As a coaching assistant and replay coordinator for the Seattle Mariners, Andy Bissell has a crucial role in helping manager Scott Servais decide whether to challenge a close call on the field.
But this season, Bissell’s job has become even more challenging, as MLB has implemented new rules to speed up the game and reduce the time for replay reviews.
One of the new rules is that managers have only 15 seconds to signal to the umpires that they want to challenge a play, down from 20 seconds last year and 30 seconds in previous seasons.
This means that Bissell has to quickly scan multiple camera angles from his office under the first-base seats at T-Mobile Park and communicate his recommendation to Servais via phone.
“It goes quick,” Bissell said. “When I first got the job, it was 30 seconds. Then in the first year, it switched from 30 to 20. And this year it’s down from 20 to 15.”
Bissell said he tries to be as efficient as possible in reviewing the replays, using three monitors on his desk. The middle one shows a live feed of the game, the right one shows a grid of 16 different in-stadium camera angles, and the left one shows a full-frame view of any angle he touches on the right screen.
“I try to look at the best angles first and then go from there,” he said. “Sometimes you get lucky and you see it right away, sometimes you have to look at a few more.”
Bissell said he also relies on feedback from the players on the field, who often signal to the dugout if they think they were safe or out on a play. He said he trusts their instincts, but he also has to be objective and realistic.
“I have to go with what I see,” he said. “Sometimes they’re right, sometimes they’re wrong. Sometimes it’s too close to tell.”
Bissell said he aims to be confident and decisive in his recommendations, but he also acknowledges that he’s not perfect and that some calls are harder than others.
“There are times when I’m not sure, or I don’t have enough time, or I don’t have a good angle,” he said. “Those are the ones that keep me up at night.”
Bissell said he appreciates the support and trust that Servais and the rest of the coaching staff have in him, and that he enjoys being part of the team.
“It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s also a lot of fun,” he said. “I love baseball and I love this job. I just try to do my best every day.”
Final Thoughts: The High-Stress Job of an MLB Replay Coordinator
Being a replay coordinator for an MLB team is a high-stress job, as Andy Bissell’s experience with the Seattle Mariners shows.
In addition to the pressure of making split-second decisions on whether to challenge a call on the field, Bissell has to navigate the new, faster replay review rules that MLB has implemented this season.
Despite these challenges, Bissell remains focused and efficient in his work. He uses multiple monitors to review the replays and tries to look at the best angles first, while also taking feedback from the players on the field into account.
However, he also acknowledges that some calls are harder than others and that he’s not perfect.
It’s clear that Bissell takes his role seriously and wants to do the best job possible for his team. He appreciates the support and trust of his colleagues and enjoys being part of the team. But the pressure of the job is undeniable, and it’s understandable that some calls keep him up at night.
Overall, Bissell’s experience shows the importance of having a competent and trustworthy replay coordinator for an MLB team.
With the new rules designed to speed up the game, it’s more important than ever to have someone who can quickly and accurately assess the replays and communicate their recommendations to the manager. It’s a challenging job, but one that can make a real difference in the outcome of a game.