Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Yu Darvish's perfect game bid tonight against the Red Sox was spoiled by a seventh-inning blunder by his fielders that, in any other ballpark, would have been ruled a hit.

The Rangers' official scoring decision of an error—charged to Texas right fielder Alex Rios—sparked a contentious debate on MLB Network, which was simulcasting the game. Emmy-winner Harold Reynolds approached berserk levels as he tried to reason with Mitch Williams, as Reynolds asserted Rougned Odor's starting position (playing in an extreme shift against David Ortiz) made the play non-routine, while Williams insisted Rios's failure to call off Odor constituted an error of communication, and thus a "legal" error.


Reynolds wasn't right, either—he insisted that because the ball never touched a glove, the decision was "garbage." By the letter of baseball's rules, sure—it's an error. But by convention, official scorers almost never assign an error unless a fielder makes a physical mistake in the fielding process (which generally means the fielder touches the ball).

The premise of the argument is legitimate. The way these MLB Network broadcasters go about it, though, is embarrassing. Harold Reynolds, at one point, states the scoring decision is "the worst ruling in Major League Baseball history."

Darvish later walked two batters, so the perfect game aspect wouldn't have mattered anyway—and the no-hitter was broken up with two outs in the ninth. (Sound familiar?)



Update: For those who claim this is a clear error, here are some examples of plays that are nearly identical and were ruled hits.


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