OAKLAND – An odd and rather confusing sequence in the top of the second led to the A’s playing Thursday’s game against Toronto under protest.
With the bases loaded and one out, A’s first baseman Nate Freiman fielded a grounder and appeared to tag Blue Jays runner Munenori Kawasaki between first and second base. But first base umpire Vic Carapazza signaled safe on the play, and Freiman threw to catcher Stephen Vogt for what should have been a force play at home.
Toronto manager John Gibbons asked for a replay review, and it was ruled that Kawasaki was indeed tagged out, therefore the “force” was off at home and Edwin Encarnacion scored because Vogt did not tag him.
That touched off an argument from A’s manager Bob Melvin, who would seem to have a legitimate case: Why should Vogt have thought to tag the runner when he saw Carapazza signal “safe” on Kawasaki, which would leave the force play at home still intact?
The upshot is that the game is being played under protest, which will only factor in if the A’s lose. In that case, the play will be reviewed by the Commissioner’s office, and if the protest is upheld, the game would be replayed at a later date from the point that the disputed call was made. According to rule 4.19 of the MLB rulebook, even if it’s determined that a violation of rules occurred, the protest will only be upheld if it’s ruled that the violation “adversely affected” the A’s chances of winning the game.