Blog Entry

MLB denies Phillies' protest

Posted on: September 7, 2011 5:21 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans

The good news for the Phillies is they don't have another game to make up -- the bad news is the MLB denied the appeal by the team of Sunday's loss to the Marlins.

A short release by Major League Baseball had the news and little else in response to the use of instant replay to rule fan interference on an apparent Hunter Pence double. 

The Phillies main gripe was that it was not a situation covered under the rules of instant replay. With MLB upholding Joe West's crew's decision to use replay to determine what happened at the wall at Sun Life Stadium could be another step toward the expansion of replay. As someone who has called for more replay, it's tough to complain or have an issue with umpires getting a call correctly, and that's what happened on Sunday. The bottom line is the umpires got the most information they could and made the right call.

Philadelphia doesn't have an off day the rest of the season and has two doubleheaders scheduled, Sept. 15 against the Marlins and Sept. 20 against the Nationals. Any resolution of a game from Sunday's game would likely have had to be played after the end of the scheduled regular season and two days before the start of the National League playoffs begin. With a 90-48 record, the Phillies have homefield advantage wrapped up and would have no benefit from that one victory, so in the end, it's best for the Phillies they don't have to use another pitcher to finish the protested game.

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Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: September 7, 2011 7:55 pm

MLB denies Phillies' protest

The bottom line is the umpires got the most information they could and made the right call.
No, Mr. Rosecrans, that is not the bottom line, or the real issue in this case.  The bottom line is that the umps may have abused the rules they're supposed to uphold.  You say that they "got the most information," but the point is that they weren't supposed to get certain information if it involved using TV replay on an issue that they were forbidden to use it for.  It is not up to the umpires to make such a policy determination or to substitute their own judgment for that of the policymakers.  That's not "trying to get it right"; that's just arrogance. 
Also, don't you see the precedent you set by allowing an umpire who wants to review a type of play he's not supposed to to just say to himself, "Well, I'll just trump up a phony home-run issue, and once I get through that loophole, then I can review any issue I please."  Is that really the way you want it to work?  And if it's not, how do you distinguish it from what the Phillies were complaining about here?

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: September 7, 2011 7:37 pm

MLB denies Phillies' protest

To deny the protest without explanation is gutless.  In fact, to deny it at all was gutless.  It raised some serious issues about the rules and about umpire conduct that everyone deserves an answer to.

And to all of you simple folk who think that nothing matters except whether there really was fan interference with a two-base hit, when will you get it through your heads that you can't just go engaging in improper umpiring and then use the results of that wrongful conduct to justify doing it?  Your "the end justifies the means" mentality is getting tiresome.  The whole point of these rules is so that everyone knows what the policy is and can depend on its being enforced and can thus govern their conduct accordingly.  If you're not going to enforce these rules, why have them at all?  If you don't like the rules, get them changed  But until you do, abide by them--like everyone else has to--and stop whining about how the Phillies dared to protest.  You should be glad someone did.

Since: Mar 3, 2010
Posted on: September 7, 2011 6:06 pm

MLB denies Phillies' protest

This continues to be aproblem with the administrative management of baseball.  We "the public" are never apprised of the internal communication between the team officials and MLB.  It always appears that the umpires are always protected in these public disputes.
In this case MLB also failed to address the issue of why the protest was filed - use of replay in this situation allowed or not allowed?

MLB is a poor public relations operation for such a great game that we all enjoy.  I've played the game for over 50 years and had many arguments with umpires but using the rulebook has almost always resolved the disputes.  I would suggest that the powers that run MLB make an attempt to correct this deficiency.

Since: Apr 5, 2007
Posted on: September 7, 2011 6:06 pm

MLB denies Phillies' protest

For the most part, yes, it's futile.  Growing up a Yankee fan it seems like every game they lost was protested, and they're always declined.  That was more Steinbrenner temer tantrums, but I learned early on it's just a formality. 

The Phillies' announcers were making such a big deal about the game being played under protest, which I found amusing, knowing it would amount to nothing.  They seemed convinced if the rule was applied incorrectly MLB would be forced to do something about it.

The Tine Par Game is the last one I recall where the game went back and was replayed.  But that was unique because Brett getting called out was the thrid out of the 9th inning and the game was declared over.  Since there was no play after that at-bat, it was easy to 'go back" to the point in the game where the call was wrong, count the homerun, make it two outs in stead of three, and play from there. 

Since: Jul 1, 2009
Posted on: September 7, 2011 5:47 pm

MLB denies Phillies' protest

Has any team that has ever filed a protest ever won? It seems like a completely futile act. I'm not saying that this was the case in this game, but the umpires in the MLB have become far too powerful. They are untouchable as far as making an argument, plays are rarely overturned and up until the advent of replay recently, they have had no system of checks and balances. An example, I'm an Indians fan and during their 16 inning game against the A's a week ago, they won on a walk-off play at the plate. The runner was clearly out, but since it was late and they had to play a noon game the next day. Umps wanted to go home, he was called safe and no one can argue that call. I was glad the Tribe won, but something has to be done to even this all out. That's my rant anyway.

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