MIAMI — Instant replay might not have changed the call that cost the Marlins a game.
But the Marlins were still shaking their heads Friday about the decision made Thursday when third-base umpire Bob Davidson ruled a sharp ninth-inning grounder by Gaby Sanchez was foul rather than the winning hit. The Phillies won in the 10th.
After watching a replay, Davidson insisted he was correct.
"That's the part that really gets me," Marlins 3B Wes Helms said. "Whoever has talked about it has said it's clearly a fair ball. It's pretty much (Davidson) against everybody else."
With no replay angle showing conclusively if the ball passed over the third-base bag, which would make it fair, observers were left to dissect the path of Sanchez's grounder. It bounced on the foul line before reaching the base, then bounced fair behind third.
"How could he call it foul when the ball landed fair just before it went into the outfield grass?" Marlins third-base coach Joe Espada said. "That was what I couldn't figure out."
Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez pleaded for Davidson to consult with the rest of his crew but was rebuffed. Rodriguez said he became so angry that he cursed at Davidson.
"For less than what I did, I've been thrown out in the minor leagues," said Rodriguez, in his first year as a manger after replacing fired Fredi Gonzalez in June. "The fact he didn't throw me out gave me a reason to believe he knew he was wrong."
The episode renewed debate about instant replay in baseball. Partly in jest, Helms said he changed his mind.
"I've always been against it," Helms said. "But dang, it cost us the game. You want the right call because it will be a fair game."
Rodriguez said replay should be used on any call with the game on the line. But as Davidson noted, camera angles leave room for debate.
"There's no replay that you can really see what the ball does over the bag, and that's what's important," Davidson said. "But I know what I saw."
Bonds trial: The lawyers for Barry Bonds, federal prosecutors and a judge agreed the all-time home run leader's trial will begin March 21. Bonds has pleaded not guilty to charges he lied to a grand jury in December 2003 when he denied knowingly taking performance-enhancing drugs. His initial February 2009 trial date was delayed while an appeal over excluded evidence was decided.
Brewers: CF Carlos Gomez went on the DL with a concussion sustained Monday when he was hit in the helmet by a pitch. There is no timetable for his return.
Cubs: RHP Carlos Silva is set to have his heart examined Monday and might have a procedure to correct a problem with his heartbeat. Silva spent a night in a Denver hospital after he left Sunday's start with an abnormal heart rate. He went on the DL on Monday.
Padres: RHP Chris Young, out since April 7 with a strained shoulder and previously believed to be out for the year, is scheduled for a bullpen session today. The next step in his recovery will be determined afterward.
Reds: RH reliever Russ Springer's strained left hip remains sore and might require a stint on the DL. Springer, 41, in his 18th season, left Wednesday's game, his second since signing a minor-league deal on July 17.
Red Sox: LH reliever Hideki Okajima went on the DL with a strained right hamstring. He said he hopes to be back in the minimum 15 days. Also, 2B Dustin Pedroia, out since June 26 with a broken left foot, said he felt good after running. But there is still no timetable for his return.
Tigers: Owner Mike Ilitch said manager Jim Leyland and GM Dave Dombrowski will return next year. Detroit was a half-game out of first place at the All-Star break but has lost 18 of 23 since.
Yankees: LHP Andy Pettitte, out since July 18 with a strained groin, said he was pleased with his first bullpen session. He hopes to throw another Sunday and return in late August.