You may have heard about the Mets batting out of order against the Reds on Wednesday. It's pretty rare in the majors, last occurring July 4, 2016. The crew chief Jerry Meals said he last saw it in the minors 32 years ago. The most entertaining thing about this is that MLB managers don't understand the rule and are willing to demonstrate their ignorance publicly.
Here is a quick recap of what happened. The Mets' lineup card turned in at the pre-game conference listed the first five batters as Nimmo, Cabrera, Flores, Bruce, and Gonzalez, but the lineup posted in the dugout (and on the scoreboard) had Flores and Cabrera reversed. In the first inning, Nimmo and Flores struck out.Cabrera then hit a ground rule double. The Reds appealed, and Cabrera was removed from the bases, and the third out was declared. (More on that later.)
Here is confused manager number one:
"I knew right when they went up there that we were out of order," [Mets manager Mickey] Callaway said. "It was an administrative thing that I didn't take care of. Once they announce you, you can't do anything."
He was wrong and could have avoided the whole mess if he understood the rule. You can't undo a sub once announced, but with batting out order, there is no penalty until the improper batter has completed the at-bat. If it is discovered during the at-bat, the remedy is to have the proper batter assume the count and finish the at-bat.
The fun continued in the top of the second. The Mets send Gonzalez up to bat, and he hits a single. Reds manager Jim Riggleman thought he was going to get another free out because the Mets skipped Bruce. This time the Mets were right and he was wrong. The first pitch to Cabrera made the previous batter (Flores) legal, which meant the proper batter should have been Bruce. When Cabrera completed the at-bat, the improper batter (Cabrera) was removed from the bases and the proper batter (Bruce) was declared out for failing to appear in his turn.Gonzalez followed Bruce in the lineup and was the correct batter to have leading off the next inning.
This led to some fun in the box score as well. When Cabrera hit that double, it was treated as if it didn't happen. Cabrera's spot in the lineup was legally skipped in the first inning, so Cabrera was 0-for-3 despite batting four times and having no BB, HBP, Sac or SF to explain the missing AB. Poor Jay Bruce's rough year reached a new low - he managed to go 0-for-4 while only coming to the plate three times.
I bet he doesn't like the rule as much as I do.