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The Pirates lodge an official — but impermissible — protest over the Jerry Meals call

Jul 27, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

Meals blown call

The Pirates filed an official protest with Major League Baseball over Jerry Meals’ call at the plate.  That’s nice and everything, but it should be and will be dismissed out of hand by Major League Baseball, because it is an impermissible protest under the rules. Here’s Rule 4.19 of the Official Rules:


Each league shall adopt rules governing procedure for protesting a game, when a manager claims that an umpire’s decision is in violation of these rules. No protest shall ever be permitted on judgment decisions by the umpire. In all protested games, the decision of the League President shall be final. Even if it is held that the protested decision violated the rules, no replay of the game will be ordered unless in the opinion of the League President the violation adversely affected the protesting team’s chances of winning the game.

Whether a tag was applied or not is a judgment call, so the protest is invalid.

Wanna make the Pirates fans really mad?  Fine the team for the knowingly impermissible protest!

  1. stevejeltzjehricurl - Jul 27, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    This may be a dumb question, but how come the Royals’ protest of the pine tar game was permitted? I’m guessing that the decision by the ump that Brett’s bat had too much pine tar wasn’t a “judgment decision” under the rules, but I would love to have that confirmed.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jul 27, 2011 at 10:40 AM

      The story there was that there was no debate over how much pine tar was on the bat, but there was a question as to whether the umpire’s application of the rules — disallowing a home run due to too much pine tar — was proper. I believe that they ultimately ruled that the ump merely should have taken the bat from the game.

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Jul 27, 2011 at 10:45 AM

        Thanks for the clarification. So if I’m reading your point correctly, if the ump had applied the rule correctly, Brett’s bat would be ruled ineligible for further use, but the home run would stand. Not sure I agree with baseball’s logic, but them’s the rules. Besides, it did mean the Yankees got screwed, which is never a bad thing. 😉

  2. captainwisdom8888 - Jul 27, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    This is 1 game out of 162…they’re better off forgetting about it.

    • joshfrancis50 - Jul 27, 2011 at 11:39 AM

      Easy to say that, but how many pennant races go down to the final days of the season? The Pirates are in a precarious position right now and every win is critical.

      Of course, I’d probably argue that getting a few more losses in this week may be for the best in that it could dissuade them from making silly trades that do little to advance the franchise.

      • Senor Cardgage - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:53 PM

        People always say that the games in April count the same as the ones in September, and in a strict sense they do. Likewise, the runs in the first inning count just as much as the runs in the ninth. Still, teams with big leads or slim leads late in the game or late in the season play differently.

    • FC - Jul 27, 2011 at 11:49 AM

      Tell that to the Twins… who twice had to play game 163 in back to back years…

    • ant - Jul 27, 2011 at 3:21 PM

      That one game moved them from first in the Central to third.

  3. ant - Jul 27, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    RE: fine for impermissible protest

    That’s like the Chris Webber timeout!

  4. schlemealsschlimazel - Jul 27, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    “In all protested games, the decision of the League President shall be final.”

    League Presidents haven’t existed since ’99. This feels like a sure fire win for the Pirates. Loopholes, bitches!

    • heyblueyoustink - Jul 27, 2011 at 11:06 AM

      Channelling your inner Jesse Pinkman sir?

  5. parlorboss - Jul 27, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    Totally agree with Dejan here:

    Well worth whatever fine is levied.

  6. bigleagues - Jul 27, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    I’m amazed that MLB has not updated sections of the rule book that specify things like ” League President” and “each league”.

    Does anyone else think that CEO Selig’s tenure has been largely about waiting for the next controversy to REACT to or stay silent about.

  7. Jonny 5 - Jul 27, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    I think Jumping him by the Pirates is in order in this case. It was kind of obvious he wanted the game over with. He doesn’t deserve to officiate.

  8. 12strikes - Jul 27, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    How can contact be a “judgement” call? If contact is judgement call, then EVERYTHING in baseball is a judgemet call.
    If a ball bounces the foul pole, that will be a judgement call on if a home run ot not?
    I understand Strikes and Balls being judgement calls, but not contact.
    Check swing strike is a judgement call.
    Again, MLB kissing the Umps a$$.

  9. vikesfansteve - Jul 27, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Judgement call or a case of an umpire wanting to just go to his hotel & call it a night?

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