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Pirates issue statement: Jerry Meals “got this one wrong”

Jul 27, 2011, 12:42 PM EDT

protest sign

Not that it will do any good, but the Pirates have filed an official protest with MLB over the Jerry Meals call at the plate that ended last night’s 19-inning marathon loss to the Braves.

Team president Frank Coonelly also issued the following statement:

The Pittsburgh Pirates organization is extremely disappointed by the way its 19-inning game against the Atlanta Braves ended earlier this morning. The game of baseball and this game in particular, filled with superlative performances by players on both clubs, deserved much better. We have filed a formal complaint with the Commissioner.

While we cannot begin to understand how Umpire Jerry Meals did not see the tag made by Michael McKenry three feet in front of home plate, we do not question the integrity of Mr. Meals. Instead, we know that Mr. Meals’ intention was to get the call right. Jerry Meals has been umpiring Major League games for 14 years and has always done so with integrity and professionalism. He got this one wrong.

For Pirates fans, we may have lost a game in the standings as a result of a missed call but this game, and the gutsy performances by so many of our players, will make us stronger, more unified and more determined as we continue the battle for the National League Central Division.

Sounds about right. There’s no sense in publicly tearing apart Meals, since that will only lead to MLB potentially disciplining the Pirates anyway. Ultimately the whole thing is for naught, because as Calcaterra pointed out this morning judgment calls can’t be successfully protested.

  1. rundmc81 - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    Dear Pirates, this has been the first time an umpires call has made a difference in one of your games in 20 years.. Get over it!

    • kopy - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:09 PM

      I wish all teams would react to injustices like this. How else are we going to get replay in baseball?

  2. dailyrev - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    It’s not a hard sell to Reason, only to Ideology. Copy football: each mgr. gets 2 or 3 little red socks to throw out of the dugout each game. Sell it to the umps this way: if the mgr. comes out of the dugout (except for mound visits/pitching-personnel changes) he’s tossed. Only the red sock can come out of the dugout, that’s the replay challenge sign. What’s his name, the zombie who’s the commissioner, says it would slow the game down. I say it would have the opposite effect: no long arguments on the field, just a minute for an extra ump located in the press box to review the play (you could put the crew chief in that position and even have one less ump on the field except in the post-season). Again, it’s perfectly appealing to Reason, but swaying ideologues is tougher. It will take time and change.

  3. thomas2727 - Jul 27, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    The loss last night knocked the Pirates out of first place.

    Now either good or bad they will find out what they are made of.

    Contenders or the same old Pirates of the last 19 years?

    • natstowngreg - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:12 PM

      Thanks. Someone has finally cut through the noise about umpiring and expanded instant replay (I’m all for it, BTW).

      Today is July 27, and the Pittsburgh Pirates are protesting an umpire’s call, claiming that it could affect their playoff chances. [Insert voice of Jim Mora, Sr. here.] Think about that for a moment.

    • florida76 - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:59 PM

      Actually, the Bucs were serious playoff contenders most of 1997, were only 2.5 games out in early September. The other 17 years have been terrible, no doubt about it.

  4. 24may98 - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    I watch from the 15th and thought that the ump got dinged by a foul tip shortly before – perhaps in the previous half inning. I’m not certain, but he could have been dizzy. I hope so, because there is not any excuse for that bad call. It’s the most egregious I’ve seen this season of too many bad calls.

  5. aronmantoo - Jul 27, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    I thought you couldn’t protest a call? Umpiring in baseball is the worst this year than I’ve ever seen it. Been watching baseball since 1951

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