What the hell? The Ogden Raptors walked off the field with their manager in a fit only moments away from a likely 4-2 win. Instead, they forfeited to the Grand Junction Rockies ... unless they didn't.
In one of the most bizarre turn of events I've ever seen in a professional sporting event, the Ogden Raptors officially forfeited a game to the Grand Junction Rockies despite holding a 4-2 lead after six and a half innings.
The weather had been dreary all night and intermittent rain gave way to a steady stream moving into the fifth inning. Around this time, the Raptors (a Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate) coaching staff began bombastically arguing with the two-man umpire crew, presumably to call the game.
Manager Jack McDowell, who according to sources around the Rockies was involved in a brawl with Idaho Falls recently, could be heard screaming obscenities from the press box. The fact that the rain had thinned the crowd certainly helped.
The exact nature of the dispute remains unclear, but the umpires are contending that the field was playable and that the Raptors' refusal to take the field resulted in an automatic forfeit. Walking around some of Ogden's players who still stood eerily in uniform as the ballpark emptied after the game, a sense of confusion permeated. Whatever happened, they absolutely didn't mean to forfeit a game that would have brought them to within a half game of their opponents with little season left had the result stood.
It's possible this was an overreaction from an umpiring crew that was sick of hearing from McDowell, but from where I sat, it looked like a manager intent on being right and acting without patience. He may have had a case -- the rain was pretty thick -- but McDowell made himself the spectacle. Our friends at the Purple Dinosaur Podcast reminded me this is nothing new for him:
The ruling is now under dispute according to the Patrick Saunders of Grand Junction, Patti Arnold:
Here's the latest: Umpires rule Ogden forfeits by refusing to take the field. Ogden has filed protest of the forfeit. (Cont) #GJSentinelSpts— Patti Arnold (@gjsportswriter) August 27, 2014
(Cont) Pioneer League will now rule on the protest. No timetable given for that. Could uphold forfeit or rule game complete #GJSentinelSpts— Patti Arnold (@gjsportswriter) August 27, 2014
Pioneer Lg could also rule to play 7th inning or finish the game. It's anybody's guess. Ah, Rookie ball! #GJSentinelSpts— Patti Arnold (@gjsportswriter) August 27, 2014
To add another wrench in this whole mess, Grand Junction broadcaster Adam Spolane points out:
To make things even more fun, it's supposed to rain tomorrow so tomorrow's game is in jeopardy— Adam Spolane (@AdamSpolane) August 27, 2014
This is especially bad news for Yonathan Daza who was 3-for-3 in this game and is now 8-for-8 going back to his last one, but of course, in a forfeit all stats are wiped out and the team gets a 9-0 win.
Unless the league rules they didn't.
UPDATE: Raptors beat writer Brett Hein added clarification to the forfeit rule and how it relates to the stats from the game:
All stats stand, score changed to 9-0.
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