Braves get first taste of new replay system

Braves get first taste of new replay system

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez did not get the verdict he was seeking. But with Opening Day less than a week away, he now at least has a feel for Major League Baseball's replay system.

When Andrelton Simmons was called out by umpire Jeff Nelson on a bang-bang play at first base to end the third inning of Monday night's game against the Astros, Gonzalez immediately raced out of the dugout and challenged the ruling. After a review that lasted 1 minute and 14 seconds, the umpires upheld the call.

"It was one of those where you had to make a decision right away, because it was the end of an inning," Gonzalez said. "It wasn't the one you could argue a little bit, turn around and look at the guy in the dugout and get a feel for it."

After not challenging a call during the only two previous exhibition games the Braves had played with the new replay rule in effect, Gonzalez jumped at this opportunity to get a feel for the quick decision that will need to be made when a challenge is made on what would be an inning-ending play.

Gonzalez said he has been informed that he has 10 seconds to come out of the dugout on such a play, and 20 seconds to decide if he wants to challenge. On challenges made during the middle of an inning, managers will have a chance to argue a little longer, giving their replay coordinator, who will be positioned in the clubhouse, a chance to review the play and determine whether it should be challenged.

Horacio Ramirez, who serves as Atlanta's replay coordinator, and Greg Gibson, the umpire who was assigned to review and rule on the play while sitting in a television truck located beyond the outfield wall, both agreed Simmons reached first base at the same time as the throw made by Astros shortstop Jonathan Villar.

"[Gibson] said from what I could see, if he'd have called him safe, I couldn't have overturned it," Gonzalez said. "He called him out and he couldn't overturn it. So I guess it was that close of a play."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.