Morning after items from Rays' wild win
Here are some additional quotes and notes from the Rays wild win over the Blue Jays, decided on a replay review of the final play that found Toronto's Jose Bautista violated MLB's new rules on slides into second base, leading to a walkoff reversal.
Here is the official report from the pool reporter interviewing the umpires:
Crew Chief Mike Everitt said he was told to limit his comments to what the replay officials sent him. Read it off his phone (presumably an email):
"After viewing all relevant angles the replay official definitely determined that the runner violated Rule 601 J. The runner's actions hindered and impeded the fielder. Additionally, he did not engage in a bona fide slide as he did not attempt to remain on the base."
Everitt said "that's it" and he declined when asked what he or his crew saw in making the original call. "That's what we got, it went to replay and that's what it is."
Here is more from Toronto's Jose Bautista:
"I saw a ground ball, I ran hard to second, and I tried to get to the bag as soon as possible. As far as I knew, just because the rule has changed in some ways and has been adjusted or its attention to its application has been heightened, I didn't think it was illegal to make contact, let alone when it was something so subtle and soft.
"From what I heard, and we got briefed in spring training, you're not supposed to put your hands up. It was my first slide trying to break up a double play all season, including spring training. I know I'm not going to put my hands on the ground and risk injury, so I just let instinct take over. Did I reach out to make him avoid me? Perhaps. Does that mean it's an illegal slide? I don't know - my feet were aiming straight at the bag, I feel like I was within reach, I slid directly to the bag, I didn't go directly at him. As far as I understood, I was assuming contact was still okay and obstructing his path was still okay, as long as you stay within reach of the bag and your feet were headed towards the bag.
"I feel like I respected the rule. Felt like it was a clean slide, and it's just disappointing and somewhat embarrassing to lose a major league baseball game (that way). There's so much as stake every single day here. We grow up playing the game the certain way, since we were little kids, and all of a sudden to have everything taken away like that is strange.
"Common sense has to come into this at some point. I haven't seen that being talked about, not even once. It's harsh for us, as players, to deal with such huge adjustments on rules that have been around for so long. Like I said, I feel like I slid directly at the bag. I could have done much worse, and I chose not to."
More from Jays manager John Gibbons:
"That's flat out embarrassing. That cost us the chance to win a major league game. Was that the intent? ...I was talking to some guys in spring training and saying, ‘Just wait until that happens at the end of a major league game.' It's really an embarrassment. Baseball has been a hard-nosed game. He gets down in plenty of time, he's going into the bag. There really is no explanation for it. And you know what, wins matter in this business. And for that to come out like that, I don't get it."
On how the final play took away the team's comeback:
"All that matters is we had a chance to win. We take the lead and we're going in to win the 9th inning. We battled to get in that position, and you're going to end the game like that? ...Really, it's a joke. It's a shame. I get the intent. ...But that was good baseball.
"That has been baseball forever. … (Bautista) went right over the bag. I don't know exactly how they ruled it up there or who made that decision. His momentum took him a little bit that way, but come on. That's going to go down in history as probably the first one to end a game, and hopefully they will look at that a little bit more."
More from Rays manager Kevin Cash, on the new rule:
"I love it. The rule is put in to protect players and keep them safe. We saw what took place last year in the playoffs. It is what it is. We're happy we won, but can understand the frustration on the other side. We all deal with that in this game and what the replay has brought out the last couple of years."
More from Rays 2B Logan Forsythe:
On the win: "It might be the first game that was a W because of the double play rule that is in effect. We battled through. I felt something on the slide. When I first saw him coming in, I thought he was going over the bag, but then I didn't know if he kicked his foot out to try and catch a back foot. Just glad we got the W."
On Bautista's slide: "I felt something on my back leg as it swung me around, but I didn't think it was his hand. I thought he just kicked his foot out."