SoSH Glossary: Game Under Protest

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SoSH Baseball Glossary

Baseball is filled with statistics, rules, and archaic terms that can often form what sounds like a foreign language. Sons of Sam Horn’s glossary provides a better understanding of these terms through straightforward definitions, clear explanations, and examples pulled straight from the baseball world. If there is anything you would like us to add to our glossary, please contact us.

Game Under Protest

If a manager disagrees with an umpire’s on-the-field interpretation of the rules, he may notify the umpire crew that the game is being played under protest. If he does so in a timely manner (before the next pitch following the call in question or by noon the following day if the call ended the game), then the call will be reviewed by the league office. Judgment calls (i.e. balls and strikes, safe/out calls, etc.) or anything that is subject to replay review cannot be protested.

What Happens Next?

After the umpires are notified that the game is under protest, the game is finished in the normal manner. However, the league office reviews the call in question, and if it determines that the umpires made a mistake and that the mistake materially affected the outcome of the game, then the game is replayed at a later date from the point the protest was made. If it is determined that no error was made, or that an error was made, but it had no effect on the outcome, then no action is taken.

Notable Examples

  • On July 24, 1983, George Brett launched a home run off of Goose Gossage, but umpire Tim McClelland ruled that Brett had too much pine tar on his bat. League President Lee MacPhail ruled that McClelland was incorrect and the game was resumed on August 18.
  • New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi filed a protest in a game on June 21, 2009 against the Miami Marlins when the Florida Marlins executed a double switch, then sent out Chris Coghlan to left field, who had been taken out in the double switch. The league office ruled that although the umpires made a mistake, it was rectified after only one pitch so it did not affect the outcome of the game.

Pete Hodges has written about the call up of a top prospect, an odd tradition, and Leo the Lip.

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