Phillies: Larry Andersen OK with new rule if another sunsets

MLB umpires with headphones on listening to an instant replay review (Photo by Rich Pilling/Getty Images)
MLB umpires with headphones on listening to an instant replay review (Photo by Rich Pilling/Getty Images) /
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The Phillies’ Larry Andersen wants to get rid of instant replay reviews

With less than one week until spring training, several members of the Philadelphia Phillies broadcast team — Larry Andersen, Kevin Frandsen, Scott Franzke, Jim Jackson, and Tom McCarthy — recently connected on Zoom for the latest installment of their popular Friday Night Roundtable.

The group discussed several pertinent topics as it relates to Major League Baseball’s upcoming 2020 season, among them the new rule that places a runner on second base at the start of each half-inning in extras — an effort to expedite games.

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“I’m looking forward to the sprint, as opposed to the marathon. It will be pretty fun to watch,” Jackson said, “I think it’ll affect how managers manage. … I’m not looking forward to the man at second base for extra innings. I hate that with a passion. I don’t mind the DH.”

Jackson said the new runner rule is too “gimmicky” for him because it goes everything against traditional baseball that requires players to earn their way on base: “That’s baseball. … I’d just say, at the end of the 12th, if it’s a tie, it’s a tie then.”

Andersen, who called himself “more of a traditionalist,” said he is willing to accept the rule as long as he could get rid of another — instant replays.

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“I would get rid of replay in a heartbeat if I could. And I think most fans would,” Andersen said. “Let’s limit it. To see [replay] every single play and the managing holding things up, let’s just stay with baseball for a while.”

Instant replay has evolved over the years since its summer 2008 introduction when it was only used for home run calls. Now, instant replay has expanded since, allowing calls for fair/foul ball, force/tag plays, baserunning, hit by pitches, collisions at home plate, interference, and more to be reviewed.

The common theme is managers, as a result of this expansion, questioning at least one or two calls a game from the umpires.

On September 3, 2008, Alex Rodriguez’s 549th career home run not only passed Mike Schmidt on the all-time list, but it was also the first to be reviewed and upheld by instant replay.