Credit Howard Eskin with the scoop yesterday on the WIP Midday Show. Today, Major League Baseball announced the Phillies' protest of Sunday's game has been denied.
I'll refer you to what I wrote on Monday:
Jack McKeon is right, the correct call was made. But that’s not the issue. The issue is whether the play could be reviewed at all. Unfortunately for the Phillies, there were no rules for West to misapply. MLB doesn’t have replay rules in the rule book, just guidelines (detailed here) that say replay should only be used to determine whether a ball went over the line, was fair or foul, or interfered with by a fan (under the guise that it would be a home run). Joe West said Charlie wanted it reviewed to see if it was a home run and McKeon wanted it reviewed for fan interference: [Marlins.com]
"I had two managers on the field," West said. "One of them was arguing that they wanted an out, and the other was arguing that he wanted a home run. Because they wanted me to go look because they wanted a home run, I got to judge whether it went over the fence or not.
[Home-plate umpire Chad Fairchild] already thought it was spectator interference. So now we go look at the replay, and we have to take all the evidence that we get from the replay and that's why we came up with the rule, which is the correct ruling."
Charlie says he never asked for the home run review. Rather, it was McKeon who wanted the review for fan interference… even though that’s not reviewable (confused yet?). But none of that will matter- West can review on his own. And since there is nothing in the rules about home run reviews, the league can hide behind its fuzzy guideline, which apparently says that umpires can make other, non-home run related judgements while reviewing for a home run. Therefore, West can say he reviewed the play as a home run (even though that may not have been his intention), saw the interference, and made a judgement call that Pence was out. End of story. Crisis averted. Phillies screwed.
And that's just what happened. Perhaps they'll look into expanding replay… or at least putting it in the rule book.