A's appealing ruling on fielder's choice

A's appealing ruling on fielder's choice

BALTIMORE -- Mark Ellis was originally ruled to have stolen home when he scored in the fourth inning of Wednesday's eventual 9-6 loss to the Orioles. However, the official scorer later ruled it as a fielder's choice. Now, the A's would like it changed back.

Oakland is appealing to the American League office on the official scorer's ruling, asking for a review, because the A's feel Ellis should be awarded a steal of home. Team spokesman Bob Rose said he was filing an appeal by the start of Thursday's game, and the A's hoped to receive an answer in the next few days.

The bizarre play happened with Gabe Gross on first and Ellis on third and one out. Gross took off for second on Kevin Millwood's 3-2 pitch to Cliff Pennington, who checked his swing. Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters threw to second, thinking it was called a strike, which it wasn't.

Ellis moved down the line from third, taking off as Wieters threw to second. Official scorer Mark Jacobson first ruled it a steal of home -- and a double steal overall -- but he later changed the call in the top of the sixth. Jacobson said that because Wieters threw to second base on ball four that the play had to be called a fielder's choice, as Ellis didn't try to advance home until after the unnecessary throw.

"It still seems a bit of a gray area," Rose said. "I just don't think any of the explanations that have been given satisfy our stance, that your initial reaction when you see that play is it's a stolen base. And I think our instincts are right."

Rose said Jacobson called the Elias Sports Bureau, and it felt strongly that a fielder's choice was the correct ruling and not a stolen base. But the A's want the league to look at the play again.

"This one, to me, seems like we need to go beyond just taking someone's word," Rose said. "It doesn't seem to make sense to us."

Ellis said, quite frankly, that he doesn't really care if it's changed it or not. But in his mind, there's no doubt that it should be ruled a stolen base.

"You want the guys to get the scoring right," he said. "Just common sense, it's a stolen base."

If the ruling is changed, it would give the A's their first steal of home since June 22, 2008, when Carlos Gonzalez did it against the Marlins.