Credit Hernan Perez for catching Salvador Perez off base

Hernan Perez is a long way removed from the days when he was an option on the Tigers’ shortstop carousel. He still arguably won the Tigers a game on Saturday. He did it from the bench.

As Brad Ausmus took questions about the decision to appeal the Royals’ go-ahead play on an errant attempt at second base, Ausmus wasn’t taking credit.

“I have to give credit where credit’s due. Hernan Perez was the guy who initially noticed it, sitting on the bench and watching the game,” Ausmus said. “He noticed that Perez never went back after the line drive. So that’s how it all started.”

The play in question began when Omar Infante lined out to second baseman Ian Kinsler with runners at second and third and one out in a 1-1 game. Kinsler, seeing Eric Hosmer scrambling to get back to second, immediately looked for a chance to double him off and end the threat.

Shortstop Eugenio Suarez, making his first start in a week, was late getting to the bag. Suarez dashed over as the throw went behind him and into short left field. Salvador Perez, who was headed back to third, took off for home.

Perez scored easily, but he never touched third base before doing so.

“I was at the end of the dugout, so I could see the third baseman and second base,” Hernan Perez said. “I was looking at the play at second and when I saw that Suarez missed the ball, I saw Perez, he didn’t go back to the base. When that happened, I ran to [first-base coach] Omar Vizquel and told him to appeal at third base.”

While the bench yelled as Scherzer to throw to third base, Vizquel told Ausmus, who appealed to third-base umpire Larry Vanover, who told Ausmus the play couldn’t be challenged. That’s where Ausmus had to do some convincing.

“I just spoke with [third-base umpire and crew chief] Larry Vanover and said, ‘We’re appealing it. Perez never went back and touched the bag.’ And there was some discussion as to whether it’s a challengeable play, because on a fly-ball tag-up in the outfield, it’s not challengeable. But this wasn’t a case where you’re challenging whether a guy left early or not. This is basically a missed base, and missed bases are challengeable. So that was the basis for the challenge.”

Vanover described the case as Ausmus saying there’s no difference. Ausmus, however, said he was arguing that there is a difference.

“It is kind of a gray area that probably, I would imagine, would have to be addressed at this point,” Ausmus said. “It’s not a tag-up play. You’re not questioning whether a guy left early. He never went and retagged the bases, which is essentially missing a base. And that is challengeable.”

The first umpire conference, Vanover said, involved whether it’s reviewable.

“Let’s go over what’s reviewable or not reviewable, so we talked about that. And the crew was like 75 percent that you cannot review that, but we weren’t 1000 percent [sure]. And in that situation I didn’t want to not go to the headset and ask to review it when I could have. I wanted to make darn sure I didn’t mess that up.”

That’s when he went to the headset.

“I said, ‘I need to know whether tagging up on a line drive is reviewable or not reviewable,’ and they came back with the answer that it’s not a reviewable play.”

At that point, the stadium is under the impression that it’s being reviewed. And thus, the play is being replayed on the scoreboard behind Vanover and as his crew. And the groans from most of the Kauffman Stadium crowd is hard to ignore as fans see that Perez did not touch third base after the lineout.

“I didn’t envy the umpires once they showed the replay on the board,” Ausmus said, “because he clearly didn’t go back and touch the base. I don’t envy the umpires’ position there, because if it’s not challengeable, 45,000 people know what the right call is, including all the umpires and both teams.

“It’s not an enviable position to be in, but ultimately, the goal is to get the call right. And they got the call right.”

But if replay officials couldn’t review the play, how did the crew get the call?

“We started talking about what happened, we walked through the play,” Vanover told a pool reporter. “We took a consensus of the information, and out of that crew consultation, we came up with the answer that he didn’t tag up, he didn’t tag the base.”

Asked if the replay on the scoreboard was a factor, Vanover said it was not. By rule, they’re not allowed to take it into consideration.

Ausmus didn’t know that the play wasn’t reviewed until reporters told him afterward. Neither, for that matter, did Max Scherzer, who was also thanking his lucky stars that Hernan Perez noticed it.

“Really, that goes to Hernan,” Scherzer said. “That just shows you anybody on the bench can be watching a play and can make a difference in a game. We had a guy on our bench make an unbelievable difference in a game today. …

“That’s a one-in-a-million play. It’s just unbelievable we had somebody on our bench be astute and be able to see that. I think everybody on our bench tomorrow will be watching every single play.”

25 Comments

tomorrow – lets get the ROYAL FLUSH

Big game tomorrow in Kansas City . Gotta get the win and come home with the sweep . Good catch by Perez that is what can make a differance in the score.

