KC Royals pinch runner Terrance Gore was called out at third base Monday night during Kansas City’s 9-6 victory over Houston. He was attempting to steal in the top of the seventh inning when replay officials in New York decided he came off the third base bag despite clearly beating the throw.
With two outs in the inning, and the Kansas City Royals trailing the Houston Astros 3-2 in an elimination game, the call appeared to be a cruel turn of events for the KC Royals.
Many pundits disputed the call. MLB’s official rules section 2.00 defines a tag as “the action of a fielder in touching a base with his body while holding the ball securely and firmly in his hand or glove; or touching a runner with the ball, or with his hand or glove holding the ball, while holding the ball securely and firmly in his hand or glove”.
While video showed that Gore’s left foot briefly came off the bag, you can also see that Houston third baseman Luis Valbuena tagged Gore with his wrist and not his glove or hand.
Had the KC Royals not pulled off another iconic, four-run comeback in the eighth inning, they could have watched a golden chance to tie the game wash down the drain.
That’s simply unacceptable.
You can see a sample of opinions on Twitter about the play:
Fortunately, Kings of Kauffman has obtained
that reveals exactly how replay officials in New York made what could have been a pivotal call in Monday afternoon’s game:
Perhaps I am in the minority, but it seems to me that major-league baseball’s replay process could perhaps be improved with further refinement. At the risk of being too critical, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask that replay officials: 1) know the rules, and 2) actually watch the video.
Entire organizations have worked for many years to reach the post-season. It’s simply unconscionable that major-league baseball gives less than their best effort to get every call right.
Some have suggested that major league baseball allow base runners a momentary lapse in keeping their foot on the bag. The way the current rules work in conjunction with instant replay has created an incentive for infielders to push runners off the bag. As the rules are currently applied, major-league baseball risks killing the running game.
That would be a horrible result.
Stealing a base in a tight elimination game is one of the most exciting plays in baseball. You want to ENCOURAGE managers to take such a risk rather than entrust their playoff lives to the vagaries of inconsistent decision-making from New York.
Major-league baseball came too close to robbing the KC Royals of their best chance to tie the score in an elimination game. The rules committee needs to solve this problem over the winter.