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Word from the men in blue

Posted May 17, 2009 by Marc Lancaster

Updated May 17, 2009 at 06:37 PM

The umpires had a number of issues to touch on with a pool reporter following the game.

Crew chief Tim McClelland, doing the talking for the group, said Eric Wedge brought the lineup snafu to the attention of plate umpire Ted Barrett and the matter took so long to sort out because they were trying to make sure they had the proper interpretation of the rule.

He also obviously had not seen a replay—or didn’t acknowledge it—of Ryan Garko’s fly ball in the eighth, which was erroneously ruled to have been legally caught by Carl Crawford. It actually hit the top of the wall first and should have been a double.

“Obviously, we saw he caught it,” said McClelland. “It went off his glove and then he caught the ball. That’s what we decided as a crew.”

And finally, on the nastiness late in the game, McClelland didn’t share the view of the Rays that Kerry Wood’s pitches to B.J. Upton were obviously intentional.

“I don’t think they’re going to hit somebody to put a runner on second base,” he said. “Cleveland’s not going to hit somebody to move a runner up to second base or throw it to the backstop, which they did, to put a runner on second base in a two-run game. A base hit now and an extra run scores, so you have to take a look at the situation. So in my judgment, I don’t think he was throwing at him. On the reverse of that, when Percival hit DeRosa, it’s a [0-2] pitch, and they’re not going to hit somebody intentionally and put him on first base and bring the tying run to the plate. So even though it might not look good, you have to take into account the situation and what’s going on in the game.”

He added that despite the warnings issued after the benches cleared, Percival “has the right to throw inside, and he has the right to be able to hit the guy—not intentionally.”

Reader Comments

Por (Donald Scribner) on May 17, 2009 (Suggest removal)

just a question.  Shouldn’t manager Wedge have waited until Longoria batted for at least 1 pitch and then argued regarding the lineup.  That way Longoria have batted out of turn or Sonnestine would be declared out of the game because Longo pitched hit for him.

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Por (Marc Lancaster) on May 17, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Good question, Donald. I’m not sure how it would have worked in that situation…

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Por (Frank Ferreri) on May 18, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Interesting scenario. One positive from the snafu was a glimpse of National League baseball, at least for the Rays.  It is an age old debate, however, National League baseball is close to pure as it gets.

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Por (Matt) on May 18, 2009 (Suggest removal)

The game showed us the farce of having pitchers hit (although Sonny did little to harm his lifetime .400 BA).  A team has to pull an effective pitcher in the late innings for a pinch hitter (Howell in the 8th), have the pitcher hit in a critical spot, or just hope the guy in front of him makes an out so there’s no decision to make (as happened, preserving Howell into the 8th).  Had Bartlett reached in front of JP, the Rays would have had to PH and the 8th would have belonged to someone else.  As it was, JP pitched 1 1/3 innings of brilliant baseball. 

I pay to watch great athletes perform, not to watch pitchers be overmatched.  I just don’t find the double-switch interesting enough to compensate me for watching Randy Johnson bat .060.

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