Official scorer has plenty of support amid debate

Posted Friday, May. 09, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Steve Weller, the official scorer for Yu Darvish’s second near-miss at a no-hitter, isn’t some rookie, and he has plenty of support to back his judgment that the ball David Oritz hit in the seventh inning Friday night was an error.

Weller, who has been scoring Rangers games for 20 years, gave right fielder Alex Rios an error on a flyball that fell between him and Rougned Odor for the first base runner against right-hander Yu Darvish after he had retired the first 20 Boston batters, a decision that kept Darvish’s no-hit bid intact.

Darvish fell behind 3-0 to Ortiz, who lofted a 3-1 pitch into right field. Odor was playing in shallow right field as part of a shift on Ortiz, and he backtracked toward the ball. Rios, meanwhile came in on the ball to make a catch.

The ball, though, ended up hitting the ground after a miscommunication. The ball didn’t hit either player’s glove, but Weller judged that Rios should have made the catch and stuck him with an error.

That decision set off a debate in the press box as well as on Twitter and on MLB Network and ESPN. Ortiz, though, ended much of the drama with a two-out single in the ninth inning to spoil Darvish’s shot at history.

The MLB rulebook, though, supports Weller. So did the Elias Sports Bureau. Weller also attended a meeting of official scorers two years ago in which they were advised to rule as he did Friday night.

“In my judgment, when the ball goes up in the air, I felt like the second baseman or the right fielder under normal effort could’ve clearly caught the ball,” said Weller, the athletic director at Parker University in Dallas and the former sports information director at UT Arlington.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of argument about that. Under the rule, 10.12(a)(1), it clearly states that a flyball that lands — that’s allowed to hit the ground, that in the judgment of the official scorer under normal effort could be caught — you’re to award an error on the play.”

The rule he cited reads, in part:

“The official scorer shall charge an outfielder with an error if such outfielder allows a flyball to drop to the ground if, in the official scorer’s judgment, an outfielder at that position making ordinary effort would have caught such flyball.”

Weller didn’t take his call lightly. He was on the phone over the final two innings, and he explain himself to Rangers and Red Sox officials. He looked at the replay several times on video, even going frame by frame to see if he could tell what the outfielders were saying to each other.

It was the first time in Weller’s career that he had a no-hitter go to the seventh inning.

“I didn’t want to be in this position, explaining my call,” said Weller, who makes $160 a game before taxes. “I am just like an umpire in that all I want to do is get it right. I know what it looks like. Some people thinking he’s being a hometown scorer and trying to protect the pitcher.

“I looked at the replay a dozen times, and it has not changed my opinion. From my perspective, the perfect game was more coincidental to the call than getting the call right.”

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST

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Wednesday, November 26Full Scoreboard
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Wednesday, November 26Full Scoreboard
Portland 11/26 7:00 PM ET
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Washington 11/26 7:00 PM ET
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Golden State 11/26 7:00 PM ET
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Philadelphia TV: YES, CSN-PHI
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New York 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN, MSG, FSN-SW
LA Clippers 11/26 7:30 PM ET
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Indiana 11/26 8:30 PM ET
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Denver 11/26 9:00 PM ET
Phoenix TV: Altitude2, FSN-AZ
Memphis 11/26 10:30 PM ET
LA Lakers TV: NBA TV, SPSO, TWC SN
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Week 13Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Chicago 12:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: FOX
Seattle 8:30 PM ET
San Francisco TV: NBC
Sunday
San Diego 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: FOX
NY Giants 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: FOX
Carolina 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
New Orleans 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: FOX
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: CBS
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: CBS
Arizona 4:05 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
New England 4:25 PM ET
Green Bay TV: CBS
Denver 8:30 PM ET
Kansas City TV: NBC
Monday
Miami 8:30 PM ET
NY Jets TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, November 26Full Scoreboard
Washington 11/26 7:00 PM ET
NY Islanders TV: CSN-DC+, MSG+
Winnipeg 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: SN1, MSG-BUF
Philadelphia 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: NBCSN, TCN, FSN-DET+
NY Rangers 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: MSG 2, SUN
Carolina 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Florida TV: FSN-CAR, FSN-FL
Toronto 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: TVA Sports, SN, ROOT-PIT
Los Angeles 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FSN-W, FSN-N
Chicago 11/26 9:00 PM ET
Colorado TV: TVA 2, CSN-CH, Altitude
Calgary 11/26 10:30 PM ET
San Jose TV: SN-W, CSN-CA
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, November 26Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, November 26Full Scoreboard
Portland 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Charlotte TV: CSN-NW, SPSO
Washington 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CSN-DC, FSN-OH
Golden State 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Orlando TV: CSN-BA, FSN-FL
Brooklyn 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: YES, CSN-PHI
Toronto 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Atlanta TV: SN 360, SPSO
New York 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN, MSG, FSN-SW
LA Clippers 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: FSN-PT, FSN-DET
Sacramento 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CSN-CA, ROOT-SW
Milwaukee 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FSN-WI, FSN-N+
Utah 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Oklahoma City TV: FSN-OK
Indiana 11/26 8:30 PM ET
San Antonio TV: FSN-IN, FSN-SW
Denver 11/26 9:00 PM ET
Phoenix TV: Altitude2, FSN-AZ
Memphis 11/26 10:30 PM ET
LA Lakers TV: NBA TV, SPSO, TWC SN
Full Scoreboard
Week 13Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Chicago 12:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: FOX
Seattle 8:30 PM ET
San Francisco TV: NBC
Sunday
San Diego 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: FOX
NY Giants 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: FOX
Carolina 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
New Orleans 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: FOX
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: CBS
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: CBS
Arizona 4:05 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
New England 4:25 PM ET
Green Bay TV: CBS
Denver 8:30 PM ET
Kansas City TV: NBC
Monday
Miami 8:30 PM ET
NY Jets TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, November 26Full Scoreboard
Washington 11/26 7:00 PM ET
NY Islanders TV: CSN-DC+, MSG+
Winnipeg 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: SN1, MSG-BUF
Philadelphia 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: NBCSN, TCN, FSN-DET+
NY Rangers 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: MSG 2, SUN
Carolina 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Florida TV: FSN-CAR, FSN-FL
Toronto 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: TVA Sports, SN, ROOT-PIT
Los Angeles 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FSN-W, FSN-N
Chicago 11/26 9:00 PM ET
Colorado TV: TVA 2, CSN-CH, Altitude
Calgary 11/26 10:30 PM ET
San Jose TV: SN-W, CSN-CA
Full Scoreboard