Baseball’s unwritten rules say you don’t try to steal a base or drop down a bunt when you’re winning big late in the game. But what about challenging a call under the new replay rules when your team has a large lead?
Until Wednesday, Atlanta Braves bench coach Carlos Tosca said he had not given it any thought. But when Marlins manager Mike Redmond challenged a play at second base with Miami leading 9-0 in the fifth, Tosca said it made him ponder another unforeseen wrinkle created by baseball’s new rules.
Are there times when challenging a call is inappropriate?
“It’s going to have to be talked about, or at least thought about,” Tosca said. “At what point do we just say, ‘I’m not going out to challenge that?’ ”
Neither Tosca nor Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said they had any issue whatsoever with Redmond’s decision to challenge the ump’s ruling when Adeiny Hechavarria tried to stretch his single and was called out at second, even though the Marlins were well ahead. After reviewing the replays, the call was overturned.
Gonzalez said he would have done the same thing.
“Because you have to take care of your players, number one,” Gonzalez said. “And, as a manager, you don’t want to be asked, ‘Why didn’t you challenge?’ ”
But Braves pitcher Aaron Harang, who gave up seven runs in the Marlins’ 9-3 victory, had mixed thoughts about the issue.
“It’s something new, and every day we’re going to see something else that’s going to come up,” Harang said. “Now that’s going to be put into question.”
Braves second baseman Dan Uggla said his initial reaction when he saw Redmond come out to challenge the call was that it was a “tacky” move. But after giving it some more thought, Uggla said he changed his mind.
“I’d want my manager to do the same thing for me,” Uggla said.
Marlins veteran pitcher Kevin Slowey said, “The replay is there to make sure the call is made correctly, and I think that stands independent of any surrounding circumstances of the game.”
Redmond said he challenged the call because the game was still relatively early and he has seen big comebacks in the past. He also said he did it as a way to show Hechavarria he had his back.
“I tell Hech, ‘Hey, you need to run hard out of the box,’ ” Redmond said. “Well, he runs hard out of the box and he gets a double, and I just sit there [when Hechavarria is called out]?”
• Rafael Furcal (groin, hamstring) will begin another rehab assignment Friday at Double A Jacksonville. Furcal injured his groin last week while running the bases and had to be pulled off his first rehab assignment.
• Friday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (2-2, 2.97 ERA) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers RHP Josh Beckett (0-0, 2.45), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Saturday: Marlins RHP Jacob Turner (0-0, 7.50) vs. Dodgers LHP Paul Maholm (1-2, 4.74), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.