Should Gardy Protest The Fan Interference Call?

Hello Twins fans, I’m back at blogging again. I’ve not been feeling much like blogging these past couple of weeks because we’re still playing lousy. However, I think after today’s game, there’s something worth talking about and that is the call, the contraversial call that occurred in the eighth inning of today’s 6-5 loss. Just when we thought the Twins had exhausted all possible ways of losing, we get something that we weren’t looking for. Not even in my wildest Dreams could I imagine something like this happening. So, here’s what happened even if some of the details are sketchy.

With two outs in the inning, Johnny Peralta hits a infield Single. Catcher Alex Avila then hits a double into left field. This is where the Contraversy starts. One or two fans reach over the fence and seemingly tried to grab the ball. Then, the ball bounces off the fence up into the stands and hits another fan, thereby bouncing back onto the field.

According to rule 3.16, if a fan reaches over the fence and touches a ball, the ball is consider dead and the umpire determines where base runners should have been if it weren’t for the fan reaching over.

It also should be noted that there’s a difference if a fan didn’t reach over the fence when a batted ball goes into the stands and hits a fan and then bounces back onto the field, then it’s a case for a ground rule double which would mean that Peralta would be on third. I personally don’t have an opinion on what happen since I never saw the replay, but from what I can gather, the replay is inconclusive of what happened. It’s hard to tell if the fans that were reaching over into the field and interfered with the ball and caused it to bounce into the stands.

When Ron Gardenhire went out to argue the call, he argued that Peralta wouldn’t have been able to score otherwise. However, the ruling stuck and Gardy got ejected from the game. And, no more runs scored in that inning as Ryan Raburn was the final out in the inning, which meant that even if Peralta had been awarded third base, the Tigers wouldn’t have been able to score the winning run in that inning.

After that happened, I actually figured that the Twins were going to file a protest. However, according to the comment on ruel 4.19, the umpires have to be notified during the game that the team is going to protest the decision, otherwise the protest wouldn’t be accepted. Right now, I don’t have any indication that the game was protested.

Here’s what rule 4.19 says about filing a protest. “Each league shall adopt rules governing procedure for protesting a game, when a manager claims that an umpire’s decision is in violation of these rules. No protest shall ever be permitted on judgment decisions by the umpire. In all protested games, the decision of the League President shall be final.
Even if it is held that the protested decision violated the rules, no replay of the game will be ordered unless in the opinion of the League President the violation adversely affected the protesting team’s chances of winning the game.”

In examining this, the fan interference call was a judgment decision for the umpire. It was made by Gary Darling, who was umpiring at third base. It also should be noted that at one point, Darling seemed like he was sending Peralta back to third.

So, I don’t think there was ever going to be a protest since the rule states

 that no protests of judgment decisions would ever be permitted. Therefore, I don’t think Gardy was going to protest and I don’t think he should. We’ll just have to swallow this one Twins fans and move on.

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