Because a bunch of buffoons were bad at their jobs on Tuesday night, the wild-card-leading Giants lost a baseball game. The Giants weren't happy with this. If they're going to lose because of buffoons being bad at their jobs, they're going to be our buffoons, dang it. As such, the Giants filed an official protest with the major league office on Wednesday. From SFGate:
"We believe that the rules were not properly applied last night," Giants president and CEO Larry Baer said in a phone interview.
Baer wouldn’t provide specifics of the protest, but the issue concerning the Giants is that the umpires directed the grounds crew to cover the field – and the grounds crew didn’t comply.
The most interesting part, reported by Henry Schulman is that the Giants are claiming the waterlogged cylinder containing the tarp was a mechanical device. The umpires didn't, and that was the distinction that made the umpires call the game in the first place. I'm no lawyer, but I can look up the Wikipedia entry for "machine," and the first example is a crude flint hand axe. A cylinder counts. A CYLINDER COUNTS.
Maybe. But there are two points to make:
1. The Giants will not win their appeal.
2. The odds are good that we're all overblowing this.
The first point is simple. Here's a list of protested games that were resumed. There are 14 of them, and just five in the last 50 years. The last one was in 1986, when umpires called a Pirates/Cardinals game after less than an hour. The Pirates were down by three at the time, and they lost when the game resumed two days later. That's a good lead-in to the second point, which is that this probably doesn't matter.
The Giants have about a 20 percent chance of winning a game when they're down by two with four innings left. Well, an average team does. The 2014 Giants might have a -1 percent chance, plus or minus a percentage point, but we'll pretend they're an average team. Now you have to multiply that by the chance of the Giants needing exactly one more game for the NL West, wild card, second wild card, home field advantage, et cetera. I don't know how to calculate that. Forty percent? Lower? Higher? I'd err on the side of lower. Your mileage may vary.
The 20 percent chance at a comeback win combined with a 40 percent chance of needing that win means that it's easy to get more upset at the rain debacle than it makes sense to. This probably wasn't going to be the difference.
Except it was so preventable. It was so clumsily executed. It was so danged unfair to lose a game like that. The Giants lost a game they might have won because it rained for 15 minutes. That shouldn't happen in 2014, and the Giants are rightfully ticked.
The protest won't get overturned, and there's a chance they won't even miss the possible win by the end of the season. Still, the Giants are doing everything they possibly can. It's up to the Blue Ribbon Committee on Rainy Stuff now.