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Get ready for the “manager’s challenge.”
Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig announced that a new instant replay policy was adopted Thursday morning by MLB owners, beginning next season, that would allow one manager’s challenge in the first six innings and two more beginning in the seventh inning. The challenged calls would be reviewed by an off-site crew at MLB headquarters in New York. Balls and strikes would not be subject to review.
The policy is expected to be formally adopted at the next owner’s meetings in November.
The net benefit to the game could be a good one. The policy is a success if a bad call never decides the outcome of a game (or a perfect game) again.
Yet you wonder how much slower the games will be as a result of the policy and how soon — not if — MLB will make the inevitable tweaks to the system. It’s not likely that baseball gets this right on the first try.
Some more bullet points for a Dodgers off-day:
Andre Ethier is batting .241 (7 for 29) since getting hit with a pitch by Chicago Cubs pitcher Pedro Strop on Aug. 4 (Getty Images)
was scratched from the Dodgers’ starting lineup before Tuesday’s game against the New York Mets because of tightness in his left calf.
Ethier wasn’t at the ballpark during clubhouse media availability and did not take batting practice on the field with the rest of the Dodgers on Tuesday. It’s possible that he would be able to get in a late round of batting practice indoors, but manager Don Mattingly was noncommittal when asked if Ethier would be available off the bench.
Ethier was hit in the calf late in the Dodgers’ 1-0 win over the Cubs on August 4. Mattingly said the outfielder has been dealing with tightness in the area ever since. The pain worsened to the point that Ethier visited a doctor Tuesday; a better update on the severity of the injury should be available after the game.
Skip Schumaker took Ethier’s place in center field and was inserted directly into the fifth spot in the lineup against the New York Mets’ Matt Harvey. Schumaker is batting .286 against right-handers this season compared to .287 for Ethier. Both have one single in their career against Harvey — Ethier in three at-bats, Schumaker in six.
Harvey enters the game second in the National League in earned run average (2.09).
Chris Capuano collided with Jason Marquis and fell down covering first base in the first inning. He wasn’t injured on that play, but stayed in the game and strained his left calf muscle running to cover the bag in the second.
Chris Capuano was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, ruling him out for the next time the Dodgers will need a fifth starter. That spot wouldn’t necessarily come up until the Dodgers’ April 27 home game against the Milwuakee Brewers, but manger Don Mattingly said he would like to use the fifth starter on April 24 at Citi Field against the New York Mets to give Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett an extra day between their next two starts.
Ted Lilly returned to the team one day after making a rehab start for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session in two days. He’s done making rehab starts and is poised to take the fifth turn in the rotation.
“If he slots in, everybody kind of gets an extra day,” Mattingly said. “We really like doing that.”