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Joe Maddon Is Already Hard At Work Exploiting MLB's Replay System

Illustration for article titled Joe Maddon Is Already Hard At Work Exploiting MLB's Replay System

The truth is, no one knows how MLB's new replay review process will shake out until every last exigency is put into play. Joe Maddon isn't going to wait. He's already planning how to take advantage of the system.


The Tampa Bay Times calls them loopholes. Maddon prefers the term "nuances." But what's really going on is a sort of market inefficiency: Most teams are going to be reactive to the kinks of replay review, and roll with the punches. The Rays manager is being proactive, preparing his team to milk challenged plays for an extra out here, an extra base there, as the kinks are worked out.

Maddon is putting the Rays through fielding drills where they continue the play even after recording the presumed third out, just on the off-chance that out is overturned by review. On the other side, Rays runners are being told to keep running after a third out is made, because if that's overturned, umpires are likely to award the other runners on the basepaths their next base.

Maddon wanted to keep his tactics a secret, but during yesterday's game reporters noticed the Rays playing through the third out, and he was forced to acknowledge it.

"I know there's going to be some definites written down, but there's still going to be some gray that pops up that had not been thought about, or interpreted differently at the moment," Maddon said. "So it's not about 'gaming' anything, it's about doing it for the first time and trying to not leave anything up to discretion."

Joe Maddon is a white hat hacker, but he's not above grabbing what he can before the flaws are patched.

[Tampa Bay Times]