What started all of this, was a very simple rule, being very easily forgotten. That rule, is Rule 3.05 (b), which goes something like this:
If the pitcher is replaced, the substitute pitcher shall pitch to the batter then at bat, or any substitute batter, until such batter is put out or reaches first base, or until the offensive team is put out, unless the substitute pitcher sustains injury or illness which, in the umpire-in-chief’s judgment, incapacitates him for further play as a pitcher.
The umpires were wrong. Bo Porter was wrong. Mike Scioscia was right.
Normally, Major League Baseball doesn’t release news of suspensions or fines handed out to umpires. But after the Angel Hernandez debacle in Cleveland two nights ago, it appears as though they have made an exception. Whether it was to publicly acknowledge that, by not knowing the rules, an umpire will be punished, or simply to save face, Major League Baseball issued a statement saying that Fieldin Culbreth would receive a two-day suspension, and the rest of the crew would receive undisclosed fines.
Bo Porter said last night that he had learned of the “loophole” he used while coaching under Davey Johnson while in Washington. Johnson said that he didn’t learn that from him…
“He didn’t learn that from me,” Johnson told reporters in Washington on Friday.
via LA Times
See, told you. Porter then intimated in the same article linked above, that Scioscia was, in fact, right. Which is a stand up move that I applaud.
This isn’t necessarily about it being a “win for the Angels” (Although it is nice to have the ball bounce in the team’s direction). Umpires have been skating by for a long time on reputation alone. Every team has suffered because of it, and the fans have watched helplessly as umpires have gone about running the game they love like a vagabond biker gang. Good for you, Major League Baseball. Good for you.