FORT MYERS, Fla. -- John Farrell got his introduction to baseball's new replay system Thursday. It didn't go as he had hoped.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Minnesota Twins outfielder Darin Mastroianni hit a grounder to second and beat the throw to first -- at least according to first base umpire Brian O'Nora.
Because the game was televised by the MLB Network, the technology was on hand for replay to be used. Farrell believed that Mastroianni was out and registered his challenge.
O'Nora and home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg were brought a pair of headphones connecting them to MLB officials watching on monitors in New York. In less than a minute came word that the call had been upheld and Mastroianni was indeed safe.
"More than anything,'' said Farrell, "it was the first time we've challenged something and while the set-up isn't the same as it will be during the regular season -- with no ability to review it ourselves prior to asking for the challenge -- it's there and we chose to use it.
"We didn't have [the monitors to take a look at the play beforehand] and said, 'Hey, I'd like you to look at that.' In season, a play that close, I'm sure there will be a little bit more time elapsed with an acknowledgement from the dugout, [saying] either challenge it or don't. This was more, 'It's there...let's see if we can get an out.'
"This is something the umpires are getting accustomed to as well. It's going to take a lot of the confrontation out of things, that you've got this to go to. We'll see how it unfolds going forward.''
Earlier, in the top half of the inning, Farrell asked the umpires to review a long fly ball that was ruled foul. But because that falls under the category of a "boundary call" and a system that's been in place the last two seasons, that didn't count as a challenge under the new system.
"That's just a review,'' said Farrell.