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MLB apologizes to Mets, admits Pete Alonso-Jeff McNeil call was wrong

New York Post logo: MainLogo New York Post 4/1/2023 Mike Puma

MIAMI — The Mets received a clarification and apology Friday on the mysterious strike call against Jeff McNeil a day earlier

McNeil was charged with a strike by plate umpire Larry Vanover — as part of MLB’s new rules — according to manager Buck Showalter because Pete Alonso was slow returning to first base between pitches after running.

Showalter said he was later informed by league officials that a strike shouldn’t have been charged to McNeil. 

In the future, Showalter said players will be warned by the umpire if they are slow returning to the base. 

“When I refereed basketball, it’s called preventive officiating, where you go, ‘Hey, get out of the lane,’ instead of blowing the whistle,” Showalter said before the Mets faced the Marlins. “If they keep doing it you pop them.” 

© Provided by New York Post Jeff McNeil was docked a strike after Pete Alonso was called for a pitch clock violation. Screengrab / SNY © Provided by New York Post Pete Alonso reacts after being called for taking. too long to return to first base during the Mets’ win over the Marlins on March 30. Screengrab / SNY see also © Provided by New York Post Mets seeking clarity on Jeff McNeil’s strike call under new rules

Adding to the confusion, Alonso was later told by Vanover, according to Showalter, that he wasn’t the cause of the strike called on McNeil — who delivered a single on the next pitch. 

“By the time Pete got around third base there was another version of the story out there,” Showalter said. “[League officials] wanted to make sure everybody was straight, so I appreciate that.” 

Showalter’s expectation is that umpires will show leniency on pace of game issues unless there are blatant offenders. 

“As long as someone is not trying to circumvent the rules and not use it to their advantage they are going to be thoughtful about it,” Showalter said. 

Tommy Pham started in left field Friday night with Mark Canha in the DH spot as Showalter unveiled his first lineup against a lefty starter.

The manager indicated he may use Pham in the outfield against lefties so he can give his starters a break.

Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte also would stand to receive starts at DH under that arrangement.


New York Post

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