PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Mets are using a low-tech plan in Friday's Grapefruit League game regarding replay challenges. Three starting pitchers will watch the SNY telecast from the home clubhouse and walkie-talkie to bench coach Bob Geren in the dugout whether Terry Collins should officially challenge the play.
"I'm going to have a bungee cord on my belt if I'm going out there," Collins joked. "And they say, 'No, out,' I'll be jerked back."
Friday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals marks Collins' first experience with the challenge system. Still, the coaches have been keeping notes in all Grapefruit League games of which calls they would have protested had it been the regular season. By Collins' count, there have been about four so far.
"There was a catch in left field one of the first games that their guy, you could kind of see he caught it, but you want to see if the ball hit the ground. We might have challenged that," Collins said. "We would have challenged a play the other day up in Viera. Scott Hairston hit the ball to left field. We threw him out at second and they said he didn't get tagged. We would have challenged that one.
"There was a ball down the first-base line, which you can't challenge because it bounced, but I would have gone out and said, 'Hey, look, get some help with that.'"
Collins said during the regular season, the Mets will be aggressive with replay challenges. That's partly a function of playing in New York.
The Mets are still devising the in-season system for who will initially review replays, according to Collins.
Collins used the example of a two-out infield single being awarded to the opposition in an early inning on a "borderline" call at first base. Whereas it might be logical not to challenge that play since you can lose your future ability to challenge in the game, Collins indicated he likely will proceed otherwise. If there seems even a decent chance the Mets will prevail, Collins plans to challenge. His logic: In New York, he would get crucified if he does not challenge that safe call that might be overturned and the opposition goes on to score four runs that inning.
"What do you think if I don't go challenge that and we give up four runs with two outs?" Collins said. "What are you guys going to say when the game is over? 'What are you, out of your mind? You're not going to challenge that?' Believe me, if you can get an out, get an out."
During the regular season, Collins explained, he gets one challenge. If successful, he gets another. If he has exhausted his challenges before the seventh inning, he is not necessarily out of luck late in games. Umpires can be persuaded to initiate their own video-replay reviews from the seventh inning onward. Umpires also can initiate looks at homers and plays at the plate at any time.
There also is the old-fashioned persuading the umpires to converse and overturn the call without replay being involved.
The standard for overturning is "clear-and-convincing" evidence.
Collins said he approves of the new rules.
"For years and years I never did -- I didn't like the thought of it," Collins said. "But the technology is so good now and so fast, you've got to use it. I mean, there's too much money involved. One win all of a sudden can make a big difference."