Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Will Joe Girardi's Protest From Last Night Be Successful?

Via Marc Carig, in order for the Yankees to win their protest of last night's game, the commissioner's office would have to rule that the Manny Delcarmen getting unlimited time to warm up "adversely affected" the Yankees' chances to win the game:
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.
If the league does determine there was a detrimental effect, the game could be restarted from the point of the infraction. Considering that the Yankees were sitting on a five run lead at the time, there's a good chance that they could lock down the victory if given a second chance.

It's pretty clear that Sox pitching coach John Farrell signaled to the bullpen before telling the umpire that Beckett was hurt. Girardi isn't disputing whether the injury was valid, just that the call was made before the umpire was informed of the injury.

There is a ton of subjectivity involved here. How will the league interpret the word "adversely"? Delcarmen getting as much time as he needed to warm up obviously wasn't the reason that the Red Sox were able to come back, but it definitely helped them stop the bleeding to some extent. Getting to face a guy who was only allowed to throw eight warm up pitches would certainly have been an advantage for the Yankees, particularly if Francona chose to temporarily insert a position player instead. So by a strict definition, it did "adversely affect" their chances of winning the game, however infinitesimally.

Although it doesn't say it in the rule book, I'm guessing the commissioner will have the latitude to determine degrees of adversity. In other words, was the advantage the Yankees lost enough to warrant restarting the game from that point? Will Bud Selig take into account that the Yankees were winning by five runs at the time? Will he note that the Sox came all the way back and won by just one run? It's a logistical mess to restart the game and you'd have to assume that the league would lean towards avoiding it if the decision is close.

Bud Selig works in mysterious ways, but unfortunately, I'm pretty sure this one isn't going to get overturned.


  1. What's the point in protesting something like this? How often does it ever get over turned? I find myself asking the same question every time a manager argues an umpire's call on a pitch. Has that ever once made the umpire say, "You know, I change my mind!"

    Go AJ...restore order.

  2. That's a good point Matt. Protests are virtually never upheld, and as Jay points out, it's unlikely this will be either.

    It was a weird chain of events. Normally, if it's an injury visit. The trainer will accompany the pitching coach or manager to the mound. Or all three will go out. That didn't happen; at least not from the get go.

    Normally if it's an injury visit, the pitching coach or manager will state that to the umpire prior to crossing the foul line so that they aren't docked a visit to the mound. That didn't happen either.

    On the flip side, the umpire came out the mound almost immediately, so I'm guessing it wasn't your typical "move it along" visit.

    I'm guessing Farrell went out initially thinking it was a typical visit and then either saw something or Beckett said something indicating his back was bothering him again. Either way, there's no disputing that he signaled to the pen prior to having the injury issue firmly established. Perhaps he just got anxious; I don't know that he was trying to pull one over.

    Either way, Delcarmen's extra warm up tosses is far, far down the list of the reasons why the Yankees lost the game.

  3. Yeah, it was weird how it all played out. I think the worst part of the loss yesterday for me as a fan, was CC pitched great and by all rights deserved the W. He did his part in giving the bullpen a break.

    On my personal blog, I reflected on the game quite a bit, and it actually has quite a few similarities to the game before. Oh's how baseball works I suppose.

  4. Has MLB ever ordered the replay of a protested game? I can't recall a single instance in my entire baseball-watching existence that something like that happened.

  5. How do you like that; found the answer not five minutes later.

  6. The last time a protest was upheld was June 16, 1986 (as Larry linked). That's the same day Jamie Moyer made his MLB debut.

    Barry Bonds was a 21-year old rookie batting leadoff for Leyland's Pirates squad. They're the team that successfully filed the protest. That was Bonds' 20th game ever. He hit his 4th career home run in that game.

    Jamie Moyer made his MLB debut that same day in Chicago, throwing the first 6.1 innings of a career that, barring injury, will lead to a top-40 IP total.

    Eight days earlier, David Cone made his MLB debut, throwing an inning of relief for the Royals.

    Nine days later, Tom Seaver would throw his final pitch in the majors.

    The day before Seaver's last pitch, Phil Hughes was born.

    Three weeks before the game, Gary Sheffield signed a contract after having been drafted by the Brewers.

    Greg Maddux wouldn't make his MLB debut for another 2.5 months. On the same September day as Maddux, Bo Jackson had his debut.

    Cal Ripken, Jr. hadn't even played 700 consecutive games yet.

    The Pirates ended the year averaging 12,357 fans per game, about 7,100 fewer than they drew per game last year.

    Total MLB attendance was just over 22MM, about 20MM less than in 2009. The Dodgers, just barely, were the only team to draw 3MM fans.

    The Mets drew 2.7MM fans in '86. They're on pace for about 2.6MM this year.

    The Yankees' attendance was just under 2.3MM fans that year. They're on pace for about 3.6MM in 2010.

    The average price of a ticket to an MLB game was about $6.25.

    National TV contracts paid a total of $181.5MM, about $7MM per team. Today the total from national broadcasting rights is around $35MM.

    George Foster was the highest-paid MLB player at $2.8MM. The Mets released him in August of that year. The second-highest paid was another Mets player, Gary Carter, at 2.1MM.

    Only one other player made more than $2MM, Mike Schmidt.

    A total of 61 other players made more than $1MM.

    The minimum salary for an MLB player was $60,000.

    The Yankees are believed to have had the highest team payroll, about $18.5MM. The Mariners had the lowest, $6MM.

    Omar Minaya, working as a scout for the Rangers, had recently helped the team find amateur free agent Juan Gonzalez.

    Brian Cashman had just completed his freshman year of college.

    Times have changed, enough that I'd like I'd to see the protest upheld simply because it would be something that only happens every generation or so.

  7. Bilbo Baggins5/19/10, 2:33 PM

    NaOH -- how the hell did you get all of that stuff put together in such a short period of time? Nicely done...

  8. Coincidence, basically. I researched the last upheld protest last night. Today I did the research for a comment posted elsewhere (behind a pay wall!), then shortly after I came here. All hail ye olde copy and paste.