Crazy sequence of events in Cleveland yesterday afternoon. Instant replay cost the Tigers a run, though it was ad-hoc instant replay, nothing official. The upshot:
- Alex Avila missed third base while scoring the Tigers fifth run in he fifth inning, but the Indians apparently didn’t notice immediately.
- During a pitching change right after the run scored, someone in the Indians’ clubhouse watched it on replay. They told the Indians’ dugout about it, which soon became animated, with players telling Manny Acta that he needed to appeal the play. Tony Sipp continued warming up.
- Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont heard the ruckus and knew what was happening. Cognizant that, per the rules, an appeal has to be made before the next pitch or play, told Quintin Berry — who was on second base — to take off, trying to get him picked off. That would have ended the inning, but it would have preserved the run.
- Berry took off, trying to get thrown out, but play had not officially resumed yet. Start over.
- Berry took off again, but Sipp threw to third — not to get Berry — but to put out Avila, who had missed the base, as is done in such appeals. The ump called Avila out. Run off the board, inning over.
Very heads up play by the Indinas. And really, quite the attempted heads up play by Lamont and Berry too.
Still: the whole appeal process is kind of antiquated and, frankly, whack. The need to actually throw over to the base after the guy who missed it left the field of play. The fact that the umps stay silent, even if they know the base had been missed, and await an appeal. The fact that a play that was clearly messed up cannot be reviewed if a throw is made. And above all else, the fact that we can have no official replay of such plays, but that the teams can utilize replay, more or less, from the clubhouse. If we had an ump in the booth and some common sense, that whole play is straightened out in five seconds, not all of that time it took.
You know what to do, people: write letters — actual letters in the mail — to the Commish.