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MLB rejects Angels' protest of loss to White Sox

August 06, 2012|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Angels catcher Chris Iannetta prepares to throw to first base on a double-play attempt as Chicago's Paul Konerko heads up the first-base line.
Angels catcher Chris Iannetta prepares to throw to first base on a double-play… (David Banks / Getty Images )

CHICAGO -- The Angels' protest of Friday night's game against the Chicago White Sox was denied by Major League Baseball on Monday, and their 8-6, 10-inning loss to the White Sox will stand.

In a statement, MLB announced: "Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations Joe Torre has denied the formal protest filed by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim regarding their Friday, August 3rd game against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field." There was no deeper explanation. 

The White Sox had the bases loaded with no outs in the first inning Friday night when Paul Konerko grounded to Angels third baseman Alberto Callaspo, who threw home to force out Alejandro De Aza.

Catcher Chris Iannetta's throw to first base in an attempt to double up Konerko pulled Albert Pujols, who reached toward second, off the bag. Replays showed that Konerko ran the last 45 feet to first well inside the baseline, an apparent violation of Rule 6.05(k).

But to invoke that rule, umpires must deem that the runner "interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first base, in which case the ball is dead." In upholding the call, crew chief Dana DeMuth said, "Konerko in no way interfered with the play at first -- the catcher threw wild."

The White Sox followed with a run-scoring single and A.J. Pierzynski's three-run homer for a four-run inning and went on to win in extra innings.

Iannetta said he had to alter his throw to first base to avoid hitting Konerko, adding that the fact he hesitated before throwing to first "was an indication that the runner interfered with me."

"I had to throw around the runner," Iannetta added. "I didn't want to throw into right field, and I didn't want to throw at the runner because there's no guarantee I'd get the call."

Angels Manager Mike Scioscia, a former Dodgers catcher, said the umpires conceded that Konerko ran inside the line.

"That makes it virtually impossible for him to not affect the throw from Iannetta," Scioscia said. "It very clearly puts him in the throwing lane of our catcher."

Had the protest been upheld, the Angels and White Sox would have had to have replay the game from the point following Konerko's double play.

The Angels are in Oakland on Monday night to start a three-game series against the Athletics, who along with Detroit hold a half-game lead over the Angels in the American League wild-card race.

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