Umpires made mistake removing Broxton

BY Ken Rosenthal • July 21, 2010

Dodgers hitting coach Don Mattingly made a mistake Tuesday night. But the umpires made a mistake, too.

Mattingly, acting as manager after the ejections of Joe Torre and bench coach Bob Schaefer, inadvertently made a second trip to the mound in the ninth inning with one out, the bases loaded and the Dodgers leading by one run.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy alerted plate umpire Adrian Johnson to the violation, and Johnson ordered the automatic removal of closer Jonathan Broxton according to Rule 8.06 of the official baseball rules.

Broxton, however, should not have been forced out of the game, according to major-league officials. Instead, Broxton should have remained in the game for the rest of the at-bat, then been automatically removed for another reliever.

The difference proved critical: Left-hander George Sherrill replaced Broxton and allowed a two-run double to Andres Torres to give the Giants the lead in a game they won, 7-5.

The rulebook, though, offers two conflicting directives:

Rule 8.06(b) states: “A second trip to the same pitcher in the same inning will cause this pitcher’s automatic removal from the game.”

However, Rule 8.06 Comment says: “In a case where a manager has made his first trip to the mound and then returns the second time to the mound in the same inning with the same pitcher in the game and the same batter at bat, after being warned by the umpire that he cannot return to the mound, the manager shall be removed from the game and the pitcher required to pitch to the batter until he is retired or gets on base. After the batter is retired, or becomes a baserunner, then this pitcher must be removed from the game.”

Johnson should have followed the latter directive, allowing Broxton to face Torres, according to MLB officials. An earlier version of this story cited those officials saying that Mattingly should have been ejected. But the officials later relayed that no ejection was warranted; there was not enough time to warn Mattingly.

The inning will not be replayed and the umpire will not be disciplined, but the matter will be reviewed, the official said.



share story