CLEVELAND -- Lonnie Chisenhall was hustling to turn an RBI single into a double in the second inning Thursday night, and he appeared to beat the relay throw to second base. But as happens on occasion, as Chisenhall slid into the bag, his momentum slightly took him off of it, while shortstop Xander Bogaerts held the tag firm.
Chisenhall was ruled safe initially, but the Red Sox successfully challenged the call, and it was overturned.
The play didn't factor into the Indians' eventual 5-4 victory over the Red Sox, but it did speak to a segment of observers who question this aspect of replay review. Commissioner Rob Manfred, speaking to reporters before Game 2 of the American League Division Series between the Red Sox and Indians, said he has no problem with the way replay is being used on the bases.
"I'm kind of proud of that play, despite the fact that I get asked about it all the time," Manfred said. "The reason I'm sort of proud of it is when we were putting the replay system together, we actually realized, in advance, that this was going to be a problem. And you know, hats off to our baseball operations people, Joe Torre, Chris Marinak, that worked so hard on the system. We talked about it, and the conclusion we came to is if you're going to introduce replay as an element of the game on the field, you can't tell the replay officials to ignore something, right?
"The instruction is you have to call what you see. And we feel that's crucial to the integrity of the replay process. And it's just one of those things that players are going to have to learn to adjust to over time."
Asked if there are any elements of replay that need to be tweaked, Manfred pointed to the time of the replay procedure.
"I just looked at the end-of-the-year statistics, and they actually are very positive in terms of the average time of replay being down -- the number of replays over three minutes is down," Manfred said. "The number of replays under 60 seconds is actually up significantly. And we feel like those are really positive trends for us. But we will be looking, again, in the offseason for ways to move every aspect of that process along, make it as quick as we can possibly make it."
Earlier this week, Manfred said he is not in favor of subjecting every game-ending play to replay review, because he appreciates the strategic intent of limiting a manager's number of challenges in a given game. Manfred also said it is possible the league could eventually institute a cap on how long a replay can be reviewed before the results are deemed inconclusive.
Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.