by Steve Carney
Joe Maddon did not try and challenge a call at all in the spring, and saw opposing managers try and use their challenges against his team. He waited and waited, until he finally had his opportunity in the seventh inning Friday in a win against the Texas Rangers.
A flare by catcher J.P. Arencibia appeared to have been caught by Wil Myers, but was called a trap by first-base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt. Maddon came out to use his challenge, and the call would be overturned to end the inning.
Watch Joe Maddon's first challenge under the new replay system.
"I felt pretty good about it going out there," Maddon said afterward. "Wil's one of those guys, he's not going to dissemble. He's going to tell you the truth. He absolutely thinks he caught the ball, so I felt good about that."
The Rays skipper said he did not wait for confirmation from team video coordinator Chris "Chico" Fernandez, who monitors all the close calls by the umpires.
"I'm willing to take a chance right there," Maddon said, explaining because of the score and where they were in the game that he was willing to go for it.