Braves' Manager Fredi Gonzalez Makes Baseball History

First Manager To Issue A Challenge Leading To Reverse Of A Call

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Manager Fredi Gonzalez with umpires.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez with umpires.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

MILWAUKEE -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez now holds the distinction of being in baseball's history book courtesy of Major League Baseball's expanded replay system.

Gonzalez issued the challenge after first-base umpire Greg Gibson ruled Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun safe at first base to begin the bottom of the sixth inning of Monday's Opening Day game at Miller Park. After a review that lasted approximately 58 seconds, the umpires overturned Gibson's ruling.

As the on-site umpires communicated with the umpires reviewing the play at Major League Baseball Advanced Media's Replay Operations Center, a replay shown on the video board at Miller Park did not elicit much of a response from Brewers fans, who seemingly recognized that third baseman Chris Johnson's throw beat Braun to the first-base bag.

Braves president John Schuerholz, who was one of the men responsible for devising the current replay system, and Brewers manager Ron Roenicke echoed the sentiments of those within the two clubhouses who were simply happy the correct ruling was made.

Roenicke briefly argued, but chose not to challenge a bang-bang ruling second-base umpire Paul Schrieber made to end the second inning. Because the disputable call came at the end of an inning, Roenicke had just 20 seconds to decide if he wanted to issue a challenge.

Thus he did not have the same luxury as Gonzalez, who had time to discuss the play long enough for Braves replay coordinator Horacio Ramirez to view video in the clubhouse and then call the dugout to inform bench coach Carlos Tosca that a challenge should be issued.

Gibson became a part of history in a game that he was not originally assigned to work. He was serving as a replacement for injured umpire Alfonso Marquez.

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