Umpires reverse LaRoche home run
PITTSBURGH -- Adam LaRoche became the first player to have a home run taken away after a video replay, losing it Wednesday night when umpires reversed their call.
The call in the Cardinals-Pirates game was the 13th to get reviewed by replay since the system went into effect late last season. This was the third reversal overall -- last year, Bengie Molina and Carlos Pena were awarded home runs after a video look.
This was the first time replay was used on a call at PNC Park.
LaRoche's long drive in the first inning struck either a railing or small protective screen above the 21-foot wall in right field -- both objects are in play -- but a home run was signaled by first base umpire Lance Barksdale.
After Cardinals manager Tony La Russa came onto the field, crew chief Randy Marsh, Barksdale and Alfonso Marquez watched the replay -- the crew chief makes the call -- while Mike Winters stayed at home plate. The call was changed almost immediately to a double.
Pirates manager John Russell, who rarely disputes calls, did not leave the dugout to argue, and the Pirates did not appear to think the reversal was incorrect.
LaRoche didn't score after being forced at third on Robinzon Diaz's grounder to end the inning.
Of the six potential home run plays reviewed this season, this was the first to be changed either way.
Since the video review procedure took effect Aug. 28, there have been 10 calls upheld and three changed. Of the other two to be changed, both of which occurred in September, Pena of Tampa Bay and Molina of San Francisco were given home runs.
While Molina's call was changed, he did not score on the play. He was replaced by a pinch runner before the call was reversed, and the umpires did not allow him to return to the game and cross home plate.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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