Giants Fight TarpGate, Become First Team to Win an Appeal Since 1986

Perhaps you missed TarpGate, the Tuesday night debacle between the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs in which¬†the grounds crew at Wrigley Field failed to get the field covered in the middle of a rainstorm, causing the umpires to call the game as an 0-2 loss for the Giants. The Bay Area baseball team decided that this would not stand, and decided to appeal the decision. The MLB ruled that the Giants were right, based on Rule 4.12(a)(3), which covers game suspensions, namely that a game can be suspended in the case of a “Light failure or malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club. (Mechanical field device shall include automatic tarpaulin or water removal equipment).” This mechanical failure was found to be the spool that held the Cub’s tarp.

“I thought we had a strong case,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters. “We felt very strongly about it. I’m just thankful and grateful that they were openminded.” Bochy also said that he was happy that the teams would have a chance to finish the game.

This is the first successful appeal of a called game since 1986, when the Pirates were able to convince the league that a game between them and the Cardinals had been called prematurely due to rain. The now-suspended game between the Cubs and the Giants will be continued in the fifth inning before tonight’s scheduled night game.