MLB Memo To Minor League Teams States No Appeals For Official Scorers' Decisions
In a year where on-field arguments between umpires and managers have been restricted because of concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic, behind-the-scenes arguments are also no longer on the docket.
Major League Baseball has informed Minor League Baseball teams that this year there will be no appeals of official scorers’ decisions.
“After much discussion, we've determined that for the 2021 season only, Official Scorers' judgement calls will not be eligible for appeal by any player, coach, or Club,” the memo stated. “For the avoidance of doubt, this does not affect Official Scorers' ability to change their own calls to correct the application of objective rules. Further, MLB will have the ability to correct the misapplication of a book rule. Note that arguing with or attempts by any Club personnel, including players, to intimidate, influence or pressure Official Scorers into changing their calls will result in discipline.”
So while an official scorer can change their mind on a play, and a misapplication of a rule can be adjusted, this year players, coaches and staff will not be able to reach out to try to get an error changed to a hit or a hit changed to an error.
It’s a rule change that will likely be well received by a number of official scorers (who didn’t particularly enjoy sometimes heated discussions post-game). For players and coaches, it will cut off an avenue to explain and sometimes successfully convince an official scorer that they erred in their original call.
"There were obvious covid concerns with box score delivery and how disputes would be handled and this move for 2021 eliminates those concerns. The hope moving forward amongst MiLB broadcasters and PR representatives who handle this side of the business is a standard process where a manager can dispute a call with someone like our regional supervisor rather than with team representatives and scorers directly," said a Double-A front office official. "We basically want it handled moving forward like it is in the major leagues. A dispute is given to a higher authority who can review the video and make a call. Taking it all out of the respective team reps and scorers eliminates contentious interactions between managers and coaches who disagree with calls."