Coach Mike Stone’s failure to lodge a protest at the appropriate time apparently has doomed Reseda High’s chances of reversing the forfeiture of a baseball game at Monroe on Tuesday.
Stone filed a protest with the City Section on Wednesday, the morning after the Mid-Valley League game that was called in the top of the eighth inning with the score tied, 6-6. Umpire Ted Comerford ordered the game forfeited to Monroe when he ruled that Reseda pitcher Tony Valdez faked an injury in order to force a pitching change.
Stone admits that he ordered Valdez to fake the injury after he threw one warm-up pitch in the eighth inning. Comerford, a 23-year-old Cal State Northridge student who has officiated for six years, admitted Wednesday that he was wrong when he refused to allow the change. Valdez already had pitched 1 2/3 innings and could be removed at any time.
However, Comerford called the forfeit for what he called Reseda’s willful violation of the rules.
“They were making a mockery of baseball,” he said. “To see a coach do that, to see him set that kind of example for a team, it broke my heart.”
Because the forfeit was based on an umpire’s judgment, a protest has little chance of succeeding, according to City Section Commissioner Hal Harkness, who added that Reseda’s case would have been strengthened had Stone protested when he was forbidden to change pitchers. The protest will be officially reviewed at next month’s meeting of the Interscholastic Athletic Committee.
“I’d do the same thing tomorrow,” Stone said in defense of his actions on Tuesday. He may get his chance. The teams play again today at 3 p.m. at Reseda.