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#pounditTuesday, May 21, 2024

MLB admits umpires messed up weird call against Mets

Buck Showalter in the dugout

Apr 8, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets manager Buck Showalter (11) walks the dugout during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets were victims of one of the weirdest rules violations of the young MLB season on Opening Day, or so it seemed at the time. However, the league has apparently reached out to tell the organization that the strange call should not have happened.

Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil was hit with an automatic strike by plate umpire Larry Vanover during Thursday’s game against the Marlins because baserunner Pete Alonso returned to first too slowly after taking off on the previous pitch.

McNeil singled on the next pitch, but the bizarre rules interpretation gained attention throughout the league. Mets manager Buck Showalter said Friday that the league office had reached out to tell him that McNeil should not have had a strike charged to him.

“By the time Pete got around third base there was another version out there,” Showalter said, via Mike Puma of the New York Post. “[League officials] wanted to make sure everybody was straight, so I appreciate that.”

The new rule leaves a bit of a gray area for baserunners, since it does not explicitly say anything about their status regarding the clock. Showalter said that going forward, baserunners will receive a warning from umpires if they return to a base too slowly.

The pitch clock is inevitably going to have some bumpy moments early on, this included. This should be a one-off, so teams will instead be able to focus on the other strategic differences that are coming about as a result of its implementation.

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