Last night, the Phillies v. Marlins game erupted into controversy. In the sixth inning, Hunter Pence, with Ryan Howard on first, hit a ball into deep right field. The Marlins' Right Fielder, Bryan Petersen, jumped up to catch the ball, but his glove got hit by a fan reaching outward. Umpire Joe West gave Pence a ground rule double due to interference.
After Marlins Manager Jack McKeon came storming on the field, the umpires decided to review the call. Once having looked over a replay, West ruled that the ball would have been caught otherwise, and called Pence out.
This all would seem run of the mill - baseball introduced the instant replay, right? Well, instant replay, by MLB rules, is only permitted when reviewing a home run call. West, on his own accord, expanded this power to the ground-rule double.
Joe West was probably following the intent of the replay rule - to insure a more accurate, better called game. But, the letter is clear. It's for home runs only. The game is currently under review after Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel filed a protest. Let's see if Bud Seelig is a Scalia or a Ginsberg...