Friday, April 17th:
In the 9th inning of a 1-1 ballgame, Detroit Tigers infielder Nick Castellanos hit a ball to right fielder Avisail Garcia, who promptly threw it in and forced a close play at second. Although the ball reached Alexei Ramirez in ample time, he appeared to whiff on the tag. As a result, Castellanos was called safe.
Replays however told a different story. In slow motion it was undeniably clear that Ramirez’s glove had caught the tip of Castellanos’ cleat.
Worry no more. In 2015, there’s something called instant replay. Immediately, the White Sox video room got to work looking at various angles. The issue was that the Chicago broadcast didn’t have the conclusive angle Detroit’s broadcast had captured.
With no green light from the video room, Ventura decided not to challenge the play. Challenges are sacred in that if they’re not overturned, the team loses it for the rest of the game. I suppose Ventura didn’t realize that challenges aren’t “get out of jail free” cards that simply carry over to the next contest because despite it being the ninth inning, he decided to save his challenge.
Of course he should save it. I mean, there could always be another play in which the winning run inconclusively moves into scoring position right?
The story ends with Jose Iglesias hitting a game winning single, but the real story of the game was Ventura wasting a challenge when he had absolutely nothing to lose. Aside from WAR, our sabermetric friends love other statistics like win probability. I’m pretty sure no one on with one out is more favorable than what actually transpired.
So, was Ventura worth negative 1.0, -0.5, or -0.2 wins in this game. You tell me.
Next: How long is too long?