Rays make history with instant replay
The Rays became part of history Wednesday, albeit in a 8-4 loss, when instant replay was used for the first time ever by Major League Baseball.
The play in question came in the ninth inning on an Alex Rodriguez two-out, two-run homer, which hit the D-ring catwalk in leftfield; it was called fair on the field and was supported through replay that it went directly over the foul pole.
Manager Joe Maddon asked for clarification on the call - made by third base umpire Brian Runge. Crew chief Charlie Reliford said the crew met together, agreeing unanimously that the ball was fair (that it soared directly over the foul poul), but decided to use the technology.
Whether they liked it not, most everyone involved said the umpires did a good job in double-checking, and were efficient (two minutes, 15 seconds).
Here's what they were saying:
Reliford: "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."
“Obviously, they got the call right,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s the important thing. I’ve said that all along.”
"I thought it was clearly fair,' Rays closer Troy Percival said. "Then I saw the replay and I wasn't so sure."
"I couldn't tell. Our pole is not high enough there. I thought Charlie did a great job with it. I don't know if it was fair or foul."
Said Rodriguez: “There are probably 800 players in the big leagues. The odds of me being in some controversy is probably 2 to 1. It’s just funny.”
-- JOE SMITH