I thought this would be important to talk about today: The Yankees played last night’s game under protest and in the slim chance that Major League Baseball ruled in favor of them, they won’t, the Bombers would actually get another chance at holding their lead.
Here is how it started: In the bottom of the 5th inning after Robinson Cano doubled to drive in two runs that gave the Yankees a 5-0 lead the Red Sox’s pitching coach John Farrell went out to the mound to talk to Josh Beckett. After a brief chat he signaled to the bullpen for Manny Delcarmen. He then told the umpires that Beckett was leaving with an injury. So instead of Delcarmen getting the traditional eight pitches to warm up with he had an unlimited amount.
Girardi’s Argument: Manager Joe Girardi then protested the game because he said that the Red Sox signaled for a reliever before they announced that Beckett was injured. Pitching coach John Farrell also went out to the mound without any obvious notice that Beckett was injured, there was no signal or obvious sign he was injured.
Why MLB won’t rule in favor of the Yankees: Because even though Girardi is technically right, the Sox did call for a pitcher before there was any word that Beckett was actually hurt, that is just a technicality. Beckett, who had actually been scratched from his previous start, was hurt. So what the Red Sox did was only technically wrong because the process was out of order. MLB will say that the spirit of the rule was upheld.
Besides, the MLB never really upholds game protests: The last time the MLB actually reversed a rule on the field like this was in a Pirates-Cardinals game in 1986 (H/T to Big League Stew). The reason they upheld the protest in that case because the Pittsburgh Pirates were correct in complaining that the umpires did indeed call off a game because of rain too soon. In the game there were rain delays of 17 and 22 minutes. The rules state that there has to be delays of at least 75 and 45 minutes before a game can be called. The umpires didn’t abide by the rules and MLB overruled them. It’s not that clear cut in this instance.