The first 20 instances of umpires invoking baseball's new expanded review resulted in the call being upheld. But yesterday in Tempe, the replay system finally earned its keep.
With the bases loaded and one out, Angels second baseman Andrew Romine bobbled the ball while trying to turn a double play. The runner was ruled out by force, but Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon came out to challenge the call, arguing that Romine never had possession. After a review that lasted about 2:30, McClendon was vindicated, and the Seattle runner was ruled safe at second.
This particular reversal opens up all sorts of questions about what plays can and should be challengeable. A fielder's possession, especially when trying to turn a double play, is essentially a judgment call, and MLB has exempted a somewhat similar judgment call from replay's purview. Angels manager Mike Scioscia is concerned that the transfer play is going to be irrevocably changed: