Did Scioscia challenge too late? (updated)

Angels manager Mike Scioscia’s challenge of a pickoff play retired a lot more than Eugenio Suarez at first base. The reaction ended up retiring Tigers manager Brad Ausmus from Saturday’s game. It did not retire the debate over whether the challenge should’ve been allowed.

“It’s not a perfect thing,” crew chief Jim Joyce said postgame of the rules on challenge timeliness. “The whole idea is to get it right, and that play was such that I felt that play needed to be reviewed.”

While Scioscia won his argument that Albert Pujols tagged Suarez before his hand touched first base with one out in the third inning, quieting a Tigers rally, Ausmus lost his argument that Scioscia took too long to challenge the call.

Pickoff plays are reviewable, but like all plays, they must be reviewed before the start of the next play or pitch, according to MLB’s official rules. The argument involved whether pitcher Matt Shoemaker’s return to the pitcher constituted the start of the next play.

The rule says it did. In another part, though, it says the crew chief has the final word. Essentially, the argument between Ausmus and Joyce comes down to whether the crew chief thus has discretion to make the determination himself.

According to Section D, Rule 1 of the replay review regulations:

“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).”

Ausmus was out of the dugout to make his case, presumably for that, as soon as Scioscia left his to talk with first-base umpire Jim Joyce. Once umpires agreed to review, Ausmus began to argue that they can’t.

“He said that he could review it if he wanted,” Ausmus said.

The rules do say that the crew chief (Joyce, in this case) has the final say on whether a challenge is timely, and that his decision on that is not reviewable.

“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 was the rule Joyce was apparently citing when explaining the situation after the game.

“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 seemed to interpret that as Joyce deciding to initiate a review.

“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 challengable.”

Asked whether it was a manager’s challenge or crew chief review, Ausmus said, “Good question.”

Joyce confirmed that it a manager’s challenge, though he cited his discretion to review it.

After a lengthy review, Joyce’s safe call was overturned, and Suarez was called out. Ausmus immediately ran out of the dugout with what looked like a copy of the rules in hand.

In so doing, of course, Ausmus was violating one of those same rules:

“Once Replay Review is initiated, no uniformed personnel from either Club shall be permitted to further argue the contested calls or the decision of the Replay Official. Onfield personnel who violate this provision shall be ejected.”

Ausmus wasn’t sure his argument should have fallen under that, either.

“I wasn’t technically arguing the challenge,” Ausmus said of his second ejection of the season. “I was arguing the fact that the rule says they couldn’t challenge in the first place. I was ejected immediately, although I don’t know that I should have been ejected immediately. If I was arguing the call, that’s a different story.

“But the rule’s clear. I’m not really sure how they could have looked at this a second time.”


Jim Joyce and controversial calls at first base. What else is new?

That pretty much wraps it up for this game. No hitting. Down 3-0. Maybe it would help if I went to bed. Do you think they would surprise me in the morning with a comeback win?

Doubt it. What a shame,….. Lots of high priced dudes doing nothing.

And the disease hits Soria too. Bums.

Ok , what is the point about keeping the OF intact?. Hunter is a DH. His career is coming to an end .I take Dirks glove over his

Coke saved Soria an earned run.

Not much in sports more mysterious than why a team hits or not. Two good starts from Verlander and Smyly.
Tigers have a terrible time in this ballpark. Maybe they can gain an unlikely split tomorrow.

With the information I have at this time, it doesn’t seem that Ausmus should have been ejected for questioning a rules interpretation. He did attempt to bring it up before the review was undertaken. Seems to me the game could have been played under protest, even though it’s a useless endeavor.
We’ll see what Brad has to say postgame soon.

Under the circumstances Brad was correct . However by then the umps were tired of it. Good night Brad,

Ya weird with Ausmus.
I’m sorry if you think I’m a arks master when it comes to Verlander and maybe he’ll work it out but I’ve been hoping that for a year and a half. Here’s the thing if I’m not incorrect he’s a pitcher with a high 4 era who is currently the second highest paid pitcher in baseball. Right? He is getting paid like an ace and gues what aces duel, and he didn’t. If the other guy is throwing up zeros so do you.

