A long review during Wednesday night’s Indians-White Sox game had Indians pitcher Corey Kluber needing a few warmup tosses before resuming his night of work.
For some reason, umpires saw fit to deny Kluber his warmup tosses and that didn’t sit well with Kluber or his manager Terry Francona.
Rather than let Kluber warmup after the replay, the umps told the pitcher he should have stayed warm during the review process. Kluber expressed surprise and irritation at this apparent reversal of policy (via MLB.com).
“I understand that replay is part of the game now,” Kluber said. “Tonight, I don’t get the whole making-up-rules-as-we-go thing. Every other time I’ve been out there for a replay, I’ve waited until they finish the replay and then have thrown a couple pitches. All of a sudden, tonight I’m told that you’re only allowed to throw pitches while they’re reviewing the play.
“If the umpires are making up stuff as we’re going, then the system needs to be looked at, I think.”
Francona wishes the umps had shown a little more good sense in their handling of the situation:
“That was disappointing,” Indians manager Terry Francona said after the 3-2 loss to the White Sox. “At that point in the game, Klubes doesn’t know how long they’re going to be over there, so he doesn’t want to keep throwing [during the review], because he was at a pretty high pitch count.
“I didn’t think a couple of pitches would make the crowd go away. I thought some common sense would have prevailed a little bit.”
Baseball has been coming under increasing fire for the way the review process is further dragging out games that were already long to begin with, so you can understand their desire to shorten the review process as much as possible.
Looked at in light of game-length concerns, having the pitcher throw his warmup tosses during the review seems reasonable. However, if pitchers have been allowed warmup tosses after reviews in the past, suddenly changing the policy without warning seems kind of ridiculous.
If baseball is going to continue tweaking its rules on the fly, then they need to get better at communicating these adjustments so players and managers don’t get caught off-guard. Baseball has a talent for turning everything into a clusterbleep and a lot of it is apparently just lack of communication.
Have they not heard of email?