As I understand it, the only reason Joe West and company can go review the play is if they believe it could have been a home run. Once they determine it may have been a home run and go to review whether or not it was a home run, fan interference is an acceptable decision to come to after watching the video.
The only real argument the Phillies protest seems to carry, is whether or not Joe West and his crew went to review whether or not the ball was a home run.
Charlie Manuel maintains that he never asked for a review, despite West saying he did, but did Jack McKeon ask for a review to see if it was a home run?
Charlie had some fun words on that subject.
"I don't think Jack McKeon walked out to the umpire and said, 'I think that was a home run, would you review it?' That entered my mind when I was standing… just the moment I left the dugout. That was my first manager, I know he's a little smarter than that. I don't think he was asking for a review of a home run," Manuel said.
Or maybe McKeon is smarter than you think and knew that if they went to review for a home run and saw fan interference, the fan interference would get called? I'd be surprised if that actually were the case.
As it turns out, according to Jayson Stark's posting, it doesn't matter what McKeon requested at all if -- and this is the part I think is the most sketchy -- "the umpires decide to review a call to determine if there was a home run."
T-Mac and the TV crew seemed to nail this yesterday during the telecast. As long as Joe West says he was going to review whether it was a home run or not, that covers his decision to rule fan interference.
Manuel maintained that he never argued the ruling, but rather how the review process took place, and that he didn't believe you could review a defensive play.
From my understanding, you can't go to review simply whether there was fan interference or not on any play, but if you notice fan interference while reviewing whether a ball was a home run or not, you can rule fan interference and call Hunter Pence out.
So, Joe West was going to review whether Hunter Pence's hit was a home run or not all along, right?
Sure he was.
For a much more in-depth explanation of the rules, check out Stark's post here.