History against Indians' protest being upheld


Patterson heating up against lefties

Bedard unworried about shaky start

April 30, 2007|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN REPORTER

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians yesterday filed a formal protest to Major League Baseball of the Orioles' 7-4 victory Saturday night.

In the game, the Orioles were awarded a run 3 1/2 innings after it actually scored. Crew chief Ed Montague ruled a run should have been counted in the top of the third inning when the Orioles had men on first and third and one out.

Ramon Hernandez hit a liner that Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore made a diving catch on. Nick Markakis, the runner at third, crossed the plate before the Indians had stepped on first to double up Miguel Tejada, who admittedly lost track of how many outs there were and was bound for third when Sizemore's throw was heading to the infield. Even though baseball rules suggest that it should have, plate umpire Marvin Hudson signaled the run did not count, and the score stayed at 2-1.

Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said he is not concerned the protest will threaten the Orioles' win, which halted a five-game losing streak.

"The main job of the umpires is to get it right," Perlozzo said. "That's the rule that that is a run. I don't see how you could not. ... I don't see how [the call] changes the game myself. [We] still added on the runs. They had the lead. I don't see where it would change the game."

The Indians aren't disputing the run should have counted, but they are protesting that it was added retroactively. The league will have five days to render a decision on the protest.

If the protest is upheld, the league will decide where and when the two teams will resume the game and at what point of the game it would restart. An MLB spokesman confirmed a couple of games are usually protested each year, though it is rare for them to be overturned.

It is believed that a protest hasn't been upheld since 1986. That's when National League president Charles Feeney sided with the Pittsburgh Pirates' protest of a 4-1 rain-shortened loss to the St. Louis Cardinals because the game was prematurely called by the umpires. The game was resumed from the point it was called two nights later.

The most celebrated protest to be upheld came after the infamous Pine Tar Game between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Yankees in 1983. Plate umpire Tim McClelland determined that George Brett, who had just hit a two-out homer in the ninth inning to give the Royals the lead, had exceeded the amount of pine tar on his bat that major league rules allow. McClelland nullified the home run and charged Brett with an out, which ended the game.

The Royals filed a protest with American League president Lee MacPhail, who overturned McClelland's decision and had the remainder of the game replayed.

In case you missed it

Lost amid all the controversy Saturday night was Corey Patterson's two-out, two-run double that turned a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 Orioles lead. It came off left-handed specialist Aaron Fultz, and it marked the second straight night Patterson got an RBI double against the reliever. Last season, the Orioles center fielder hit just .207 against left-handers, leading team officials to consider platooning Patterson.

"I don't care who is pitching, right-handed or left-handed," said Patterson, who started this season as a career .229 hitter against left-handers and is batting .200 against them this year in 25 at-bats. "If you make a big deal about it as players, you have to change up things, and that's where it becomes a problem. I've hit lefties before, and if you've done it before, it means that you can do it again."

Also in that game, Erik Bedard struck out 11 in six innings, but gave up four earned runs and his ERA dropped slightly to 6.09.

"I did the same thing last year," he said when asked about his inconsistency through six starts. "Who cares?"

Around the horn

After activating yesterday's starter, Jaret Wright, from the disabled list, the Orioles optioned Jim Johnson to Triple-A Norfolk. ... Perlozzo said reliever Scott Williamson, who is on the disabled list with tightness in his right triceps tendon, got through his bullpen session Saturday. He's scheduled to pitch one inning today for Single-A Frederick and have at least two more two-inning rehabilitation outings. ... Orioles outfielder-designated hitter Jay Gibbons broke an 0-for-24 slump with a ninth-inning single.


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