In a decision that won't be reviewed on videotape, the National League denied the Florida Marlins' protest of umpire Frank Pulli's use of a TV replay.
"I certainly agree with the Marlins' position that instant replays should not be allowed in the game and I sympathize with their concern that Mr. Pulli, in an excess of caution, decided to use a video camera," National League President Len Coleman wrote Thursday. "That being said, however, it does not follow that the protest should be sustained."
Coleman held that Pulli's incorrect decision to consult a replay and change Cliff Floyd's home run to a double was a judgment call--and judgment calls can't be overturned with protests.
Floyd claimed that his fifth-inning drive in Monday's 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals was a home run because it bounced off the facade behind the left-field scoreboard at Miami.
Greg Gibson, the second base umpire, thought it hit off the scoreboard and called it a double. Pulli, the crew chief, changed the call to a homer after the Marlins argued, and the Cardinals then argued. Pulli studied replays on a TV camera near the Marlin dugout, then changed the call back to a double.
Interleague play returns for a third season starting tonight.
And this year's twist: Some natural rivals, such as the Dodgers and Angels, the New York Yankees and New York Mets and the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs, will play six games, up from the previous three.
Said Toronto Blue Jay outfielder Shawn Green: "It's kind of weird. We play Montreal six times and some American League teams only seven or eight games."
American League teams held a 114-110 advantage last season. The year before, National League clubs had a 117-97 edge. This year's 252 interleague games will be played from today through June 13 and July 9-20.
Amid speculation he plans to retire, pitcher Mark Portugal of the Boston Red Sox met for nearly an hour with Red Sox General Manager Dan Duquette and Manager Jimy Williams. He said he will make an announcement about his future today. . . . Relief pitcher Stan Belinda of the Cincinnati Reds, sidelined since spring because of biceps tendinitis, was sent to triple-A Indianapolis on a rehabilitation assignment.