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Going for the Sweep (vs. NATIONALS, 8/09)

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1 hour ago, allquixotic said:

The weather clause only "trumps" the equipment malfunction clause in the sense that, IF the equipment didn't malfunction (or was unintentionally used improperly), THEN the equipment malfunction clause isn't grounds for suspending the game anyway. If the equipment malfunction (or unintentional misuse thereof) IS the proximate cause (the most direct event) of the game being unable to be completed today, then the rule kicks in and the game is suspended. 

Think about it this way: "But for" the grounds crew's failure to use the tarp properly, the game would have resumed less than an hour after the rain started, because there wasn't enough rain to call the game under "normal" circumstances, because a reasonably deployed tarp would have kept the infield playable after a small amount of work on it after the rain. There is no amount of rain that can fall in 15 minutes that would prevent a reasonably competent 21st century grounds crew from successfully using a tarp or other device (e.g. closing a roof) to prevent the field from getting so wet that the game can't be resumed the same day.

The only way the Orioles should've been entitled to a 5-game win today is if the rain was so persistent, or the volume of it so high, that despite correct procedures being taken, the amount of time required to wait out the rain and then make the field playable would've been unreasonably long in the judgment of the umpires. But that didn't happen, so one of two things should have happened today: either (1) the grounds crew correctly deployed the tarp, and we resumed the game about an hour later, or (2) the grounds crew did not correctly deploy the tarp, and we resume the game another date. 

Seems perfectly straightforward to me.

This is how law in the US works, by, the way. If someone punches you in the face, you can't then fall on the ground and decide to intentionally roll around in a bed of nails, then sue for both the punch and the injuries from the nails. The guy who punched you is responsible for the punch, but not for you deciding to roll around in the bed of nails. 

Here is the precedential case law: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palsgraf_v._Long_Island_Railroad_Co.

All right, without ceding your point, Which I reserve the right to do at some point in the future, let me argue another point.
My brother says that you cannot sue a doctor for being wrong, you can only sue a doctor for being incompetent.

By the same token, we cannot file a protest because the tarp malfunctioned.

 We should, however, be able to file a quite valid protest on the grounds that ground crew incompetence caused the tarp to malfunction, Resulting in an unplayable field, and should therefore result in a forfeit by the home team?

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To me, saying that the tarpaulin malfunctioned is to say it is ripped, has a hole in it, or somehow failed to prevent water from going through it.  The home team hiring the Keystone Kops as its grounds crew is hardly a malfunction of the tarpaulin.  The rule includes "unintentional operator error."  That part of the rule should be eliminated, IMO.  This was ridiculous, and the home team should be held accountable.  If the home team is behind - game over.  If the home team is ahead - suspended game.  Simple and fair.

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24 minutes ago, Number5 said:

To me, saying that the tarpaulin malfunctioned is to say it is ripped, has a hole in it, or somehow failed to prevent water from going through it.  The home team hiring the Keystone Kops as its grounds crew is hardly a malfunction of the tarpaulin.  The rule includes "unintentional operator error."  That part of the rule should be eliminated, IMO.  This was ridiculous, and the home team should be held accountable.  If the home team is behind - game over.  If the home team is ahead - suspended game.  Simple and fair.

That was added to the rule in 2015 as a result of the Cubs-Giants game:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bleedcubbieblue.com/platform/amp/2015/5/23/8646971/mlb-rule-changed-no-more-tarp-gates

 

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5 hours ago, SteveA said:

I have a rules question.

The Nats' lefty reliever walked Sisco and we had a bunch of righties coming up, so he was going to come out of the game when the rain came.   He had faced 3 batters.  He was done.

But SUPPOSE he had only faced two batters?   Would they be required to put him in for one batter after a long rain delay?

When I saw the rule described I don't think I ever heard any exception made for rain.

I was also under the impression that the lefty reliever was done.

My recollection may not be accurate, but I think I remember that the Nats' manager had come out of the dugout to remove the lefty reliever, Freeman, and summon a new pitcher from the bullpen.  MASN broke for a commercial, and when they came back, the grounds crew was starting their misadventures with the tarp.

Did the Nats actually remove Freeman from the game, or did the umps call for the tarp before the manager made his way out to the mound?

If the manager told the ump that he was taking Freeman out, I would assume that whoever he had called for from the bullpen was officially in the game when it was halted, even though he never threw  a pitch, and that guy will be required to either finish the inning or face three batters when play resumes on Friday.

One piece of good news for the Orioles - if they had resumed the game today after a rain delay and Fry's arm would have cooled down, Hyde almost certainly would have had to replace Fry when the bottom of the sixth started.  Now he will have the option of leaving Fry in the game if he so chooses.

Edited by WillyM
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27 minutes ago, schittenden said:

Difference being, the home team was ahead in the Wrigley Field game.  To me, the grounds crew is the home team's responsibility.  If the home team is ahead or tied when such an incident occurs, suspend the game.  If the home team is behind - game over.  That is fair.

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17 hours ago, schittenden said:

How does your analysis square with this language that suggests that a mechanical failure that is the but for cause of a game not resuming does not result in a suspended game?

“If a game is halted by weather, and subsequent light failure or an intervening curfew or time limit prevents its resumption, the game shall not be a suspended game.”

 

Unless I'm missing something, the game was not suspended due to "light failure," "an intervening curfew," or "time limit."

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16 hours ago, Philip said:

All right, without ceding your point, Which I reserve the right to do at some point in the future, let me argue another point.
My brother says that you cannot sue a doctor for being wrong, you can only sue a doctor for being incompetent.

