Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz came away from Saturday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Rays shaking his head.
Ortiz couldn’t understand why the umpires called fan interference on his near home run in the first inning or why the Red Sox didn’t challenge a close play at second base in the fourth inning.
The Red Sox’s frustrating night at Tropicana Field began in the first inning, when Ortiz scorched a line drive toward the right field fence. It initially looked like it had a chance to leave the yard for Ortiz’s 25th home run of the season, but a fan — wearing a Red Sox jersey, no less — reached over the top of the wall and caught the baseball. The umpires called fan interference, awarding Ortiz a double rather than a home run.
“That was a (expletive) homer. That was a home run,” Ortiz told reporters in St. Petersburg after the game. “I don’t give a (expletive) what they say. That was a homer. They (expletive) up on that one right there.
“They say the guy reached over. The guy, he reached over, but the pressure of the ball pulled him down. That ball was going to be over the freaking yellow line over there,” Ortiz added, according to WEEI.com. “I think that the umpire down the line, he kind of panicked when he saw the right fielder (motioning for interference). I guess that’s what happened. But I watched the whole replay. That was a home run.”
Ortiz’s other gripe following Saturday’s loss centered on a play in the fourth inning in which catcher Christian Vazquez appeared to have Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar picked off second base. It looked liked shortstop Stephen Drew tagged Escobar before he touched the bag, but Red Sox manager John Farrell opted not to challenge the play after a conversation with second base umpire Marcus Pattillo, insisting that it wasn’t conclusive when reviewed internally. Ortiz and Red Sox starter John Lackey disagreed with Farrell’s assessment.
“How in the hell didn’t we challenge that one? Inconclusive? They played that on TV 20 times,” Ortiz told reporters. “I saw the replay like 20 times on TV. Me and (Shane Victorino) saw it. That was (an) out.”
Frustration has been the norm for the Red Sox this season. Saturday was no exception.