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: Oct 11, 2009
Posted on: September 4, 2011 9:48 pm

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

He didn't miss the catch. I watched the telecast locally. Whether Peterson would have caught the ball anyway is debateable, however when the fan on the left reached down for the ball he came in contact with Peterson's glove as Peterson was reaching up. It definitely caused Peterson's glove to close. Even the local Phillies TV crew doing the game acknowledged it was no doubt fan interference.

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: September 4, 2011 9:33 pm

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

Hooti, I have to run shortly.  Thanks for the debate.  And although we disagree, I appreciate your having kept it civil.

Since: Jul 4, 2010
Posted on: September 4, 2011 9:32 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.  Check it out. He is already on the way down from the attempted catch with his glove already closed on pure air!  The fans were just trying to keep the ball above the top of the fence as Peterson had ALREADY missed the catch!

Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: September 4, 2011 9:29 pm

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

The replay rule states that is to be used only to determine if a hit was a home run or not.  If you allow this case to determine fan interference, you open the use of it in any or any close call.  In this case, you can see that there was fan interference but, whether Peterson would have caught it or deflected it over the fense it can not be determined.

If the correct call was made is the justification for breaking the rule, instant replay should be used whenever there is a disputed call.  Games could take three or more hours to play on a regular basis.  This is why the rule was made so restrictive.

Major league baseball can not let this decision stand.

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: September 4, 2011 9:20 pm

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

Hooti--Thanks for clarifying about "here and here".
Your 8:30 and 8:36 posts raise some interesting points. 
Manuel also said he did not know why they were reviewing the play - but he also said ""To me, my interpretation of it is he went to see if it was a home run or a double,"

Assuming the quote is accurate, I don't read it as saying that Manuel was the one who initiated any issue as to whether it was a homer; West could well have brought the whole thing up on his own--wouldn't be the first time he has butted in where he shouldn't have.

And if that is the case, than the umpires can review - and if they see interference, they can call interference.

Well, he certainly didn't see interference when he initially made the call. And if the Phillies' manager wasn't contending it was a homer--I realize that's the big "if"--why was West even bringing that up?

they don't need someone to ask then to review the play

I assume you meant "them" rather than "then". To be honest, I don't know if umpires are supposed to be raising home run questions if no one else did following the initial ruling. But if West was bringing up the home run question himself under that theory, that still strikes me as a bit of overreaching on his part, setting up a house of cards--a home run replay that perhaps no one requested, followed by an interference call that he otherwise wasn't entitled to use replay for. I won't say it's impossible, but it sure looks funny.

Since: Sep 4, 2011
Posted on: September 4, 2011 9:00 pm

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

Why did they go to replay to begin with..did one of the managers request or argue it. It was ruled a double. Was there reason to go to review to begin with

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: September 4, 2011 8:56 pm

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

Cleaarly fan interference, but just as clearly the ball wasn't caught.For the umps to say it would have been caught if not for the fan is a stretch.No way Pence deserved to be called out & it's not even a close call.Frown

Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: September 4, 2011 8:55 pm

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

I love how there are so many Phillies Organization haters out there. All I've heard all year is that they are buying a championship and that people can't wait for them to lose in the play-offs.  Gotta love the one from the Giants fan earlier, even though his team won't even be going to the play-offs this year.  TJ, I assume that you are a Yanks fan?  Well you won't have to worry because Boston will take care of you guys no problem.

Since: Oct 26, 2009
Posted on: September 4, 2011 8:49 pm

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

Hooti, what does "here and here for a start" mean?
if you note - at least on my screen - here and here are blue text - they're both links. They'll take you to the stories...

Since: Nov 23, 2006
Posted on: September 4, 2011 8:47 pm

Phillies protest loss to Marlins

Obviously the fans interferred so what is the correct call Phillies fans?  What about it Charlie Manuel?  You still want gimmes too?  Had the shoe been on the other foot you Phils fans would have been arguing in favor of the Phils that way as well.  Despite all their talent there is what no integrity here either???  Even though it was Joe West, and I am not fond of that Umpire either, he made the only call he could in that situation.  Don't worry Phils fans, the Phillies are still going to postseason.  Can't wait to see them beaten in postseason though.

My advice to Phillies fans, don't turn into Yankees kind of fans and show your a$$es everytime you think your team is getting screwed.  Didn't happen this time.

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