Umpire Joe West is claiming that Phillies' manager Charlie Manuel argued prior to the review that Pence's hit was a home run. From MLB.com:
Manuel and Jack McKeon came out of their respective dugouts to argue
the initial ruling, and crew chief Joe West said that led to the review.
had two managers on the field," West said. "One of them was arguing
that they wanted an out, and the other was arguing that he wanted a home
run. Because they wanted me to go look because they wanted a home run, I
got to judge whether it went over the fence or not.
umpire Chad Fairchild] already thought it was spectator interference.
So now we go look at the replay, and we have to take all the evidence
that we get from the replay and that's why we came up with the rule,
which is the correct ruling."
If true, Charlie's original
dispute could potentially jeopardize the team's protest.
Still, even if Charlie did ask for the review, video replay isn't supposed to be used to determine fan interference unrelated to a boundary dispute.
If anything, the team could still argue that regardless of the interference or Manuel's request, that West was justified in checking for the home run, but then violated the rules in calling Pence "out." Under this interpretation of the rules, West would only have had the authority to rule Pence's hit a home run and nothing further. If the replay did not show the ball over the fence, which it did not, then regardless of the interference, Pence should have been allowed to stay at second. While that may have resulted in the "wrong call," the Phillies could argue that by the time the review began, West lacked the authority under the rules to retroactively make "the right call" without a genuine boundary dispute.
Contrary to that argument, we are hearing reports that once umpires are under the hood, they may enforce all rules they see fit to make what they deem the right call. This would prove a more expansive authorization of video replay than was previously assumed to exist. If this is true and if Charlie did ask for the review, then the Phillies protest doesn't stand a chance. And since, as far as we can tell, Major League Baseball failed to include the language governing instant replay in their latest rulebook, we cannot comment on which interpretation of the rules, if either, is correct.
As for the rest
of the article from MLB.com, at no point does Manuel mention whether or not he ever
appealed the play as a home run, though he does maintain his objection
to the replay and ruling.
Now, CSNPhilly's Jim Salisbury is reporting that West did not speak to Manuel until after the review was finished, directly contradicting West's justification for review. Regardless, Salisbury does not believe that an appeal would hold up even if the Phillies were to complete the necessary paperwork and officially file protest with the league.