Cubs’ manager Ricky Renteria stretched MLB’s instant replay rules to the extreme in Wednesday evening’s 8-3 loss to the White Sox by using his coaching challenge to try and overturn his decision to manage the team. In the fifth inning, Renteria came out of the dugout to argue a ball-and-strike call, but suddenly changed his mind while confronting home plate umpire Tom Woodring.
“He asked if we could review the tape from his introductory press conference on December 5 to see if he actually said ‘yes’ to managing this ‘sad sack of single-A stiffs’,” said Woodring. “I had to eject him from the game immediately on principle, but I can empathize with a guy who has to decide between Chris Coghlan or Ryan Sweeney as his everyday left fielder.”
Executive V.P. of Baseball Operations Joe Torre said that this type of challenge was unprecedented in the short amount of time that instant replay has been in place, but is considering putting in an official provision if a similar challenge happens in the future.
“It’s called the ‘Jose Veras/John Baker Rule,’” said Torre. “Any manager who has a majority of his pitchers with an ERA over 10 or position players with batting averages under .100 can immediately use instant replay to repeal their decision to manage their respective team.”