While MLB grapples with the idea of expanding instant replay in the wake of a series of umpiring gaffes, the oddities in its current replay policy were thoroughly exposed on Sunday afternoon.
During the top of the sixth inning, the Rays’ Matt Joyce hit what umpires initially ruled as a double to right field. After the ruling on the field, both Orioles manager Buck Showalter and his Tampa Bay counterpart, Joe Maddon, came out to argue the call.
While Showalter argued that the ball was foul, Maddon wanted a video replay to determine whether the ball was a home run. However, he didn’t want said review if there was a chance that the ball could be ruled foul, which makes the ruling on the field integral.
What happens next is a little nutty.
In effect, Showalter had to argue that the ruling should have been a home run against his own team, since fair-foul calls can’t be reviewed. Thus, Showalter would be hoping such a replay would determine the ball was actually foul.
In the end, the umpires did huddle up to review the video, and (correctly) determined that the ball did clear the fence and hit the foul pole, giving Joyce a home run.
Check out the bizarre circumstance in the video below.