If there is any justice, Major League Baseball will uphold a protest for the second time in a week after going 28 years without any such do-overs.
This one cannot be blamed on a mechanical malfunction, the faulty spooling of a tarp. No, this one falls under human error, requiring baseball to repudiate an umpire’s judgment.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons waited too long to request a replay of a pickoff at first base Saturday against the Rays. Crew chief Bob Davidson should not have allowed the challenge, which went in the Jays’ favor.
The rulebook states, “A manager must exercise his challenge . . . before the commencement of the next play or pitch,” and adds, "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.”
The video leaves little doubt that the Jays’ Mark Buerhle was on the rubber and the Rays’ Yunel Escobar was in the batter’s box before Gibbons asked for a review.
Joe Torre, baseball’s executive VP of baseball operations, cannot allow a precedent that may encourage other managers to test the rule’s boundaries.
Davidson made a mistake. The Rays shouldn’t pay.