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The Athletics have dropped their protest of last night’s game

Aug 29, 2014, 3:04 PM EDT

As we mentioned in the recaps this morning, the A’s planned to file a protest over the obstruction call against Brandon Moss in last night’s loss to the Angels. That protest, however, is now being dropped:

Probably the right call. Even if the call on the field was blown, it was a judgment call by the umps so nothing was going to come of it.

Three more games in this series. The Angels have a two-game lead in the AL West.

  1. doctorofsmuganomics - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    why is everyone protesting

  2. juuuuustabitoutside - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    I think the right call was made on the field.
    A fielder can block the path while fielding the ball. But can two fielders block the path? Clearly one fielder (Moss) did not field the ball but was still blocking the path.
    It looks like Aybar expected Moss to field the ball and attempted to avoid a collision with Moss, but Otero was there as well turning it into a highly televised game of “red rover red rover.” Even though Aybar left the base path, he did it to avoid a collision with the fielder he expected to field the ball. I give props to the umpiring on this one.

    • lalocrawford503 - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:36 PM

      Aybar ran directly into Otero, who had the ball, Moss was called for obstruction but didn’t touch him and Aybar had a path around Moss who has a right to field the ball, Aybar choose to run directly into the field of play. I think at some point basepath stuff should be be looked at on some level, he clearly choose the path of most resistence and also tried to knock the ball out of Otero’s glove ala A-Rod. It was a very bizarre call considering Aybar made a beeline for Otero who was 5 feet inside the field of play

      • juuuuustabitoutside - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:30 PM

        The issue is whether or not Aybar was obstructed. Moss was in Aybar’s path and never had the ball. Aybar changed direction to avoid a collision with Moss and hit Otero who was also bumped by Moss. Had Moss not been there, there would be no obstruction. Had Moss fielded the ball, then Otero would be charged with obstruction. If there are 2 fielders blocking the path, then one doesn’t have the ball and is obstructing. And yes, Aybar could have gone to his right rather than his left, but it was a split second decison, and frankly, the rules allow him to go to either side of a fielder attempting to field a ball in his base path.

      • lalocrawford503 - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:41 PM

        Look, if you want to look at it that way, fine, there is video evidence that shows not only does Aybar make a beeline for Otero, who has the ball and is 5 feet in the field of play, but also tries to knock it out of his hand. Im gonna go with the video evidence. I think you are trying to make sense of an egregious call. Umps blew it, my team isn’t going to protest. Im irritated but I know they got it wrong, As a fan it will bug me, but we play tonight and two after that. To the best team

      • billybawl - Aug 29, 2014 at 5:03 PM

        Look at the screenshot of the play. If Aybar had stayed in the running lane, there wouldn’t have been a collision. Moss was on the infield when Aybar got there. Umps could have called Aybar out for leaving the basepath. But it was a judgment call that went against the A’s.

        FWIW, the home plate ump was also having a heck of a time with the strike zone, especially on the Angels’ hitters. Maybe this was his way to settle the score.

      • lalocrawford503 - Aug 29, 2014 at 5:12 PM

        Gibson? Was that the HP Ump? Hes was hearing it early, but I wish teams would wait an inning to complain about the zone, consistency is most important, if he calls the high strike the whole game, good, it goes both ways. You can’t be mad at that, he’s established the zone and keeping consistent, nothing worse than an inconsistent HP Ump

      • juuuuustabitoutside - Aug 29, 2014 at 5:20 PM

        By rule, it is Aybar’s responsibility to leave the running lane to avoid contact with a fielder in the act of fielding the ball. For example, imagine a pop-up where the fielder sets up to catch the ball in the baseline. The runner MUST leave the baseline to avoid a collision.

        Aybar guessed that Moss would field the ball and legally left the running lane. The reason for obstruction is that the rule does not allow for a fielder who does not have the ball to impede the runner. While what the A’s did by forming a 2-person wall (AKA red-rover red-rover) was not intentional, it is nonethless against the rules.

        And for the record, I am an NL fan and do not care which of these teams faces my Dodgers in the WS.

      • lalocrawford503 - Aug 29, 2014 at 5:39 PM

        Trying to make sense of out of an egregious call, it was bad. You can say all you want about what the umps saw or whatever he went right at Otero, with a path pretty much right past Moss, and then tried to knock the ball out. That’s what the video shows, if you want to give Aybar the benefit of the doubt, cool, I can’t, based on the tape.

      • theheez - Aug 29, 2014 at 5:25 PM

        lalocrawford503 – The way I see it, Aybar is running to first and is preparing to avoid Moss who is attempting to field the ball. He sees Moss’ glove on his left hand and tries to go around to the other side and then you have Otero running in and closing off the path which he decided to take. You might argue that Aybar saw Otero and intentionally ran into him…if that/s the case, why did Moss run into Otero too? Was he trying to smash his own pitcher?

