It’s A Beautiful Day in the “Neighborhood”

An article by posted on July 8, 2014

fredi gonzalez ejectedfredi gonzalez ejected

While it had no bearing on the results of Monday night’s 4-3 win over the Braves, one of the most controversial points in the game came in the bottom of the ninth when an out call at second base was overturned, giving the Mets runners on first and second with nobody out.

Eric Campbell was ruled safe at second on a bunt play when replays showed Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons came off the bag too soon as he took a throw and relayed to first. 

Normally referred to as the “neighborhood play,” such plays are not reviewable under instant replay rules. But that didn’t deter Mets manager Terry Collins from coming out to argue the call, telling umpires that a bad throw from third baseman Chris Johnson pulled Simmons off the bag at second base.

“It was one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen,” Gonzalez said.

“We reviewed the call because, in our judgment, we felt the throw took the fielder off the bag,” crew chief Mike Everitt told a pool reporter. “That was going to be reviewable.”

“He’s trying to complete the double play quicker. He’s trying to gain an advantage,” umpire Tim Timmons said.

Gonzalez vehemently disagreed and was soon ejected from the game.

“It’s bad interpretation — whoever interpreted it,” he said. “That becomes a neighborhood play … nobody can tell me that that throw was pulled off the bag.”

MLB released a statement after the game:

“The replay regulations allow umpires to determine if they considered a play to be a neighborhood play or not, based on a variety of factors. Some of the factors they consider are the throw and if the player receiving the ball is making the turn. Umpires might consider whether it was an errant throw or if a player receiving a throw who is not at risk of contact made an effort to touch the bag.”

As it turned out, the Mets would not take advantage of the favorable ruling as Braves reliever Shae Simmons pitched out of the jam leaving the game tied at 3 and sending it into extra innings.

“They got lucky that we didn’t lose the game there,” Gonzalez said.

For what it’s worth, the SNY booth all thought it was a bad call by the umpires and that the throw was not errant. Simmons, they argued, put himself in a better position to make the throw to first base to try and complete the double play.

Then this happened…

ruben tejada walkopff

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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