The Pirates' 'Formal Complaint' Over Last Night's Call Will Accomplish What, Exactly? (Update)

Absolutely nothing. But that hasn't stopped pandering homers like this in the Pittsburgh media from clamoring for the front office to "let them know the Pirates are through getting kicked around." Because nothing's gonna get the suits at MLB headquarters to bend to the Pirates' will quite like an expression of how the team is "extremely disappointed" by Jerry Meals' call, to say nothing of the iron fist of filing "a formal complaint with the Commissioner." Like, look out.

All the better if such righteous indignation were to be typed out and presented on official team letterhead — that really ought to get Bud Selig's attention. He might even go ahead and stick the document in a filing cabinet somewhere alongside complaints about Jim Joyce's call, which would be a demonstrative indicator that some battles simply have to be waged. After all, rule 4.19 allows for protests, though it also says "[n]o protest shall ever be permitted on judgment decisions by the umpire" — language that clearly had to be inserted just to fuck with the Pirates. Undaunted, the Pirates are soldiering on: ESPN's homepage at the moment links to a headline about how the Buccos have gone ahead and filed that formal complaint, and the beat guys have tweeted or written reports stating the same. Someday we'll look back on all this as the moment when empty, symbolic gestures totally mattered for a few minutes or so.

UPDATE: MLB has issued a statement saying the call was incorrect. Still doesn't affect the game's outcome, which is the point.

Embrace the controversy, Pirates, and speak up! [Triblive.com]
Official rules: Starting and ending a game [MLB.com]
Statement from Frank Coonelly, President of the Pittsburgh Pirates, on the Pirates loss in Atlanta this morning [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Photo: Associated Press