        The assertion that Aybar tried to knock the ball out of Otero’s glove is ludicrous. He’s running full speed and suddenly there is a person in front of him that was not in his line of sight, I believe the normal reaction is to puts one’s arms out to soften the collision. As Aybar’s hands come up they glance off the glove and impact Otero square in the chest, there was no swinging or swatting motion. Silly assertion.

      • lalocrawford503 - Aug 29, 2014 at 5:42 PM

        If he stayed right he might have been safe, he went left, right at Otero, Danny was 5 feet inside the baseline and Aybar, if you look at the tape had a nice path passed Moss. Moss didn’t touch him, Otero did, with ball in glove. And Aybar tried to knock out the ball. If want to argue what the umps saw fine, but the tape, evidence says the Umps got it wrong.

    • crackersnap - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:45 PM

      This is the fun part for me. How many fielders can be considered to be making a play on the one baseball? And at what point in time does that number drop to just the one who does make the play, and why? I would expect that going through this thought experiment will just elevate the whole point of umpire judgement on the field, and at the time.

      Baseball as a sport is so full of detailed rules already, and yet we still can find ways to have events unfurl in real time and cause us all to think about the need to refine them even further. This play is one that can be argued in bars across America for years. To me, that’s a key part of the richness and history of the game.

    • clydeserra - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:59 PM

      it wasn’t right on the field.

      Moss was clearly in the act of fielding the ball.

      • DugoutDirtbag - Aug 29, 2014 at 5:41 PM

        Two fielder’s cannot have right-of-way to field the ball, only one can. Pick whichever one you wanna say was fielding the ball and the other was impeding the runner’s path to the base. Either way it was the right call.

      • clydeserra - Aug 29, 2014 at 8:13 PM

        that is not a rule. no where in the rule book does it say that 2 players cannot be going after the same ball.

        Making up a rule that doesn’t exist is the only way it can be considered obstruction.

  3. DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    I agree. The call was blown big time, but at the end of the day, if the ump thinks he is in the baseline, that is no different then thinking a ball way out of the strike zone was right down broadway

  4. daveitsgood - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Is the phrasing “Judgement call of the Umpire” and any variation there of, one of the biggest cop outs for accountability in the MLB rule book? Any rule can be unchangeable or not subject to protest and any call can be swept under the rug if it’s written as subject to the judgement of the Umpire.

    • lalocrawford503 - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      I jsut have a hard time with basepath stuff, replay could have changed it because you saw Aybar go directly at the action and tried to prevent Otero from completing this play, basepath stuff should somehow be included in replay, this shouldn’t be that hard.

    • DugoutDirtbag - Aug 29, 2014 at 5:45 PM

      Regardless, one player had right of way to the base(cannot be obstructed) and one player had a right to field the ball. That makes it a push and a judgement call. Add the extra player who was neither the runner nor the fielder. Odd man out makes it clear-cut – obstructing the runner. Case closed.

      • daveitsgood - Aug 29, 2014 at 6:10 PM

        Except that if you watch the play, neither actually impeded Aybar. Otero came from the mound and was on the infield grass and Moss came from first on the infield grass while Aybar came running down the baseline on the dirt and then veered onto the infield grass to run into Otero. You can certainly make the argument that Aybar moved to avoid running into Moss, but it would be a weak argument since he ran to the left onto the infield grass, out of a clear path that was unimpeded by either Moss or Otero. Aybar had a clear pathway, unimpeded by either player who were both trying to field the ball simultaneously and deviated from his path to initiate contact. So, to your point, it’s not a clear case and the video evidence doesn’t support that Moss, who was called for obstruction, impeded his path since he actually never crossed Aybar’s path. What makes it suspect and bunk is the “umpire’s judgement” which is the end all be all of any argument of what happened vs. what the umpire judged to have happened. Using the logic of umpire’s judgement, a runner going from 1st to 2nd, could argue that the 2nd baseman crossing through the basepath on the way to cover 2nd on a groundball to the SS, impeded the runner, thus forcing the runner to alter his path, regardless if there is contact or not. But as that’s the umpire’s judgement call, it’s final. Similar to the infield fly rule in the Atl-Stl playoff game 2 years ago, umpire’s judgement call that a double play could have been turned with a fly ball to left field that the SS ran out to catch. Point being,imo, for a runner to be obstructed, there should probably have been actual obstruction where one of the players were in the baseline blocking him, instead of what actually occurred where neither were in the baseline and he ran out of the baseline to initiate contact unnecessarily. Review and replay of the play confirm that, yet because it’s a judgement call of the umpire, their version is more truthful of what actually occurred on the field? I reject that premise that an umpire’s judgement call is above reproach and stand by my point that it’s a cop out to bail out any bad call that an umpire makes as long as it’s up to their judgement.

  5. blacksables - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    In other words, the umpires made the right call.

    • clydeserra - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      how do you get that?

      I’ll take my answer off the air.

