Cashman pleased with instant replay
Following first review, GM says technology was long overdue
ST. PETERSBURG -- The umpires successfully used instant replay on Wednesday to confirm Alex Rodriguez's two-run home run. From a perch two levels above the playing field, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was pleased, and for more than one reason.
The Yankees came out ahead with the reviewed call, as the slugger's ninth-inning home run off Rays closer Troy Percival was upheld. But Cashman was also satisfied to see instant replay finally implemented in a Major League game, a change he has been pushing toward for some time.
"I'm a big believer in using technology to make certain that it goes down correctly," Cashman said. "If it was overturned, it would have been the right thing, and I would have been OK with that, too. No one is here to take advantage of any mistakes on either side."
The Yankees' GM since 1998, Cashman had voted in favor of instant replay for years at the General Managers Meetings, even though his franchise benefited greatly from at least one missed call.
Cashman had not yet been installed to the position in 1996, but his World Series ring from that season inevitably is linked with 12-year-old Jeffrey Maier, who reached over the right-field wall at Yankee Stadium and snagged a Derek Jeter drive in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.
That pivotal moment in the ALCS helped spark New York's dynasty of four World Series titles in five years. Had instant replay been available that October, right-field umpire Rich Garcia's call would have been overturned and fan interference would have been ruled.
"It's just good that there's an opportunity to get a second look to be certain," Cashman said. "I think the umpires do want that. It's nice to be proven right or [not] -- be in a position where your name is splashed all over the place the next day being proven wrong."
Cashman said that the delay of the game -- two minutes and 15 seconds -- was "not problematic," though he said the most important thing was making certain the call is correct.
A-Rod's confirmed shot was a nice exercise, but Cashman said that he is looking forward most to the day when a home run call is overturned.
"Technology confirmed the umpires were right," Cashman said. "Obviously, we've got to get to the point where we have one that gets overturned. That's when you'll say, 'You know what? That's what the purpose is.'"
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.