If you've seen the video of the controversial triple play from the Padres-Dodgers game on Sunday, you'll see umpire Dale Scott initially raise his hands indicating a foul ball on Jesus Guzman's bunt attempt. As the ball then rolled fair, Scott reversed his call and Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis proceeded to start a triple play, snuffing a potential rally in the ninth inning of a tie game.
Dave Cameron of FanGraphs breaks down the play and calls for the game to be replayed from the point of Guzman's at-bat, his argument being that Padres' couldn't have been expected to run once Scott raised his arms, and also pointing out that one game in the expanded playoff system could be the deciding game on one team making the playoffs and another missing them.
At issue: Judgment calls cannot be protested (and thus overturned). Was this just a bad judgment by Scott -- reversing his call in the middle of a play -- or do the Padres have a right to protest based on a rules interpretation (that the play should have been ruled dead once Scott raised his arms)? To confuse matters, it was a fair ball. As reader Dave Alden wrote on FanGraphs, "Letting it stand is unfair to the Padres. Pretending it never happened would be unfair to the Dodgers. There is no perfect solution."
There is about zero chance that if the Padres do end up protesting that the call would be reversed and the game replayed from that point on (as what happened with the famous George Brett pine-tar home run game). But Dave raises an interesting point, and if the Dodgers sneak into the playoffs by a game, maybe they can give a playoff share to Mr. Scott.
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