Farrell favors expanded use of replay


BOSTON -- Less than 24 hours after umpire Jerry Meals admitted he blew a call at home plate during Boston’s 2-1 loss Monday to the Tampa Bay Rays, manager John Farrell was asked for his thoughts about Meals accepting blame for the mistake.

With the Red Sox trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Boston’s Daniel Nava tagged up from third base on a fly ball to left field. The Rays’ Sam Fuld caught the ball and made the throw to the plate. Nava clearly slid safely into the plate for what should have been the tying run, but Meals was out of position and called Nava out.

The Sox lost the game and slipped into second place in the AL East.

“I appreciate him stating what transpired afterward,” Farrell said. “It’s the human element side of the game, given the last couple of years where umpires have become more exposed to questioning after the game, I appreciate him saying what he did. It doesn’t change the outcome, obviously, and maybe it furthers the debate on including more video replay.”

Farrell is all for the expanded use of video replay.

“I’ve always felt the advances in technology, how’s it’s come into the game, there’s no reason to think it can’t be used to a greater extent without prolonging the time of the game, particularly on plays that are not continuing plays. That’s a definitive play. It’s either out or safe,” Farrell said.

“I know it’s an on-going conversation with the commissioner’s office and all those who are on the field committee. How it’s all ultimately implemented, that’s the biggest challenge in all of this. I know there’s a lot of sensitivity toward the overall time of game and not to slow things down. In situations like last night, the important thing, the overriding thing is to make sure the calls are made as they should be.”

Farrell said he would be agreeable to giving the manager the right to challenge an umpire’s call (similar to the NFL).

As for having a fifth member of the umpiring crew in the press box during every game, Farrell said, “There could be one guy in New York who covers every game.”