Terry Collins tries to persuade umpires Mike Everitt and Tim Timmons that a ninth-inning call is eligible to be challenged.NEW YORK -- How did Terry Collins convince the umpires to check the video replay on something the crew initially indicated was ineligible for review?
Collins basically argued that a ninth-inning call at second base should not be deemed the “neighborhood play.”
Although Eric Campbell initially was ruled out by second-base ump Sean Barber on Juan Lagares’ ninth-inning bunt, it was clear that Andrelton Simmons prematurely had pulled his foot off the bag. Simmons then threw on to first base, where Lagares beat out the double-play bid.
Collins eventually got the umpires to confer. They agreed to go to replay, over the objections of Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez. Campbell, after the review, was ruled safe at second base because Simmons had pulled his foot off the bag before accepting the throw.
Gonzalez then was ejected for continuing to argue.
In essence: There was no dispute about whether Simmons was touching the bag when he accepted the throw. The question was whether the umpires had the authority to check replay after initially calling Campbell out.
The Mets ended up leaving the bases loaded that inning anyway and winning, 4-3, in 11 innings.
“They said they thought it was the neighborhood play, which you can’t challenge,” Collins said. “I just said I don’t think it was. I don’t think you can say it’s the neighborhood play on a bunt attempt where they’re trying to get a force-out attempt at second base, knowing they’re not really looking for a double play. So he just said he’d talk to the rest of the crew and get their opinion.”
MLB put out a statement afterward that read: “The replay regulations allow umpires to determine if they considered a play to be the neighborhood play or not, based on a variety of factors. Some of the factors they consider are the throw and if the player receiving the ball is making the turn. Umpires might consider whether it was an errant throw or if a player receiving a throw, who is not at risk of contact, made an effort to touch the bag.”
Speaking with a pool reporter, two members of the crew addressed the play:
“We determined that the throw took him off, and that was going to be reviewable,” Mike Everitt said.
Said Tim Timmons: “He’s trying to complete the double play quicker. He’s trying to gain an advantage.”
Collins applauded the umps for conferring and agreeing to seek the replay.
“I’ll tell you what, the umpires are working hard together to try to get it right,” Collins said. “And I think they got tonight’s right.”
Said Gonzalez: “It’s one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen. Luckily it didn’t cost us the game there. But whoever interpreted it in the headquarters for video replay … it may be one of the worst calls. They called that the [throw] pulled him off the bag. And I want to know -- that couldn’t have been a better throw.
"You know what? They got away with it [because] we didn’t lose the game there. But it’s a bad interpretation. Whoever interpreted it. ... That becomes a neighborhood play. Nevertheless, I think they got lucky that we didn’t lose the game there, because that may be the worst I’ve seen in a long time. Because nobody can tell me that that throw pulled [Simmons] off the bag. I don’t care how many replay angles they’ve got better than I do in here. It’s just a bad call. ... I’ve never seen a better throw, No. 1. And No. 2, they gave the error to Simmons. If the ball pulled him off, they would have given the error to Chris Johnson. So even the scorer got it right without any replays or anything like that.
“Again, it’s a fine line. We want to protect the guys, the replays at second base, there’s no challenge on the neighborhood plays. That is a neighborhood play. And they got it wrong. Again, they got lucky that we didn’t lose the game there, that we got out of that inning.”