Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Rules Review - Replay of a Double-Missed Tag & Touch

Replay Review showed both catcher & runner missing their respective tag & touch in Colorado Wednesday afternoon, the play having gone to video review as the result of a Rockies challenge after HP Umpire Paul Emmel originally ruled Colorado's baserunner out on the play at the plate.

With one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 2nd inning of the Rays-Rockies game, Rockies batter Charlie Blackmon hit a fly ball to Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr., who caught the fly ball and threw to catcher Curt Casali as Rockies baserunner R3 Mark Reynolds tagged and slid toward home plate. Initially ruled an out by HP Umpire Paul Emmel, Rockies Manager Walt Weiss held play while Bench Coach Tom Runnells spoke on the Replay phone with Colorado's video coordinator Brian Jones.

Replays indicate both players missed the mark.
Watching his monitors in the video room, Jones considered which of two play elements the Rockies should challenge: that catcher Casali illegally blocked home plate in violation of the anti-collision rule (a case can be made for either ruling), or that F2 Casali flat-out missed his tag of the runner (replays conclusively show he missed the tag), though going this "simple" tag/no tag route would also expose that R3 Souza Jr. also missed his touch of home plate.

Whether because of rules knowledge or for some other reason, Jones/Runnells/Weiss elected not to challenge that Casali illegally blocked home plate, but that F2 missed his tag on R3 Souza Jr.

This exact scenario (the double-missed tag/touch) is addressed in the MLB Replay Review Regulations. Replay Reg V.F.3., regarding base running, gives the following example:
A runner attempts to score on a play at the plate. The catcher misses the tag on the runner, and the runner fails to touch home plate, but the umpire calls a tag and the runner "out." The offensive manager challenges the call, and the Replay Official determines that the catcher missed the tag. The Replay Official shall disregard the failure of the runner to touch home plate, declare the runner "safe" and score the run.
Colorado fortuitously challenged the tag play.
If you were thinking about a Rays appeal, you, like Tampa Bay's Kevin Cash, would be too late: "When reviewing a play at home plate, if the Replay Official determines both that the runner did not touch home plate and that the fielder did not tag the runner (or, in the case of a force play, did not touch home plate), the Replay Official shall rule the runner "safe" at home plate unless the defensive Manager appeals the failure of the runner to touch home plate prior to the Crew Chief making contact with the Replay Official" (V.F.3).

Thus, the NY Replay Official (someone from either Jerry Meals or John Hirschbeck/Bill Welke's crew), having observed both player's failures to tag and touch their respective targets, correctly overturned the on-field ruling and declared the runner safe at home plate.
Alternate Link: Replay Review policy when both players miss their plate touches is to score the run (TB)


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