It’s safe to say Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon isn’t a fan of Major League Baseball’s replay system at the moment.
Maddon protested Saturday afternoon’s Rays game against the Toronto Blue Jays after a controversial replay challenge in the fourth inning.
During the frame, first base umpire Bill Welke initially called Rays outfielder Will Myers safe after an attempted pickoff throw by Blue Jays pitcher Mark Buehrle. Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar, who was batting at the time, stepped back into the batter’s box and Buehrle stepped back on the rubber for the next pitch.
Under baseball’s replay rules, there can be no review of the previous play when the pitcher is back on the mound ready to deliver the pitch and batter is back in the box.
But Blue Jays manager John Gibbons came out to challenge the pickoff — which crew chief Bob Davidson allowed him to do — and Myers was called out by replay officials in New York. After the call, Maddon told Davidson that Tampa Bay would be playing the game under protest. The Rays went on to lose the game 5-4 in 10 innings.
“It was inappropriate for Bob to do what he did and permit that to happen,” Maddon said, via the Associated Press. “I’m trusting that they’re going to interpret the rule properly and get us back to that point in the game.”
Interestingly enough, Wednesday saw the San Francisco Giants become the first team to win a protest since 1986 when the MLB confirmed their argument that the Wrigley Field grounds crew failed to get the tarp on the field in time, causing the Giants’ game against the Chicago Cubs to be unplayable. The Cubs initially had won 2-0, but the Giants were able to win 5-3 when the game was continued from the bottom of the fifth inning.
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