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The umpire on the Nationals protest

There are some insights from last last night's crew chief Tim Tschida that I wasn't able to get into today's game story on last night's bizarre and ultimately thrilling Nationals victory. Here's are some notes and quotes from Tschida, as provided by pool reporter Bernie Wilson of the AP:

*The official batting order is the one handed to the umpire in chief. And on that card, Adam Russell, who had been sent to Class AAA Portland earlier in the day, was listed as the starter. It doesn't matter if actual starter Clayton Richard's name was on other lineup cards.

*Tschida said Padres Bud Black actually alerted the umps to his own mistake. "It was actually Bud who brought it to our attention," Tschida said. "He came to the home plate umpire and said, 'Uh, I've got a little problem. Rusell's on the card and Russell's not even here.' "

*Tschida on the interpretation of what happened: "The rules state that the pitcher that's named in the lineup card that's handed to the umpire-in-chief has to face one batter unless he was injured or incapacitated, until that batter is either retired, reaches first base or is injured or something.

"There's no way to fulfill that given the fact that the pitcher named is not even in the area code. We just did what we felt we could do, and that was, Richard is the substitute for Russell. Russell can't play, but he can't play anyway. There isn't much more penalty that we can enforce on them. We can't create somebody to come in and face one guy that Russell should have faced, and the Nationals protested that, which is certainly within their rights, and what they should do."

*Had Russell been on the 25-man roster, he would have had to come in and face one batter, and Richard would be finished for the night. So Russell actually been at the park and on the roster, it would have been a much more penal mistake.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 29, 2010; 1:43 PM ET
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I thought Steve Phillips' choice of interns was "a much more penal mistake."

This, this was just a lineup card goof.

Posted by: wahoo2x | May 29, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Tschida seems to have about as much command of the English language as he had of the strike zone last night. The crew sure seemed to be trying to punish the Nationals for that protest.

Posted by: zimbar | May 29, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Not having seen the game, I didn't witness the strike zone. That said, good one, zimbar. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 29, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

tough to call balls and strikes from first base which is where the crew chief was for last nights game - please don't listen to Dibble about balls and strikes, doubt if there is a bigger homer in baseball

Posted by: sjm3091 | May 29, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, sjm3091.

zimbar, if you're going to bust on the umpires, please make sure you know what you're talking about. Tim Tschida is the crew chief -- the umpire designated by Major League Baseball to be in charge of that particular crew. That's not the same as the umpire-in-chief, who is the home plate umpire. The umpire-in-chief is different each game; they take turns. Tschida was the first-base umpire last night.

The umpires are professionals. They are not going to penalize a team for exercising its right to protest a rule decision. Had the Nats lost, it would have been the MLB office that ruled on the protest, not the umpiring crew. Get a grip.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | May 30, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

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