MINNEAPOLIS — Adam Dunn carries a .233 average into Thursday, but were the proposed instant replay rules for 2014 already in place, it’d be eight points higher.
While the White Sox slugger has lost track of the number of hits taken away by the shift opposing teams employ against him, he hasn’t been so forgetful with the umpires. Dunn can recall three instances, including one here at Target Field in May, where he has been stripped of an infield single because of a poor call by the umpire. Dunn is one player squarely in favor of Major League Baseball’s proposed rules for next season, which still must be approved.
“Who’s counting?” Dunn said. “Me. Three. ... You want everyone to get the calls right. Whether good or bad. Obviously sometimes it goes against you, but for the most part you want to make sure everything is, you’re getting the right call. I like it.”
The proposal is centered around a managerial challenge system, similar to the rules put in play in the NFL. Managers would be allowed to challenge most plays, with the exception of balls and strikes, up to three times per game. Each manager receives one challenge in the game’s first six innings and two more in the final three innings. If a challenge is correct, the manager gets to keep it, but unused challenges can’t be carried over.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura called the proposal “forward thinking.” While there are many details that have yet to be disseminated, Ventura is in favor of the rules proposed by MLB commissioner Bud Selig earlier Thursday.
Former MLB managers Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa were on the committee that chose the new system, which will be voted upon by baseball’s 30 owners in November.
“The first thing is you want to try to get it right,” Ventura said. “That’s always the most important thing. The details of it, you’ll get around to that, understand it better. Again it’s down to being able to get it right, and you have the ability and technology to do it.”
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White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham also sounds as if he’s in favor of the plan as long as the length of games isn’t affected heavily. Per reports, MLB would have men with umpiring experience at the controls in New York with access to a variety of angles of plays. When a challenge is asked for, that official would issue a ruling from New York. Beckham said first baseman Paul Konerko mentioned the system sounds similar to the way the NHL reviews goals in quick fashion from Toronto.
“You’re already out there for an average of three hours a night,” Beckham said. “So if this adds another 10-15 minutes ... I’m sure they’re thinking of this and finding a way to make it easy. If it’s a minute, it’s a minute. But that’s the extent you want it.”
As far as Dunn is concerned, the one minute of review is worth the wait.
He also recalled a play at first base on May 24, when Alex Rios beat a double play relay throw to first but was ruled out by umpire Angel Hernandez. Had Rios been safe, as replays clearly showed, the White Sox would have won in regulation.
“They have it in football,” Dunn said. “You’re talking a few minutes. There are a lot of ways they can (address) how long a game is. This is something that’s not going to hurt.”