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Major League Baseball denied the New York Yankees protest of the game Tuesday night in which the Red Sox emerged victorious. The protest occurred as a result of pitching coach John Farrell taking Josh Beckett out mid-inning due to injury and not following the proper procedure in the eyes of Yankee manager Joe Girardi. A fair point or just another case of the spoiled Yankees being sore losers?
With two outs in the fifth inning, Farrell went out to the mound to have a chat with Beckett. After just a few words were exchanged Farrell motioned out to the bullpen to bring a pitcher into the game.
Manny Delcarmen entered the game and was allowed as many pitches as he needed to warm-up, the standard procedure when a pitcher comes out of a game due to injury. In a non-injury situation a pitcher is allowed only eight warm-up tosses.
The Yankees filed a protest because they felt that Delcarmen was illegally given too many warm-up pitches. Proper procedure is to notify the umpire first of the injury and then bring in the pitcher who will be taking his place. The issue was that Farrell immediately motioned to the bullpen after hearing of Beckett’s injury instead of notifying the umpire.
“They signaled to the bullpen before they announced to the umpire that he was hurt,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Manager Terry Francona had a slightly different take on the situation in his most recent appearance on WEEI, saying,
“It was pretty obvious, when Johnny got there, from the conversation with Beckett, that there was a problem. So he turned to the umpire, Angel Campos, and said, ‘We’ve got to get a pitcher in here. He’s hurt.’ And Angel said, ‘Yeah.’ So Johnny waved [for a new pitcher].”
So the controversy comes down to semantics and whether the Red Sox followed the rules to the letter of the law. Joe Garardi basically admitted after the game that the umpires had little other choice than the route they took, saying,
“I think they’re not going to hurt Manny Delcarmen. That’s the thing. But in my eyes, it was not done the right way. My thought is, Manny either gets eight warmup pitches and has to lob it, or they have to bring in a position player that is loose. One or the other. To me, he shouldn’t get all of his pitches in.”
Basically the Yankees wanted the Red Sox to either have Delcarmen lob the ball over the plate (and risk injury), or have a position player pitch. Both options likely resulting in Yankee batters teeing off on the pitcher. Makes sense – what team would not want that?
In the words of Yankee GM Brian Cahsman upon hearing the decision, “surprise, surprise” the protest was denied.
The league did not issue an explanation, but sources say that the minute Josh Beckett went on the disabled list the protest was doomed to fail. Not to mention the fact that the MLB is not in the business of putting pitchers in situations that are a high risk for injury, as would have been the case if Delcarmen had not been allowed extra warm-up pitches.
Beckett apparently re-injured his back after tweaking it taking hacks in the cage while preparing for inter-league play. As of now, he is expected to return as soon as he is eligible to come off the DL.
The Yankees knew the protest was destined to fail pretty much from the start, so why did they even bother? The whole protest revolved not around cheating, but a small, procedural detail that Farrell may (or may not, according to Francona) have overlooked. You would think with all the winning the Yankees have done over the years and so far this year, they would be above such petty tactics. Apparently not.