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August 1, 2014

What You Need to Know

August 1, 2014

by Daniel Rathman


The Thursday Takeaway
There’s nothing like a replay controversy to stir up a day that needed no further stirring.

Setting the stage: The Marlins were up by one—on a first-inning bomb by Giancarlo Stanton—when the Reds loaded the bases with one away in the top of the eighth. Todd Frazier hit a fly ball to right. Stanton caught it and threw home. He appeared to have the runner, Zack Cozart, dead to rights at the plate for an inning-ending double play.

Home-plate umpire Mike Winters made the “out” call, then initiated the crew chief review at the behest of Reds skipper Bryan Price. It took six minutes and 10 seconds for the replay crew in New York to reach a verdict. The result: Catcher Jeff Mathis violated rule 7.13, making Cozart safe and the game tied.

Beat writer Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun-Sentinel did us the favor of compiling all the postgame quotes related to the controversy. Now, let’s see what the uproar was all about:

The screengrab shows Mathis awaiting the throw from Stanton. He’s in a legal position, the one prescribed by rule 7.13, with the catcher in front of the plate rather than blocking it before the ball comes into his possession.

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5 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

terryspen

If that call is in line with the letter and spirit of the rules, which I doubt, then MLB should adopt the rule used in senior-citizen softball to prevent collisions. Instead of running toward the plate, the runner would race toward a line drawn from home plate to the screen. If he crosses the line before the catcher touches the plate while holding he ball, he is safe. Otherwise, he's out. No collisions, no obstruction, cut-and-dry. Sure, it's not baseball but neither is this.

Aug 01, 2014 08:14 AM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

The Blue Jays had a very similar play in which the runner was called out without review - in the 8th inning, I believe. I would be very curious to know what differentiates the play highlit above from the one in the Blue Jays-Astros game.

Aug 01, 2014 08:39 AM
rating: 0
 
Llarry

Same thing happened in D'Backs-Phillies on Sunday. Howard was out by a mile and Montero got called (on review) for 7.13. At this point, I don't see how a catcher makes a legal tag.

Maybe the cutoff man should run to home and try to tag the runner.

Maybe some clever team will rotate their infield on a play from the outfield and put a corner IF at the plate, who might be able to get close to the baseline without being accused of blocking the plate.

Aug 01, 2014 10:41 AM
rating: 0
 
BillJohnson

I don't like the Cozart call either, but there's a principle here that's applicable in competitions ranging all the way from baseball and football to chess and bridge: if you don't give the other guy a chance to screw up, he probably won't. If Mathis had had his left foot as little as maybe two inches to the right of where he actually had it, he almost certainly would have got the call.

Aug 01, 2014 14:07 PM
rating: 0
 
jsdspud

That is the second time Price has got a call like that. It happened earlier this year against the Pirates. There has to be a better way to protect catchers.

Aug 01, 2014 19:31 PM
rating: 0
 
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