Expanded replay = better manners?

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Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona calmly exited the dugout on opening night and approached home plate umpire Mike Winters with a rather polite request that he review a collision at the plate.

Winters obliged, then confirmed his call 59 seconds later via replay, hardly a harsh word exchanged in a moment emotions used to run high. With baseball's expanded replay rules, those colorful, saliva-trading tirades that often punctuated games could very well be replaced by far more civilized behavior around big league ballparks this year.

Fewer four-letter words? Manners in baseball? Maybe so.

"The umpires are instructed that if you come out and say something wrong they won't jump down your throat. They're instructed to maybe walk you through it," Francona said. "Everybody is learning."

There might even be healthier shoulders for umpires, too, as they make fewer emphatic, wind-up ejection signals to send a manager to the showers.

Through Wednesday, in a count by MLB and STATS, there had been 64 replays with 21 of those overturned -- 19 of 48 on manager challenges, and two among 16 umpire-initiated reviews such as the one requested by Francona.

"I think some of the longer heated arguments are gone," San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "You'll just challenge now."

For the record, there were 85 total managerial ejections in 2013, and 82 players thrown out. This year, ejections such as the one that happened to Cubs manager Rick Renteria Tuesday night (pictured) in a game against the Pirates might be few and far between.

The new rules figure to dramatically change the tone of watching a game. With that in mind, one can only wonder how many ejections they might have saved all-time leader Bobby Cox, who got thumbed a record 158 times before retiring in 2010.



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