No challenges for Braves in first replay game

No challenges for Braves in first replay game

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez did not issue any challenges when his club was given its first opportunity to get a feel for the new expanded replay system during Monday's 8-1 win over the Phillies.

The Braves will have a chance to test the replay system during four more games during the Grapefruit League season.

"I was trying to make up something," Gonzalez said. "At one point, I'm thinking if there is a bang-bang play at first to end the inning, I'm going to go out just to get the mechanics of keeping the team on the field and kind of replay that sort of thing with the umpires. But there was absolutely nothing that was even questionable. At the end of the year, I think we're going to realize how good these umpires are."

Monday's game did provide Gonzalez a chance to at least test the walkie-talkie communication device that will allow him to remain in contact with former Atlanta pitcher Horacio Ramirez, who will be positioned in the clubhouse to monitor controversial calls and quickly alert Gonzalez as to which plays should be challenged.

Ramirez, who was present for Monday's game, will travel throughout the season with the Braves. While his primary duty will be to monitor the replays, he will also serve as a left-handed batting-practice pitcher and assist pitching coach Roger McDowell with various responsibilities.

"[Ramirez] is a tremendous guy, a guy that wants to get into the coaching end a little bit," Gonzalez said. "He can shadow Roger with the pitching a little bit and do that kind of stuff. I think he was a great choice."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.