Giants win protest over called game, MLB cites negligence by Cubs grounds crew
For the first time in 28 years, Major League Baseball has upheld a protest made by the San Francisco Giants over a rain-shortened game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Monday. The game will resume on Thursday afternoon.
The original game was delayed in the fifth inning by a 15-minute rainstorm and was deemed official with the Cubs winning by a score of 2-0 after a nearly five-hour delay due to some extenuating circumstances.
The Wrigley Field grounds crew could not have done a worse job in its comically futile attempt to get the tarp down on the field in a timely manner, which MLB determined was a significant contributing factor to why the game could not be resumed. In fact, Major League Baseball deemed the Cubs and the grounds crew negligent in the performance of their collective duties, reports USA Today.
The outcome of the game was of the utmost of importance to the Giants, who find themselves smack dab in the middle of a pennant race.
The ruling read as follows:
“An examination of the circumstances of last night’s game has led to the determination that there was sufficient cause to believe that there was a ‘malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club’ within the meaning of Official Baseball Rule 4.12(a)(3),” MLB said in its ruling. “Available video of the incident, and conversations with representatives of the Cubs, demonstrate that the Cubs’ inability to deploy the tarp appropriately was caused by the failure to properly wrap and spool the tarp after its last use.
“As a result, the groundskeeping crew was unable to properly deploy the tarp after the rain worsened. In accordance with Rule 4.12(a)(3), the game should be considered a suspended game that must be completed at a future date.”
While its protest was granted, meaning the game will resume on Thursday afternoon with the Cubs batting in the bottom of the 5th inning, the Giants’ request to have the game forfeited by the Cubs was denied.
“Major League Baseball has spoken with last night’s crew chief, Hunter Wendelstedt, and has concluded that the grounds crew worked diligently in its attempt to comply with his direction and cover the field,” Major League Baseball reportedly stated. “Thus, there is no basis for the game to be forfeited by the Cubs pursuant to Rule 4.16.”
Still, what a novel occurrence for a protest to actually be recognized. It will probably be another 28 years until it happens again … unless it rains at Wrigley Field on Thursday. If that’s the case, there’s no telling how badly the grounds crew may derp it up again. Maybe that’s just piling on the poor crew at this point. Odds are all involved are embarrassed enough at this point.