Cincinnati Reds are MLB’s best team at replay reviews

ST. LOUIS – Bo Thompson doesn’t wear a uniform or sit in the dugout during games, but he saved the Cincinnati Reds a run during their game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.

Thompson’s title is manager of advanced scouting, but the way he directly impacts games is managing the Reds’ replay reviews. The Reds have been the most successful team in the Majors at overturning calls with a 69% success rate in 42 challenges, according to Close Call Sports’ statistics.

“The fact that we have success in that area,” Reds manager David Bell said, “it’s all Bo, really.”

Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell (25) talks with umpire Phil Cuzzi (10) after Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez (7) home run was ruled a double in the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Thompson watches all games in video room alongside Gary Hall, the Reds’ coordinator of Major League video and technology. The room is usually located near the clubhouse, underneath the stands. Sitting in front of computer screens, Thompson has access to many video angles almost like he’s sitting in a TV production truck.  

When there’s a close play, typically Reds bench coach Freddie Benavides will hurry to one of the dugout phones to chat with Thompson. Teams are allotted 20 seconds to initiate a challenge.

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