The Royals remain the best at questioning umpires. Here’s their secret

The best eyes in baseball peered at the television monitor at Progressive Field on Saturday, and no, they did not belong to shortstop Francisco Lindor, one of the most complete players in the game, or Indians manager Terry Francona.

With apologies to Nationals ace Max Scherzer, who possesses the most striking set of eyeballs in sports, the best eyes in baseball belong to a former a minor-leaguer and bullpen catcher who milled about the visitors’ clubhouse as the Royals prepared to play the Indians.

Bill Duplissea might not agree with this sentiment, of course. His job is a simple one. He lives behind the scenes.

Yet the numbers offer support for his case. In 2016, Duplissea, an advance scout and the Royals’ instant replay coordinator, was the best in baseball at successfully challenging umpires’ calls. This year, he is closing in on holding the title for the second straight year.


Bill Duplissea of the Kansas City Royals.

Jason Wise Major League Baseball

In the latest internal statistics released to teams on Friday, the Royals were 22 of 30 on replay challenges this season, forcing an overturn 73.3 percent of the time. The Yankees were second, just percentage points behind at 27 of 37 (73.0 percent).

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