A little late on the game; had some work to do for my son. Watched the replay, and nearly croaked when Joe came in. I don’t know why I thought it would be any different.
1. Getting the lead put some pressure on the KC’s. They tend to buckle under duress.
2. The Collins pinch hit; he has a nice compact stroke.
3. Max able to pitch out of his own messes. Gave us the opportunity to stay in the game.
Kudos to Tori and Julio. The Perez observation on the funky play, might very well be the most important contribution of the year. And it was made by a guy on the bench.
If the heavy slider is working tomorrow, we can start nailing the coffin shut. Even if we fail, kC will have to win two more than we do in seven. Not an easy task.

watched the condensed version of the game just now ( i watched/listened yesterday – live). Kinsler has to be better defensively….that bottom 6th inning throw to Suarez was minor league. that missed catch bottom 5th was pretty much unacceptable too. ALso, has anyone commented on max hitting Infante? was that intentional?

No. It was a breaking ball that slipped.
.
— Bob

So many times the players head into the clubhouse during the game, so a big heads-up to Hernan for his observation. That was just huge.
.
I have to disagree with evan re Kinsler. IMO, he’s the best defensive 2nd baseman in MLB.

we don’t disagree he’s a great defensive 2B – but do you think those 2 plays yesterday were mistakes? ball under glove and throwing error:/ c’mon step it up ian.

Yup, him and that little guy that plays for Boston.

Kinsler also made an excellent run saving play that few 2ndbaseman would have. On this throw to Suarez, I didn’t see one replay that demonstrated if it was the throw by Kinsler or the attempted catch by Suarez that messed up the play. Perhaps both. Can’t go by what the announcers said as they were incompetent and spent too much time gabbing about extraneous things.
On the replay request, Ausmus knew exactly what rule he wanted to use and the play should have been reviewable.

jim price is not incompetent – and he said bad throw there was no play at 2nd really. no chance to get him.

my guess is rich was referring to the tv announcers ..??..
the tv broadcast was not on FSN like it normally is.

if there’s still an ongoing debate as to whether the play was reviewable (ie BA’s assessment) then boy, new york really left those umps hung out to dry.

The timing was not reviewable
“V .Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following calls will not be subject to review:.
The Umpire’s judgment on whether a base runner left early when tagging up.”

But Sal Perez was going back to 3b before breaking to home and missed the base and that is, like Ausmus said

i understand that.

This is what I was referring to:
———-
… “Ausmus described the basis of his argument.
“This wasn’t a case where you’re challenging whether a guy left early or not. This is basically a missed base, and missed bases are challengeable.”” …
—Jason Alexander, MLB . com
———-
and IF(!) there’s merit to BA’s line of argument, then NY could have resolved this issue more neatly for the umps.

Ausmus´ argument is very lawyer like and is kind of reasonable.It is the kind of hair splitting that put food on the tables of lawyers
But MLB upheld a protest this year for the first time since the pine tar incident, so KC has no chance. My main argument would be: it is Kansas fault,they showed the image on the scoring board causing the mistake.
MLB rules are flexible and must be flexible. During a game rules are violated every single AB.

kudos to the kids…Collins, McCann, Perez. frankly, surprised Cabrera didn’t see the baserunning gaffe at 3rd. he usually has a knack for noticing those type of anomalies.

Kinsler 2B
Hunter RF
Cabrera DH
V. Martinez 1B( per Keating)
J. Martinez LF
Castellanos 3B
Holaday C
Romine SS
Davis CF
Porcello P

In the end, it boiled down to how it was done before replay. The umpires huddled and reversed the call. “Did anyone see anything different? Well yes, but it was on the jumbotron. If given the opportunity, I don’t see how any umpire in good moral conscience could refuse to reverse a call they knew was blatantly wrong.
I will say that MLB made clear that there would be gray areas and some re-tooling of the replay system. Overall, it’s gone better than I would have expected.

I like Tom Verducci very much as an SI writer and MLB Network…….uh……person (what are those guy called?). He shouldn’t be doing live ballgames if yesterday was any indication. If Fox is going to steal an important game, they could at least send out a top notch broadcast team. I would have been happy with either team’s regular announcers.

Olney:
Talked to some rival executives the last couple of weeks who say they think there’s no chance the Tigers let Victor Martinez sign elsewhere.

boy that would be great news

he’ll be a tiger in a walker then!

i’d resign him for 2 years 15M….but he’ll want 3 years 15M……which for a 1 tool player…..seems like a bad move. Not that bad of a move, but – it is what it is. I wouldn’t be THAT upset. They’d BETTER NOT resign Torii though.

probably old news to you professional fans….but i’ve been enjoying the GAME NOTES lately and you can access them here a few hours before (or anytime during/after) the game: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/presspass/gamenotes.jsp?c_id=det

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