Charlie Manuel frequently makes poor strategic decisions. The 11-million dollar scoreboard in left field would probably do a similar job. We guarantee a post analyzing Manuel's decisions for every Phillies game. Please click on our aliases below to email us.

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Game 137: Manuel nearly managed a perfect game (89-48)

Here's what Charlie Manuel did right in tonight's game:

1) He started John Mayberry over Raul Ibanez against Derek Lowe. This is a good sign, for multiple reasons. It's still unclear if Manuel will start Ibanez for all the playoffs (definitely the worst option), platoon both (possibly the best option), or start Mayberry for all/most of the playoff games (possibly the best option). Starting Mayberry against a pitcher like Derek Lowe shows Manuel probably won't bench Mayberry entirely during the playoffs. Even if Mayberry goes 0-30 in the playoffs, he is still 100 times better than Ibanez defensively.

2) He didn't leave Cliff Lee in the game for too many pitches. Lee only had 100 pitches despite pitching a complete game. No complaints for allowing Lee to throw exactly 100 pitches. Anything over 110, however, would have been a mistake. Unfortunately, Manuel probably would have let Lee throw 20+ pitches in the 9th inning.

If Manuel somehow put Victorino between Utley and Howard, the game from Manuel tonight would have had zero mistakes, as far as I'm concerned. If you disagree with Manuel's handling of Lee tonight (I might be giving Manuel too much leeway with a 9-0 score and a 7.5 game division lead), feel free to leave a comment.

Tomorrow the Phils go for the series victory as Vance Worley faces Tim Hudson at 7:05 pm.


Henry Rowengartner said...

"McKean told on Monday that the Phillies are "not going to win" their formal protest of Sunday's 5-4 loss in Florida because "fan interference is part of the replay rule" and because West, as the crew chief, "has the right to look at the replay any time he wants if it concerns a possible home run."

How can you be a self-described "umpiring consultant" and not know how to read the rules?

Yes, the phrase "fan interference" is included in the replay rule. But this does not mean what McKean thinks it means. It means that the umpires can review a potential home run ball for "fan interference" to see if it would not have been a home-run except for the "fan interference." That is, if a fan reaches over the wall and pulls the ball-in, turning a non-home run into a home-run.

But that DOES NOT MEAN that if there is fan interference, the umpires can call the batter out because of that fan interference. Remember, as has been made explicitly clear by the MLB many times, replay is only for boundary calls. Fair/foul, home run/not home run. Fan interference, aside from the limited scenario where it turns a non-home run into a home-run is NOT A BOUNDARY CALL.

As not fan interference call was made on the field, the only call the umpires could make after reviewing the play was double or home-run. According to the rules, calling the batter out is not a legitimate outcome.

Now of course MLB will hide behind the ambiguity in the rule and say something like the rule says "fan interference" so the umps were right. But this is only because (a) they don't want to call out their umpires or (b) they understand rules at a 3rd grade level. Either way, the Phillies are right and should win the protest.

Andy Musser said...

"Remember, as has been made explicitly clear by the MLB many times, replay is only for boundary calls. Fair/foul, home run/not home run. Fan interference, aside from the limited scenario where it turns a non-home run into a home-run is NOT A BOUNDARY CALL.""

This is correct. However, the replay rules in the MLB are about as clear as the rules of a catch in the NFL. Arbitrary, illogical, and completely hidden from the public. Other than the articles from two Augusts ago that announced the beginning of instant replay, I haven't been able to find the actual "rules" of the replay system.

Until then, Selig will just take a page out of the NFL and just entirely make it up as he goes along.

Henry Rowengartner said...

Below is the supposed text of the rule on instant replay. If it is accurate, the reference to fan interference is clearly limited by the phrase "home run no home run boundary calls."

Imagine if the same Pence ball was hit but the fan did not touch it and the ball hit the wall. Then let's say that the ump is an idiot and called fan interference anyway and called Pence out. If the umpires, at Charlie's request, looked at the instant replay to determine if the ball possibly went over the wall, their only decision would be whether the ball went over the wall or not. They could NOT decide that the ball did not go over the wall AND there was no fan interference, as fan interference was the call on the field. The only way they could overrule the fan interference call is to say that the ball was actually a homerun.

The play that happened the other day is the exact opposite but the same principal applies. No fan interference called on the field. They could not retroactively call fan interference based on the replay. They could only call it a ground rule double or a home run.


Instant replay review by umpires shall he available to assist the umpires only in
 regard to plays involving home runs or potential home runs and. then, only in two
A. Home run no home run “boundary” calls involving a decision regarding:
a) whether a ball left the playing field or struck an object:
b) whether a ball struck the top of the fence, hit a railing, or otherwise stayed
within the field of play (including “yellow line” calls); or
 c) whether a ball was interfered with by a fan reaching over the fence.
B. A decision regarding whether a potential home run ball traveling over either
side of the foul pole was fair or foul.

hk said...

While it surely seems that the Phillies got screwed, I think they should drop the protest in exchange for MLB clarifying the rules pertaining to instant replay. At this point when they seem like a lock to be the #1 seed in the NL, why do they want to "win" the right to fly to South Florida to finish 4+ innings of what is now a meaningless game? Be careful what you wish for.

Henry Rowengartner said...

I don't want to play the game. I just want to see Joe West publicly embarrassed.