February 7, 2023

The Blue Jays beat the Twins 3-2 in 10 runs on Sunday. The play that ended up being the game-winning RBI team for Cavan Biggio—who scored the newly acquired Blue Jay Whit Merrifield—was the source of much controversy, leading to plenty of choice words from the Twins’ bunker, specifically manager Rocco Baldelli.

First, play by play does not do justice to play. It now reads simply, “Biggio sacrifice fly to the left, hit the Merrifield scores.” It was much more than that.

In fact, the referee on the court was initially a final double game. There was one with Merryfield in third place. Biggio flew out and left Murrayfield, after marking, on the home board in a close play. He was close enough to get a review, and the league canceled the call, ruling that twin hunter Gary Sanchez illegally interfered with Murrayfield’s scoring chances.

Here’s the best view:

The top view clearly shows Sanchez applying the mark to Murrayfield before touching the main board. We must all agree on that.

The call was canceled on the grounds of a ban on plates rule. Keep in mind that the referees at Target Field were only following the ruling from the Replay Center at the league’s New York office. This is how it works.

Here’s the relevant part of the rule:

A catcher is not permitted to block a runner’s path to the board unless he is in possession of the ball, although blocking a runner’s path in a legitimate attempt to take a throw is not considered an infringement. The runner can be safely judged if the referee determines that the catcher has violated this rule. But according to the base’s September 2014 memo, the runner may still be called up if he’s visibly hit by the throw. This rule is not subject to play by force.

When receiving a throw, Hunters often provide a sliding lane in the runner’s home board to reduce the likelihood of them being called up for rule violations.

Major League Baseball provided an explanation for this specific call on Sunday after the game:

The catcher’s movements in the foul area were not a reaction to the throw trajectory and he did not have to be in this position to receive the ball.

The catcher’s actions while not in possession of the ball hindered and hindered the runner.

Baldele immediately defied the referees on the field and, frankly, got his money’s worth when he was sent off. not finished. After the match, he made some stinging words about the call (Via Bali Sports North).

“This play has not been called since the beginning of the reboot more than twice. In every baseball, thousands and thousands of games and plays in the house where the catcher clogs the board — over and over again — this play is almost never called,” Baldeli said. “For someone, in this situation, to step in, and ultimately make a decision that was hindering play, that’s not embarrassing for our game, for all the players on both sides of the field who are doing well in the game, it’s totally unacceptable.

“I can’t even believe I’m sitting here talking to you guys about this right now. It’s one of the worst moments I think we’ve seen as a referee in any game I’ve been a part of in baseball. I think it’s pathetic, what just happened. I can move on. Go ahead with this. The referees on the field had nothing to do with it. They played on the field, and that was the right call, which in every baseball game, including the referees, you know is the right call and someone in New York decided that was worth flipping in. field”.

The twin loss moved to 57-51 on the season, which is still good enough for a top spot at AL Central. The Guardians and White Sox both won on Sunday, though, which means the Twins’ lead is back to one game over the Guardians with the White Sox returning for just two games.

The Blue Jays’ victory moved them to 60-48, which saw them hold the number one spot in the AL wild card. They’ve also moved into singles behind the Yankees in AL East, and are now 9 1/2 games behind.

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