JUPITER, Fla. -- The Twins were part of the first test of Major League Baseball's new instant replay system during Monday's split-squad game against the Blue Jays in Fort Myers, Fla., but manager Ron Gardenhire missed out while leading Minnesota's other squad against the Orioles in Sarasota, Fla.
Bench coach Terry Steinbach served as acting manager, and Paul Molitor handled bench-coach duties against Toronto. Steinbach never used a challenge, but Blue Jays manager John Gibbons challenged a pair of close plays at first base in which Twins runners were ruled safe. Both calls were upheld upon review.
"They were all excited about it," Gardenhire said of his coaches. "They got to do it and see how it works a little bit. ... There's still questions, a lot of questions on strategy and all that stuff. I think each manager is going to do it different, and the game's going to dictate it."
But of the two significant rule changes to go into effect this offseason, Gardenhire is much more worried about the one governing home-plate collisions. He brought up a situation in which the catcher tries to give the runner a path to the plate, only to have the throw pull him into the runner's line.
"That's a lot put on an umpire, when you've got a ball coming in and you have to see if there's going to be a tag, and you add all that other stuff into it," Gardenhire said. "There's a lot on an umpire's shoulders, and I'm concerned about it."