By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT - Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, a fan of instant replay when Major League Baseball implemented the system last season, has not been impressed with umpires this year.
"Very quickly in 2014, you kind of had an understanding of where that line was between sufficient and insufficient evidence," Ausmus said Tuesday. "That line is blurry now. There's been a number of calls this year that I think a year ago would have been overturned. I'm not sure I have a solution for it, but I think [replay]'s moving backwards.
"I'm not the only one across baseball who feels that way," Ausmus added.
What prompted the indignant comments from the normally sedate manager was an out call at home plate in Tuesday's game against the Cincinnati Reds. With the bases loaded in the fifth inning, Tigers left fielder Yoenis Cespedes got an infield hit, and center fielder Anthony Gose ran home from third and appeared to slide under the tag of Reds catcher Brayan Pena.
The Tigers challenged, but the out call stood after a lengthy review. As a result, the Reds escaped a bases-loaded jam and maintained their 2-1 lead. Cincinnati eventually won the game 5-2.
Ausmus said it has gotten to the point where managers do not know what to expect when they challenge a play, whereas last season teams had a reasonable idea of whether they would win a challenge.
"Sometimes we're just throwing a Hail Mary thinking, we think it's conclusive, and we're throwing a Hail Mary out, and they come back and say, 'Well they can't confirm it,' or 'It's unconfirmed,'" Ausmus said. "I don't know what the line is.
"Last year we knew what the line was," Ausmus continued. "We had a pretty good idea, when we were challenging, whether we had a shot or not, and sometimes we took risks and we weren't sure if we had a shot. But generally speaking, when we challenged and we knew it was going to be overturned, it was overturned. So I think the system needs to be fixed."
Ausmus said he would like to get an explanation, but he knows he will not.
"It's tough to change anything midseason, but I'd like someone to explain to me what sufficient and insufficient evidence is, because last year we had a had a pretty good idea of what that was, and I can't tell you what it is this year," Ausmus said. "I really can't."
The Tigers are currently in third place in the American League Central Division, four games out of first place.
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