Early this year, Major League Baseball introduced expanded instant replay and no manager has used it more than Chicago Cubs’ Ricky Renteria, who is wrapping up his first season as a big league skipper.
As documented by Five Thirty Eight, there have been 1,130 challenges in the Majors. Of these, Renteria is responsible for 48 with just a 42 percent success rate. The next closest manager is Toronto Blue Jays’ John Gibbons, who was good for 32 percent on 41 challenges – the lowest success rate among big league managers.
What makes this worse is that New York Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi, who was considered a candidate for the Cubs’ job this past October, is the most successful with a 78 percent clip at overturning calls. Girardi has only issued 27 challenges this year.
The league average is 47 percent across all reviews, so it appears the additional challenges by Renteria have been overkill.
How can Renteria improve his percentage?
Simple. A video board in the outfield.
Cubs’ spokesperson Julian Green confirmed to Fran Spielman of The Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday that a video board will be in place next season.
"“The video board will be up in 2015 — the big one approved [in left-field]. So will the Budweiser sign in right,” Green said.“We just got [the five additional] signs approved this summer. As the summer comes to a close, we’ll be in the marketplace talking to potential and existing sponsors. If there are sponsors who want to purchase those assets, we’ll put them up as quickly as possible.”"
The video board will actually be placed in left field, but nonetheless it may help Renteria. Currently, Renteria gets word from his staff on whether a play is worth using a challenge. He does not have a second look at the play, it is solely based on his first look at it and what he is told happened.
So, maybe this is something Renteria cannot solely be blamed for maybe is percentage can rise with a second look on a videoboard that 29 other managers have the ability to look at while in their home ballpark.