During a Spring Training game down in Tempe, Ariz., first-year Mariners skipper Lloyd McClendon became the first manager to use the league’s new instant replay system to help his ballclub overturn a call and eventually win the game.
Here’s how MLB.com reporter John Schlegel explained the scene:
With one out in the eighth inning and the Mariners rallying, McClendon questioned a call by second-base umpire Chad Whitson — a Minor League umpire called up for exhibition games — that second baseman Andrew Romine had successfully forced out Tyler Smith before clearly bobbling the ball. The review — which lasted approximately 2 minutes, 30 seconds — reversed the forceout call, with umpire Dale Scott receiving word on a headset from fellow veteran Kerwin Danley in the television truck watching the game that the call should be overturned, granting Smith second base. A run scored on the play, and the Mariners wound up taking a 6-5 lead later in the inning.
McClendon said afterward that he discussed the call with bench coach Trent Jewett before asking for the instant replay. Managers are equipped with a walkie-talkie in case they want to speak with a team video coordinator, who watches the game on TV and can tip managers to review a call.
However, McClendon didn’t need to use that option and he made the right decision, as the reversal ended up helping the Mariners coast to a 10-6 win over the Angels.
So there you go, Mariners fans — not exactly the team’s first World Series championship, but one for the history books.