By the same token, we cannot file a protest because the tarp malfunctioned.

 We should, however, be able to file a quite valid protest on the grounds that ground crew incompetence caused the tarp to malfunction, Resulting in an unplayable field, and should therefore result in a forfeit by the home team?

Filing such a protest would only be doing so on "moral" grounds or based on a "feeling of being wronged." The protest would not be substantiated by the current rules of the game. The reason is that there is no punishment stated in the rules for having an incompetent grounds crew.

Since the MLB isn't a court, it doesn't have to uphold the rules 100% consistently for everyone in the same way that courts must uphold the law the same way for everyone. So, in theory, MLB could accept the Orioles' "moral" argument and make some consideration in favor of the O's or against the Nats.

If this were a civil or criminal court in the United States, the case would be thrown out, because a court makes an objective determination of whether the plaintiff (the party filing the case) has sufficiently argued that the defendant has violated a law or statute. If not, the case is dismissed for "failure to state a claim."

I am not sure if the MLB is required by contracts between the League and teams, or the League and the MLBPA, to uphold any kind of fairness or standard of jurisprudence when reviewing protests and upholding the rules of the game. It is possible. If the standards are well-defined, they may be required to do something similar to the US courts, in which case the protest would go nowhere.

Edit: I can think of one protest that is, at least, valid on its surface, but would require the Orioles to prove the truth of the claim: the O's could claim that the Nats grounds crew intentionally screwed up the tarp, and by doing so, the suspension of the game was improper (the suspension clause only covering unintentional improper use of the tarp). If they could then prove that there was a conspiracy by the Nats organization to have their grounds crew mess up the tarp to get the game suspended, the Nats would be in violation of ... something and the umpire would've made an incorrect call when he assumed that the misuse of the tarp was unintentional. A corrective action would probably involve giving the Orioles a 5-inning win on the record books.

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5 minutes ago, allquixotic said:

Filing such a protest would only be doing so on "moral" grounds or based on a "feeling of being wronged." The protest would not be substantiated by the current rules of the game. The reason is that there is no punishment stated in the rules for having an incompetent grounds crew.

Since the MLB isn't a court, it doesn't have to uphold the rules 100% consistently for everyone in the same way that courts must uphold the law the same way for everyone. So, in theory, MLB could accept the Orioles' "moral" argument and make some consideration in favor of the O's or against the Nats.

If this were a civil or criminal court in the United States, the case would be thrown out, because a court makes an objective determination of whether the plaintiff (the party filing the case) has sufficiently argued that the defendant has violated a law or statute. If not, the case is dismissed for "failure to state a claim."

I am not sure if the MLB is required by contracts between the League and teams, or the League and the MLBPA, to uphold any kind of fairness or standard of jurisprudence when reviewing protests and upholding the rules of the game. It is possible. If the standards are well-defined, they may be required to do something similar to the US courts, in which case the protest would go nowhere.

By rule, only a rules violation can be protested.  This situation cannot be pretested.  The only remedy is to seek to have the rule changed to prevent such a farce from occurring in the future, but for this game, the visiting team will be punished for the home team's grounds crew disaster.  Interestingly, this is the only game in major league history with this situation.  Up until the 2015 rules change, the game would be official, and it hasn't happened since then until now.  The rule was changed to prevent the home team from winning if they were ahead when this occurred.  It didn't dawn on them... "What about the case where the visitors are ahead?" 

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8 minutes ago, Number5 said:

By rule, only a rules violation can be protested.  ... 

 It didn't dawn on them... "What about the case where the visitors are ahead?" 

Thanks for clearing up that first bit. I had suspected as much (as it would be extremely consistent with common law in the US), but the MLB is generally wonky about its bureaucracy, so I didn't want to assume. OK. So that means we really don't have grounds for a protest that will remedy our situation, except in the hypothetical situation I stated in my edit, where the O's could prove that the Nats organization conspired to mess up the tarp on purpose.

The second bit indicates that the rules were written by the legally untrained hands of people like the Commissioner of Baseball, or people like Joe Torre. Not thinking through all possible scenarios is a classic example of why policymaking should be done by people with a strong background (both academic and in the field) in philosophy, logic, and law. 

Another critique of this rule is the use of the word "unintentionally." "Intent" is hard enough to prove in actual law; without a well-established case history of what the MLB means by "intent" and how to go about proving or disproving it, the rule really doesn't mean much other than "it's up to the judgment of the umpire at the time to determine if someone was doing something intentionally or not." That's more of a rule by fiat than a rule of law.

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3 minutes ago, allquixotic said:

Thanks for clearing up that first bit. I had suspected as much (as it would be extremely consistent with common law in the US), but the MLB is generally wonky about its bureaucracy, so I didn't want to assume. OK. So that means we really don't have grounds for a protest that will remedy our situation, except in the hypothetical situation I stated in my edit, where the O's could prove that the Nats organization conspired to mess up the tarp on purpose.

The second bit indicates that the rules were written with the legally untrained hands of people like the Commissioner of Baseball, or people like Joe Torre. "Intent" is hard enough to prove in actual law; without a well-established case history of what the MLB means by "intent" and how to go about proving or disproving it, the rule really doesn't mean much other than "it's up to the judgment of the umpire at the time to determine if someone was doing something intentionally or not." That's more of a rule by fiat than a rule of law.

It's not really up to the umpire.  The umpire makes a judgment on whether the field is playable or not.  What happens as a result of the umpire ruling the field unplayable is up to the league, not the umpire.

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