Kershaw is an ace…Hernandez is an ace. . Sorry he although wasn’t bad by any stretch he wasn’t an ace either. I put this squarely on the hitters.

1. Ajax had another multiple hit game.
2. Ajax had another multiple hit game.
3. Did I mention that Ajax had another multiple hit game.
Our 3-8 hitters were totally ofer. if you get nothing from 3-6, you ain’t going to win a lot of games. Tori is done defensively; his hitting is still a plus, but he’s a major liability in the field. Ian is flat out MIA, Miggy is oh, well, and VMart hasn’t been right since he returned. Julio’s magical ride is coming to a close. It makes me barf, that this team makes golden arms out of sub .550 pitchers with ERA’s north of Maine. It’s been done at least 10 times this year, and each time their pitch count averages 10 an inning. Re the Ausmus ejection, nice to see a little fire every once in a while. He was right of course, and Jim did another Galaraga job on him. JV was no ace, but pitched well enough to win. GK is right; this one is on that feared Tiger batting order. Shut up Rod. Your’e about as obnoxious as Hawk. It will be interesting to see if Ricky P.’s sinker is doing some major diving tomorrow afternoon. If not, you can “put in on the Boooard” for the Halos.

I think Jim Joyce needs to retire immediately. And how about a protest that would’ve been interesting. I just expect Joyce to screw up nowadays

Tell him to take Joe West with him when he retires .

“1. Jose Iglesias, SS, Tigers — Scouts hearing the Tigers are really impressed with rookie shortstop Eugenio Suarez and may trade Iglesias, who has missed this season with stress fractures in both shins.”

Well, everyone already know my feelings about Jim Joyce, I could call him every name in the book. He’s got a superiority complex, in my opinion
Brad can be very obstinate. When Keating asked Brad about any changes for today’s game, you could tell he didn’t like it. Going ahead, Brad should know that Detroit fans do tend to get a little obsessed with the lineups (for good reason).
Torii needs to have at least 2 days off a week. He can still smash them, but he looks tired out there and he probably is. He also plays better when he’s fresh. Maybe Brad wanted Torii to be able to play against his old mates, but please give him a rest today..

It’s rather disturbing to see so many people say that this call didn’t matter in the end. Every play, every pitch, has a bearing on the outcome of a baseball game. Even more so when it’s early in the contest. One event has a bearing on the next, just like in life. Different situations, different pitches thrown, different outcomes.
You need go no further back than earlier this week in Arizona.

Absolutely true, Rich.

I triple that you never know what will happen.

Last night reminded me of lower leagues when a manager has to tote the rulebook out to the umpire. Brad had a beautifully laminated rule sheet, I must say. Sure beats my old crumpled mimeographed paper.

Rich you’ve always alluded you had something to do with some level of professional ball but if you ever said what it was I missed it…so do tell!

Do you figure Rajai gets the call over Torii today?
Remember when they got RD it was all about how he hit LHP?
Remember they were excited about what his speed would do to transform the team?
Do you remember Rajai Davis?
Rajai has 3 stolen bases in July. 5 attempts. Ricky would have 5 attempts in 1 game.
What is the point of carrying Rajai if he is mis-used and under utilized?
Don’t be surprised to see this .300 hitter traded in the next few days.

I expect but Davis and Holaday today

He’s gotta play Doc today. Doc goes yard today. We need Kinsler to start swinging the bat better. He’s at that stage that if he hits the ball hard it is 20 feet foul. This guy is so important to this team-he needs to “figure it out”.
Be nice to not see AA jack-knife away from called strike three today.
I don’t care what everyone thinks about his handling of pitchers. He is one of the most over-rated players in the game.
Is Victor dealing with a physical issue still?
Will our guys put their wiffle bats down and start getting some wood today to support RP?

Really have to agree you get Doc into the lineup . Tired of watching AA strikeout . Thought Tigers hired a high priced hitting coach.

Lineup at LAA: Jackson 8, Kinsler 4, Cabrera DH, V. Martinez 3, J. Martinez 9, Castellanos 5, Suarez 6, Holaday 2, Davis 7. Porcello starts.

The staff has a better ERA and SO/W with Holaday

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