During last night’s Tigers 4-0 loss to the Angels, manager Brad Ausmus was ejected in the third inning by every Tigers fan favorite umpire Jim Joyce. The reason for Ausmus’ second career ejection as a manager was for continuing to argue a call that was apparently supported by instant replay and given a final rule upon.
The play in question was Matt Shoemaker’s pick-off of Eugenio Suarez at first base which cleared the bases for the second out of the inning.
However, Ausmus wasn’t arguing whether or not Suarez was safe, it was certainly close and you could make an argument either way based on the replay we saw above (Suarez was initially called safe on the play). What the Tigers’ manager was arguing was the length of time Angels manager Mike Scioscia took to initiate the replay and whether or not the instant replay rules were broken because the next play technically started. I’m assuming the chart Ausmus has in the video below is supporting his point.
Now obviously pick-offs are reviewable under the instant replay rules. However again Ausmus’ initial argument was the next play had already started meaning the pick-off could no longer be reviewed, which according to the rules is true.
Section D, Rule 1 of the replay review rules:
“The next ‘play’ shall commence when the pitcher is on the rubber preparing to start his delivery and the batter has entered the batter’s box (unless the defensive team initiates an appeal play in which case any call made during the play prior to the appeal still may be subject to Replay Review).”
Joyce’s argument though was the crew chief (which Joyce is this series) could initiate the review which is also true according to MLB rules.
Section D, Rule 5:
“The Crew Chief shall have the final authority to determine whether a Manager’s Challenge is timely. The judgment of the Crew Chief regarding the timeliness of a Manager’s Challenge shall be final and binding on both Clubs, and shall not be reviewable by Replay Review or otherwise.”
That’s what Joyce was telling Ausmus during spat:
“I was watching the batters and the pitcher, and I understand what Brad was thinking,” Joyce said. “But to tell me I can’t do it is not what the rule is. So I just informed him that it’s at my discretion. It’s at the crew chief’s discretion.
“I just knew it was really, really a close play. And if he’s going to come out and ask me to review it, I’m going to review it. The whole entire deal is to get it right. So I kept informing him that, at my discretion, that I can review it. I tried to impress that upon, and we got to where we were.”
Ausmus’ argument though after that was Joyce would have never of reviewed it if Scioscia didn’t come out of the dugout meaning it wasn’t actually Joyce initiating the replay it was the Angels’ manager.
“The umpires have discretion to initiate a review on their own, but they clearly didn’t initiate the review,” Ausmus said. “Mike Scioscia coming out of the dugout initiated the review. The rule, it’s pretty black and white. If the guy’s in the box and the pitcher’s on the rubber, it’s no longer challengeable.”
Not to sound like a homer (and not that it really mattered anyways) but Ausmus has a point and it’s a rule that MLB might want to take a second look at (no pun) going forward.