NL Central

Umpire Reverses Call at Home After Ruling Russell Martin Blocked Plate vs. Reds

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 18:  Devin Mesoraco #39 of the Cincinnati Reds slides safely into home plate in front of Russell Martin #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates during the third inning on June 18, 2014 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2014

Wasn't replay supposed to clear up all of these controversies in MLB? Wednesday night saw another contentious ruling after a video replay.

With the bases loaded, Alfredo Simon grounded the ball back to the mound. Stolmy Pimentel threw the ball back home to force Devin Mesoraco out at the plate. The umpires, however, decided to review the play and ultimately decided that Pirates catcher Russell Martin blocked the plate and ruled Mesoraco safe.

Rule 7.13 was cited as the reason for overturning the initial call, per FoxSportsOhio.com's Kevin Goheen:

You can view the play below.

Since it was a force out, many fans took exception to the call, considering Martin had few other choices in order to ensure Mesoraco would be out. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was ejected arguing the overturn.

Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review did have a solution—though somewhat impractical—that would solve the problem:

ESPN.com's David Schoenfield thinks that the league should go back to the drawing board when it comes to the rule regarding catchers blocking the plate:

ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick felt that the rule was bound to create a problem sooner or later:

Schoenfield and Crasnick make compelling cases for MLB to at least look at Rule 7.13. Most fans would agree that a catcher has the right to at least keep his foot on the plate for a force out.

You can understand the need for safety, but that's coming at the expense of what is pretty much common sense.

Whatever the solution, it will have come too late for the Pirates.

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