Umpires' review doesn't help Angels on play at plate
Scioscia feels A's catcher Norris blocked Iannetta's path, but call stands
OAKLAND -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia was under the impression that A's catcher Derek Norris illegally blocked home plate during one of Yoenis Cespedes' two outfield assists in the top of the second Saturday, but umpires confirmed the initial out call via a crew-chief review and ruled Chris Iannetta out.
"Again, that blocking-the-plate rule needs to be better defined," Scioscia said after the Angels' 11-3 loss. "Because according to the guidelines, we didn't have a lane. But they gave it to him."
With runners on first and second and none out against A's lefty Tommy Milone, Angels outfielder Collin Cowgill smacked a line-drive single to left field, but Cespedes charged hard and his throw beat Iannetta. Scioscia argued that Norris had his left foot in Iannetta's path to home plate before quickly removing it upon fielding the throw, ultimately convincing umpires to conduct a crew-chief review that didn't confirm Scioscia's point.
The new rule, adopted in 2014, states that "the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score," unless the throw takes him there. Norris' violation appeared subtle, but Scioscia felt it should've been enough for an overturned call.
"You have to have the ball to be in that lane or have the throw take you there," Scioscia said, "but he was set up in that lane from the replay I saw. There's a lot of gray area, a lot of interpretation in that rule, and hopefully, as we get more experience with this, there's going to be more clarity in it."