Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Replay does no good for Rays
Posted Sep 3, 2008 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Sep 3, 2008 at 11:44 PM
Instant replay just made its debut at Tropicana Field.
Alex Rodriguez’s home run off Troy Percival in the ninth inning was in dispute, and Joe Maddon talked the umpires into giving it another look.
After spending two minutes in the replay room, crew chief Charlie Reliford upheld the call on the field and signaled for a home run.
Updating with quotes:
Reliford told a pool reporter the process went “exactly like they trained us it would go” and the crew was satisfied the right call was made.
“We all believed it was a home run, but since the technology is in place we made the decision to use the technology and go look at the replays,” said Reliford. “And the replays we reviewed were conclusive that the call we made was correct.”
Reliford was asked if the call was based on where the ball went past the foul pole, as opposed to where it hit the catwalk.
“That is correct,” he said. “That back yellow line [on the catwalk] is way past the playing field. A fair ball is fair when it leaves the playing field. That’s why the foul poles are there to help us. We had it going right over the pole, all four of us had it going right over the pole on the field. And our views of the replays confirmed that. It was not inconclusive; it was conclusive that Brian’s call was correct.”
None of the parties involved seemd to have any objection to the way things unfolded.
“I can’t argue the replay call at all, because from where I was at, I thought it was fair,” said Percival.
Said Joe Girardi: “Obviously, they got the call right. That’s the important thing.”
Maddon said Dioner Navarro, who protested on the field as soon as Brian Runge called it fair, was “adamant” that the ball was foul, but he wasn’t sure himself.
“Quite frankly I couldn’t tell,” said Maddon. “Our pole is not high enough there. The ball is going to get above it, as it did, and that’s what I went out and explained to Brian. I said said I know that’s not an easy call, I know the pole’s not tall enough, and I said I would like you guys to get together in this regard.”
“I went over Charlie, I thought Charlie did a great job with it, Charlie is a very good umpire, and I thought they handled it in a very good way. I still don’t know if it was fair or foul, I don’t know if it was conclusive or not. But nevertheless, they went through the process, did not take that long, I was going to take out Percy regardless, but I thought the umpires handled it well.”
Naturally, though, it all came back to A-Rod in the Yankees’ clubhouse. He wasn’t surprised.
“There are probably 800 players in the big leagues,” said Rodriguez. “The odds of me being involved in something controversial are 2 to 1. I don’t know how I always get myself in these situations.”