Instant replay has made baseball better. Fans are no longer subject to blown calls due to human error. At the All-Star Break, there have been 822 uses of instant replay (including umpires) in 2016, a 19.7 percent increase over the same time frame a year ago.
With the increased use of instant replay, which Managers are the Best Challengers?
In this chart (all data courtesy of BaseballSavant), managers in the upper right are the most successful. The St. Louis Cardinals’ Mike Matheny has challenged the most plays in baseball using 36 challenges. Mike isn’t that bad at it either, he gets 58.3 percent of his challenges correct. The New York Yankees’ Joe Girardi is the most successful at overturning calls. Girardi is right about 70 percent of the time. The best challenger of them all? The Miami Marlins’ Don Mattingly, he challenges a lot (33 times) and challenges correctly.
- 822 total challenges, of which 402 have been overturned (48.9 percent)
- Girardi gets 68.4 percent of his challenges correct, best in baseball
- Buck Showalter (Orioles) and Jeff Banister (Rangers) only get 50 percent of their replay reviews correct, worst in baseball
- Matheny has used the most challenges (36)
- The Twins’ Paul Molitor has used the fewest (14)
- Most common type of challenge – Tag Play (312 total, 38.0 percent)
- Weirdest challenge – Passing Runners, occurred once
This play was so weird that we had to show it to you. Miami’s J.T. Realmuto hit a home run but was later called out for passing runner Marcell Ozuna at first base. Personally, I have never seen that in the majors.
Baseball is a beautiful and sometimes strange game. Challenges are part of America’s pastime. We will continue to track which managers are the best challengers.