


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