The Baltimore Orioles find themselves with a previously-unscheduled off day today due to contingency plans for Hurricane Dorian. However in the second game of a twin-bill yesterday, the Birds found themselves in some controversy when Richie Martin was called for interference for being inside the first base line. It took a run off the board, and began a downward spiral for the Orioles in the game.
As the rules stand now, that’s not a play that could have been reviewed. (The ball has to be by the bag for it to be reviewable.) However even if it could have been reviewed, would it have been overturned?
And the answer is no, it wouldn’t have been overturned. Personally I thought the call was questionable at best. While the base runners do need to stay to the left of the line, most of the times you see that called are when the runner’s physically on the grass. Martin wasn’t anywhere near the grass – if anything he was kind of straddling the line. Not over the line, mind you, but straddling it.
So the play wouldn’t have been overturned because there wasn’t clear and concise evidence that the call on the field was incorrect. Had Tampa challenged the play saying that he was out of the baseline, the same would have been true. Not enough evidence to overturn the ruling on the field.
However I suppose my point would be that perhaps we should look making calls in the infield reviewable. We’ve all seen our share of balls that have appeared to go over the bag get called foul. Would the game not be better for getting those correct?
What I wouldn’t want to see is something in line with what the NFL’s doing with their replay system. Allowing coaches to challenge pass interference in games to me is akin to managers being allowed to challenge balls and strikes. So I think there are some things which should remain judgement calls. But why not encompass as much as possible in what is in fact reviewable?