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Instant replay costs the Tigers a run. Sort of.

Sep 16, 2012, 9:15 AM EDT

Detroit Tigers v Cleveland Indians Getty Images

Crazy sequence of events in Cleveland yesterday afternoon. Instant replay cost the Tigers a run, though it was ad-hoc instant replay, nothing official.  The upshot:

  • Alex Avila missed third base while scoring the Tigers fifth run in he fifth inning, but the Indians apparently didn’t notice immediately.
  • During a pitching change right after the run scored, someone in the Indians’ clubhouse watched it on replay. They told the Indians’ dugout about it, which soon became animated, with players telling Manny Acta that he needed to appeal the play. Tony Sipp continued warming up.
  • Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont heard the ruckus and knew what was happening. Cognizant that, per the rules, an appeal has to be made before the next pitch or play, told Quintin Berry — who was on second base — to take off, trying to get him picked off. That would have ended the  inning, but it would have preserved the run.
  • Berry took off, trying to get thrown out, but play had not officially resumed yet. Start over.
  • Berry took off again, but Sipp threw to third — not to get Berry — but to put out Avila, who had missed the base, as is done in such appeals.  The ump called Avila out. Run off the board, inning over.

Very heads up play by the Indinas. And really, quite the attempted heads up play by Lamont and Berry too.

Still: the whole appeal process is kind of antiquated and, frankly, whack. The need to actually throw over to the base after the guy who missed it left the field of play. The fact that the umps stay silent, even if they know the base had been missed, and await an appeal.  The fact that a play that was clearly messed up cannot be reviewed if a throw is made.  And above all else, the fact that we can have no official replay of such plays, but that the teams can utilize replay, more or less, from the clubhouse.  If we had an ump in the booth and some common sense, that whole play is straightened out in five seconds, not all of that time it took.

You know what to do, people:  write letters — actual letters in the mail — to the Commish.

  1. tannethrill - Sep 16, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Huh? Was the run recorded and removed absent a replay? Was he called safe at home and then they threw him out at third?

    That sounds ridiculous.

  2. Brian Donohue - Sep 16, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Deceit is an aspect of the game, and from the ten inch pile of dirt in the middle of the diamond, deceit is the cornerstone of the game. That, from a psycho-ideological perspective, is the one thing that fuels the insane, you might say Freudian, resistance to video replay review, at a time when the tech is fully developed and working in other sports (football, tennis, and that other sport with only one Tiger where the players call fouls on themselves anyway).

    Deceit is part of the game’s drama, even its skill: if I throw the ball with these 2 fingers it comes at you 95mph; if with these other 2 instead, it’s about 85mph, and I want you to believe it’s one when it’s really the other. This is why politicians and judges love baseball: their lust for deception is given credence in the game. Technology (used properly) confounds deceit, exposes it clearly. So in a culture where deceit is rewarded, encouraged, even admired, technology is despised and resisted. So write Dear Bud letters till your fingers turn blue; nothing will change because deceit is one strand of baseball’s DNA.

    • sanzarq - Sep 16, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      You hit the nail on the head, Brian. I’m in complete agreement with your position, but I actually also enjoy some of that deceit. As they say, these things tend to even out over time. I don’t want replay to govern every aspect of the game. If it starts to expand, then I think there has to be a strict limit set on how many challenges can take place in a game, otherwise, things could get ridiculous.

      Besides that, Calcaterra is getting on my nerves lately, so I had to chime in, for that alone!

  3. Lukehart80 - Sep 16, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    When they took the run off the board, I assumed it was just to give the Tigers a handicap so that the Indians might have a chance at winning. Alas, it was not handicap enough.

  4. natslady - Sep 16, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    What is with missing the bases? I read Jonny Gomes missed home plate in the O’s-A’s game and “no one” noticed.

  5. weaselpuppy - Sep 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    The funniest part was that after the final throw over to 3b, the 3b steps on the bag, then tags Berry……and the 3rd base ump gives the “out” sign….and then does it again and as part of the motion then points at home plate, looking to me like he is calling Avila out……so in reality it looks like he calls Berry out first…….which would mean that Avila’s run is good!

    But then next inning Miggy says “Si, MF!”….and it’s back to 5-0. All is right in the world….

  6. leftywildcat - Sep 16, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Third base ump should have called him out when he touched home. Shouldn’t have needed to be any more to it than that.

    • cur68 - Sep 17, 2012 at 2:10 AM

      Pretty much. Whatalotta folderol,

  7. scotttheskeptic - Sep 17, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    Craig, contrary to your belief, not all fans, nor even all readers of this blog want replay. Baseball is game of failure, played by humans. Enjoy that aspect. Inevitably, the rules governing replay become more hypertechnical than the situations they were meant to correct. I could go on, but…

  8. jm91rs - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Incredibly smart to try and force the inning to end early by intentionally getting thrown out.

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