Phillies

Shocker: Joe West was wrong to confiscate Austin Davis' scouting report

Shocker: Joe West was wrong to confiscate Austin Davis' scouting report

Wait, Joe West was wrong?

Consider us, and the many of you who spoke out on social media Saturday night, shocked.

Last night in the eighth inning, West, the veteran umpire of more than 5,000 games, approached Phillies reliever Austin Davis and confiscated the scouting report Davis had been referencing during the inning, considering it a “foreign substance.”

Sunday, West is admitting that he did that in error.

During Sunday’s game, Ben Davis reported on NBC Sports Philadelphia that there was a lack of communication between the umpires and the league. West indicated to Davis that the umpires were never informed that the use of scouting reports was allowed.

That has now changed.

Davis continued to say that the league has made it clear to the umpires that use of such scouting reports was acceptable, if the player is not delaying the game. 

This tweet by Todd Zolecki confirms that report, citing MLB rule 6.03(c)(7).

We have entered the final month of the season and Davis has been using the cards throughout the year without issue. If a play can be reviewed, why couldn’t West consult with MLB to make sure he wasn’t acting in error when he confiscated the card from Davis?

The game of baseball is evolving and the use of scouting reports by pitchers is part of the work done by the Phillies' scouting department. It’s unfortunate that the umpires didn’t know the rules when they stepped out on to the field last night.

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USA Today Images

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A few weeks back, we ranked the eight managerial openings in attractiveness now and over the next three years. The Mets were first but not by a significant margin over the Phillies. They're in slightly better shape with Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso and Noah Syndergaard, but how many more years will anyone other than deGrom be in that rotation? Syndergaard trade rumors have persisted, Zack Wheeler is a free agent after the World Series and Marcus Stroman is a free agent after 2020.

The Phillies have also been more willing to spend over the last decade than the Mets. Their average end-of-season payroll from 2011-14 was more than $171 million. Last year, their opening day payroll was $140 million and all signs point to more spending this winter.

In all four of those years earlier in the decade (2011-14), the Phillies ended the season with a payroll higher than the Mets have ever carried. If you're Girardi and your two best offers are jobs in major markets that involve immense pressure, wouldn't you rather be with the ownership group you trust more to spend?

The Phillies also have the money to pay Girardi himself — another obviously important factor. Manager salaries don't count against the luxury tax. As Jim Salisbury pointed out on our At the Yard podcast Monday, the next manager's salary might cost the same as a middle reliever. At that point, what is an extra couple million if it means firmly landing the most appealing veteran manager on the market who has the qualities the top of the organization and vast majority of the fan base want?

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At the Yard podcast: Zeroing in on Joe Girardi, free agency, 2020 outfield

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NBCSP

At the Yard podcast: Zeroing in on Joe Girardi, free agency, 2020 outfield

The Phillies shouldn't let Joe Girardi leave town early this week. Jim Salisbury and Corey Seidman discuss the Phillies' second round of interviews and more on the latest At the Yard podcast.

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Subscribe and rate At The Yard:
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