Blog Entry

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

Posted on: September 4, 2011 3:53 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2011 8:54 pm
Bryan Petersen
Charlie ManuelBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Phillies finished Sunday's 5-4 loss to the Marlins in 14 innings under protest, following an instant replay review that may have cost the Phillies two runs in the sixth inning.

The protest came after umpire Joe West (who else?) used instant replay to review fans Hunter Pence double in the top of the sixth inning. After reviewing the play, Pence was called out on fan interference. Pence's ball was hit to right field, where Florida's Bryan Petersen lept to try to catch the ball, but instead a fan in a green shirt and another in a Phillies jersey and hat, leaned over the railing to try to catch the ball. The ball bounced off the fan in green's hand, just above Petersen's glove, then bounced off the outstretched hat and into the corner in right, giving Pence a double and allowing Ryan Howard to get to third.

As soon as West reviewed the play and announced Pence was out, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel argued and was ejected. In all, the delay lasted 13 minutes, with not only Manuel arguing, but also bench coach Pete Mackanin arguing it as well. Their argument was that fan interference isn't one of the approved uses of replay.

"If they wanted to see if it was for a defense play, I didn't think you could do that," Manuel told reporters (News Journal). "My understanding is that's not the rule." 

The fan clearly interfered with the ball, so ultimately it was the correct call. ESPN's Steve Berthiaume spoke with former Major League umpire Jim McKean, who told him that once the umpires decided to review whether it was a home run, the umpires could then use their judgement to rule on fan interference (Twitter).

According to the rule, the umpire can use his "sole discretion" in determining the use of replay, though Joe West told reporters the umpires were reviewing the home run (a charge Manuel denied), but that home plate umpire Chad Fairchild believed there was fan interference on the play. The second part of the matter was that the umpires ruled Pence out -- the Phillies outfielder didn't quite agree that Petersen was definitely making the catch.

"I'm going to say it's one of the best plays of the week if he makes it," Pence said (News Journal). 

Said Petersen: "I honestly don't know what happened. I thought I was going to catch the ball." (Sun-Sentinel)

The next Phillies batter after Pence, Raul Ibanez, doubled, which would have scored both Pence and Howard. Instead, after an intentional walk to load the bases, Wilson Valdez grounded into a double play to end the inning.

The Marlins then took the lead with a run in the bottom of the sixth inning with a run off of Roy Halladay.

Since the Phillies lost the game, Joe Torre will review the appeal. If Torre agrees the umpire erred, the game would be replayed from that at-bat -- but without Manuel, who was ejected. Here's a list of protested games that were later resumed, including, of course, the Pine Tar Game. No protest game has been replayed from the point of pretest since 1986 in a game between the Cardinals and Pirates.

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Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: September 5, 2011 2:14 am

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

Everyone who says the replay should not
have happened does not know the rules of baseball replay. The umpires decided
to look at the replay to see if the ball was a homerun or if it hit the wall.
Once they decided to see if the ball was a homerun or not they can then look to
see if there was fan interference. The key is that the initial replay was to
see if the ball was over the wall or not. When they looked at it they noticed
the fans interference, which has been the replay rule since its inception.

Since: Nov 24, 2008
Posted on: September 5, 2011 2:01 am

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

I thought they view a replay if its a homerun? But they called it a doulble and the Marlin's manager asked them to review because he wanted us to have a homerun?? Joe West is not very good... maybe I'm wrong about who asked for a replay of that?  Was it Manuel, Umpires or the Marlins Manager?

Since: Nov 20, 2007
Posted on: September 5, 2011 1:07 am

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

Thats ok you won, so now you are 25 GB instead of 26

Since: Mar 17, 2009
Posted on: September 5, 2011 12:56 am

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

I think it's humorous that you guys blame the Phillies fan, yet this game was played in Florida and all I see ARE Phillies fans...perhaps some of you Marlins fans could actually attend some games?

Since: Jan 13, 2008
Posted on: September 4, 2011 11:07 pm

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

Idiot Phillies fan stinking his hat out what a moron he cost you guys the game go FISH!

Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: September 4, 2011 10:57 pm

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

After watching the news and seeing this stinking replay again I am more angered by Joe West's Arrogance in the whole thing.  I hope to god that MLB Upholds this protest and Joe West is fined/punished heavily for effecting the outcome of a Pennant Race!

Since: May 26, 2011
Posted on: September 4, 2011 10:18 pm

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

Bamma Phillie has the key point.  The replay is ONLY for deciding if it should have been a home run.  No one, certainly not the umpires, thought it was a home run, so replay was out of the question.  If you allow this replay, then you have to allow replays for anything the umpires want. 

Since: May 26, 2011
Posted on: September 4, 2011 10:15 pm

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

Actually, it is VERY important to know if he would have caught it, since the rules clearly state that it is only interference if the player is likely to have caught the ball.

Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: September 4, 2011 10:12 pm

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

Does anyone know how long it takes for MLB to determine whether or not to uphold or reject the protest?  I don't believe that the fans hand making contact with the glove caused it to close.  I think he clearly thought he was there and had it thus the reason for the closed glove.  It will be interesting to hear again in some form of press conference or interview how the review process came about.  From watching I never saw Charlie leave the dugout until after the decision was made to call out pence, so how Joe West is saying that Manual wanted him to check for a home run is interesting to say the least!

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: September 4, 2011 9:53 pm

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

As I see it in the picture above, It looks like Petersen's glove was already closed and he could not have caught the ball with a closed glove.
In the article, it states that the ball first hit off the fan in green and then off the fan with the Phillies jersey and hat.  Petersen's glove is closed because he squeezed it when he expected the ball to drop into it.  Instead, the fan interfered with the ball before it hit his glove.  Regardless of whether or not he could have made the catch is irrelevant once a fan interferes with the play.

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