Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Hinch Calls for Streamlined Replay in Radio Interview

Speaking on MLB Network Radio, Houston Astros Manager AJ Hinch called for a quicker and more efficient Replay Review process across baseball, expressing concern with the issue of umpires serving as Replay Officials and confusion with the "call stands" outcome for an inconclusive video review.

HOU's AJ Hinch has some replay suggestion.
Hinch concluded his interview on the radio show by answer a question about how he would improve replay, lamenting that the umpires should be subject to a strict time constraint, as teams are when deciding whether or not to challenge a play: "If there's a time constraint on us, there has to be a time constraint on them."

Though Hinch acknowledged that umpires in the Replay Room tended to take more time to review more angles in order to craft a better-informed decision, he also explained that the more time spent reviewing a play tended to suggest an injection of greater doubt, which might lead to a "call stands" determination, which Hinch called "very, very confusing."

Hinch's Astros are near the bottom of the Teams' Replay Review leaderboard, ranking 27th out of 30 MLB teams with 11-out-of-30 total plays resulting in an overturned call (36.7% TSP). The league-average "success rate" in overturned calls is about 49%.
Related PageMLB Umpire Replay Review Statistics and Sabermetrics (UEFL).

Hinch also stated his "curiosity" regarding an umpire reviewing another umpire's call, positing that perhaps the league would be best served to hire specially-trained third parties to make the replay decisions.

Statistical Analysis: Though Hinch is correct that length-of-review is correlated with outcome such that "call stands" reviews tend to take the longest to complete, MLB has taken steps to streamline the replay process, such as installing a two-minute guideline for Replay Officials in New York, beginning with the 2017 season, in an effort to decrease review times.
Related Post2017 Rules Mods, Including IBB Change, Announced (3/2/17).

And it's worked: the average length of review, by year, has decreased since its 2014 debut of one-minute, 46-seconds in 2014, to a high of 1:51 in 2015, and down to 1:36 in 2016 and 1:28 in 2017; earlier in 2018, the average replay duration was even less, at one-minute, 24-seconds.

Replay Review takes time to do.
Pace of Play Sidebar: With 2,430 games in an MLB season and slightly more than half as many reviews, on average (for 2017, 1,336 reviews ÷ 2,430 games = .55 reviews-per-game ), we can surmise than at a rate of .55 and average replay duration of 90 seconds (a nice, round number), we should expect 45 seconds added per game due to replay, or a total of 30 hours, 22 minutes, and 30 seconds of Replay Review time over the course of the entire season.

This 45 seconds-per-game addition does not sufficiently explain why game times rose from 3:00:42 in 2016 to 3:05:11 in 2017 (all else equal, by contrast, an eight-second-per-game decrease in average replay time between '16 and '17 should expectedly correlate with decreased game times, especially because 2016 featured 1,468 reviews in 2,428 games [two cancellations]—132 more reviews than 2017, at an average of eight seconds longer apiece).
Related PostUEFL's MLB Umpire Sabermetrics - 2016 Regular Season (10/3/16).

Gil's Call: We already have discussed how to streamline replay, identifying in 2017 that the biggest waste of time surrounding replay is the amount of time an umpire spends jogging from the field to the replay station and the time it takes to get back to playing baseball after that. Though MLB touts 1:28 (2017) as its average replay time, this simply accounts for headset-to-headset, not "Time"-to-"Play," which could incorporate anything from the infamous manager "hold" to an umpire conference and beyond.
Related PostQueue Theory & Petty Baseball - Streamlining Replay (4/20/17).

Tmac proposed a 90-second limit once the headsets are on—which MLB has unofficially accomplished (kind of) with average replay time less than 1:30—as well as requiring immediate manager challenges, in exchange for giving teams a second challenge each game. Then again, something tells me Hinch wouldn't be too satisfied by losing even more time off his decision-making process.
Related PostTmac's Teachable Moments - Let's Fix Replay (1/19/17).


Post a Comment