Last night, the Dodgers were given four outs in the second inning and got a bonus run that the Diamondbacks are probably still steamed about.
With runners on second and third and
two outs one out, Randy Wolf hit a line drive right up the middle. Dan Haren caught the ball, wheeled and threw to the second baseman to double up Juan Pierre, the runner on second. Meanwhile, Andre Ethier broke for home on contact.
After the play ended, the Dodgers protested that the run should count and, after a conference, the umps agreed. The second baseman tagged Pierre instead of stepping on the bag, it was not a force out; because Ethier crossed the plate before the tag, the run counts. The danger of a run-down is always that other baserunners can advance while you are playing monkey-in-the-middle with one guy and that's what happened here.
But Ethier never tagged up. What about that? All of the lawyers on this board are probably only familiar with what happened from their law books: "procedural default." Since Arizona didn't throw over to third for what would have been, in their minds, a fourth out, they conceded the run. And because the time to appeal had passed, it was too late to complain that the runner hadn't tagged up – even though everyone in the park knew he had not.
It's just baseball – but it reminded me of the high bar that the Supreme Court has set for courts to evaluate new evidence of actual innocence after the regular run of appeals and habeas corpus petitions have been completed. I understand that the judicial system can't bear the weight of every claim of innocence but as we can see with the debacle currently ongoing in Mississippi, there are probably a lot of cases that the courts should take a look at again, procedural bars be damned.
That said, I probably wouldn't be so exercised about this if Haren's run weren't also charged to my fantasy team.
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