MLB Illegal Review?

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Pat Burrell hit a ground-rule double. The umpires called for instant replay to see if a fan interfered. However, it appears that this was an improper use of replay.

MLB created the replay for "boundary calls." Bud Selig introduced the rule in 2008:

"Major League Baseball will institute the use of instant replay to determine
disputed home run calls -- fair or foul, in or out of the ballpark, and fan

The word "and" makes it unclear. Is it fan-interfered home runs, or home runs and interference in general.

The official MLB Rule is:

"Instant replay will apply only to home run calls -- whether they are fair or
foul, whether they have left the playing field, or whether they have been
subject to fan interference. The decision to use instant replay will be made by
the umpire crew chief, who also will make the determination as to whether or not
a call should be reversed. "

The keyword is only, which describes home runs. Therefore, it has to be a controversial home run call with fan interference to be reviewed, not a Steve Bartman type of fan interference.

The Phillies broadcasters also read the rule on the air, noting that there was no reason for the replay. The ball clearly bounced in the outfield before it went over the fence, so it couldn't have been thought to be a home run.

Luckily, the play didn't effect the game, and the call stood. But it was indeed a waste of time and something the umpires need to get right.


Shay Roddy said...

This whole replay thing is getting stupider by the second.

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