    • jmell44 - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      I think the call was correct. It looked as if Aybar thought Moss was making the play and went left to avoid the collision (and maybe use Otero as a pick). But when Otero fielded the ball he collided with Moss and Otero was bumped (as the video shows) into the path Aybar was going to take. At that point Aybar really had nowhere to go and it appears he then tried to split the players. Of course being half the size of those guys he just went down. From my perspective, fwiw, I don’t believe he intentionally ran into Otero. Does it really make any difference who has the ball? Moss certainly was blocking the base path without the ball and yes he wasn’t the one run into but in that split second who could tell who had the ball? Bottom line the umpire determined Aybar’s path was impeded, which it was, and made the judgment call to award him first base.

      • clydeserra - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:14 PM

        But, Otero had the ball.

        Are you saying that if you have the ball (like on a throw to a base on a would be base stealer) you have to yield the right of way to the runner so he can be safe?

      • clydeserra - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        and moss is coming straight in from his position at first, the only reason he doesn’t catch the ball in his glove less than a second after Otero is that cuts him off and catches the ball.

        Yes Aybar changes his basepath, but if he did so to avoid moss, its because Moss was about to catch the ball and tag him out.

  6. clydeserra - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    Its the right thing to do. A protest is not going to be successful. Hopefully this umpiring crew will be talked to and the issue will not come up for another 20 years.

  7. echech88 - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    The Angels didn’t score in that inning so a protest would have been really cheap of the A’s.

    • lalocrawford503 - Aug 29, 2014 at 7:37 PM

      Could come off that way, but that next inning led off with Pujlos, Hamilton and Kendrick. Nobody knows what would have happened but it cost us the game because the part of the order who won the game for LA was up much sooner than they would have been without the blown call. Only used Abad for one batter, Cook went in a 1/3 of an inning sooner. You could make a case, but It’s all moot now. The judgment call and the dropped protest make it so

  8. herkulease - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    Its a bogus call that made no sense. The Athletics get at least only questionable call each season. Last two years it was via Angel Hernandez. You can bet when the umpires watch the game again they’ll go crap.

    Its smarts gamesmanship on A’s and Melvin’s part to drop the protest. Its now something in the back of the Umps’ mind and you see them for 3 more games. Continuing the protest denied or upheld, essentially calls the umpires idiots for screwing up. The strikezone was inconsistent for both teams last night. It was both high and low at various times. I wouldn’t be surprise if the A’s get a few close calls going forward.

  9. DugoutDirtbag - Aug 29, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    I just don’t get it – there must be a lot of A’s fans commenting because it could not be more obvious that 2 A’s players were blocking the path to 1B if they had actually been hastily assembling a brick wall. The rule is pretty cut and dry so there just isn’t any room to argue the call on the field.

    I have a great idea for all the A’s fans who think they got screwed on the call: Run the video replay backwards and it will clearly show both players rushing to get out of Aybar’s way…

    • lalocrawford503 - Aug 29, 2014 at 7:45 PM

      So the beeline Aybar made at Otero, who had the ball by the way, and him trying to knock it out of his mitt ala A-Rod, that didn’t register with you? O r how you look at the tape and see there was clear path on the right but he darted left to a guy with the ball at least 5 feet onto the field of play? You don’t see that? If you don’t, I question you objectivity about the call. I maybe an A’s fan but I have no problem being objective or understanding bad calls go both ways. Objectively, terrible, egregious call, it didn’t go our way, the umps screwed and we play three more including tonight, to the best team

  10. jikkle49 - Aug 29, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    It wasn’t intentional by the A’s but I feel the call was right.

    Aybar thought Moss was going to continue into the basepath so he darted left to avoid where he thought Moss was going.

    Moss suddenly stops to make a play at the ball that both he and Otero are going after so instead of what he thought was going to be a gap in between the player to run through it suddenly becomes a wall.

    Aybar darts left before the ball is caught and either Otero or Moss could’ve made that catch. He wasn’t intentionally trying to knock the ball out of Otero’s hand because he would’ve had no way of knowing who was going to catch it until the last second when it was Otero who made the catch over Moss.

    • clydeserra - Aug 29, 2014 at 9:15 PM

      but if aybar thinks moss is going to get the ball its aybar’s responsibility to get out of moss’ way and its not obstruction on moss.

      this is why the call makes no sense. its the runners responsibility to not interfere with the fielder. he has to move. Aybar made the correct choice to move to his left as moss was moments away from snagging the ball with his glove (left hand). the best way to ditch moss is to move away from that.

      but otero was to his left and got to the ball first. then the collision. the call was on moss. it makes no sense.

  11. 4d3fect - Aug 29, 2014 at 10:14 PM


    ” Lew, drop the protest. We’ll reconsider the San Jose stadium issue, ok?”

    “Oh, and here’s a few bucks on the side.”

    Wolff: “…”

  12. Dogsweat - Aug 30, 2014 at 12:57 AM

    The poor Lames.

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