Programming note: A’s-Angels coverage starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. with A’s Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
ANAHEIM – The A’s turned the page on Thursday night’s controversy in the ninth inning, dropping their protest of an obstruction call on first baseman Brandon Moss.
But they hope something constructive comes out of it moving forward. A’s manager Bob Melvin said he’s hopeful plays such as Thursday’s will someday be made eligible for replay review. Right now, an umpire’s judgment call is not reviewable. It was the judgment call of home plate umpire Greg Gibson that Moss obstructed the path of the Angels’ Erick Aybar to first base, after Aybar hit a high chopper along the first base line.
Replays appeared to indicate Aybar swerved inside the base line and initiated contact with pitcher Dan Otero, and the replay also seemed to show both Otero and Moss were on the infield grass, which would mean they weren’t blocking Aybar’s path.
“If you have instant replay and you have a play like that,” it should be reviewable, Melvin said before Friday’s game against the Angels. “You take a look at it on video, and when I first saw it, I didn’t think it was as extreme as when I saw it on video.”
Melvin said he talked first-hand with Major League Baseball officials in New York, who stated clearly that Thursday’s play was not up for protest. But Melvin also pointed out that this first year of instant replay is geared toward working out the kinks, with rule changes likely to come in the offseason.
[REWIND: A's protest 4-3 loss to Angels]
A’s catcher Derek Norris also hopes that judgment calls will be reviewable in 2015.
“You put emphasis on head-to-head, top-of-the-division games,” Norris said. “These games mean something. If you’re gonna take time to review a play you could slow down and take a better look at, I don’t think there’s any harm in that. I think that’s why we have the system of instant replay.”