In the 13 games played on opening day, managers took advantage of MLB's new replay review system to challenge four calls, with a fifth coming from the umpires themselves. Two of them were overturned, but just as importantly, the reviews were conducted quickly—the shortest in 0:58, the longest in 2:30, and an average length of 1:39.
(Review times clocked by the Associated Press, and include reviews after the third out of an inning.)
- Ryan Braun was called safe at first on a slow roller. The Braves challenged, and the call was changed to out. Time of review: 0:58.
- Emilio Bonifacio was ruled safe on a pickoff attempt at first. The Pirates challenged the call, and Bonifacio was called out. (Video not embeddable; view it here.) Time of review: 2:30.
- The Cubs challenged the ruling on the field that Jeff Samardzija was out at first on the second end of a double play. Replays confirmed the call. Time of review: 2:00.
- Umpires ruled that Lucas Duda, playing first, got Danny Espinosa with a swipe tag. The Nationals challenged, but the call was upheld. Time of review: 1:50.
- Cleveland's Michael Brantley was called out on a play at the plate. Umpires went to the video to determine if catcher John Jaso had illegally blocked the plate (another new MLB rule for this season). After the review, the call stood. (Video not embeddable; view it here.) Time of review: 0:59.
(Besides "overturned" and "confirmed," both of which require decisive evidence, there is a third category that reviewed plays can fall into. If the replay is inconclusive, the ruling on the field simply "stands." None of yesterday's reviewed plays fell into this category.)
Day 1 of regular season replay review played out much like it did in spring training, with the majority of challenged calls being on bang-bang plays, usually at first base. And just as in spring training, the umpires' original call was correct the majority of the time. (According to Close Call Sports, which will be tracking stats for reviews throughout the season, umpires overturned their calls on 21 percent of spring training reviews.)
Still, that amounts to a reversed call or so each day. If you believe that getting calls right is important, an average delay of 1:39 seems well worth it.