ST. PETERSBURG — Major League Baseball, per policy, had no apologies or explanations Tuesday for the obviously incorrect call that impacted Monday's game.
Not that Rays manager Joe Maddon would have felt any better if they had.
"That one really hurt," he said.
The seventh-inning out call on OF Justin Ruggiano at home plate was made by John Tumpane, a 28-year-old who is one of several Triple-A umpires used by MLB to fill in for vacationing or injured umpires.
MLB umpires are reviewed and evaluated (in part to determine future assignments), but it is done so internally, so there is usually no public acknowledgement of mistakes, unless the umpire admits it himself (Tumpane was not made available to the media). In the NFL, league officials will review controversial calls and occasionally issue statements acknowledging mistakes.
Maddon said he understood the reasons for MLB officials to refrain from public comment but wouldn't mind hearing that a bad call was addressed.
"When it comes down to reprimands, I think both sides should be made aware of it, but not necessarily publicly," he said. "I'm okay with it just being among us."
Monday's game was a makeup from an early rainout, and the crew had only two regular members — Mike Everitt (who was acting crew chief in place of Mike Winters) and Chris Guccione — and two replacements, Cory Blaser and Tumpane.
Maddon indicated, subtly, that was part of the problem.
"It's a situation where it's a makeup game and the crew is thrown out there to call that game," Maddon said. "For me, I used to have that old T-shirt, that 'Every day counts.' I've been part of a team that's lost a division by one game and failed to get into the playoffs by one game. So all those things matter."
REHAB REPORT: RHP Jeff Niemann made his third and final rehab start for Triple-A Durham, allowing three hits in 51/3 scoreless innings, throwing 92 pitches (60 strikes). He walked three and struck out four. Niemann, out since early May with a lower back strain, is set to rejoin the rotation Monday in Milwaukee. Rookie RHP Alex Cobb will make another start on Saturday.
STARRY-EYED: 3B Evan Longoria, the elected starter in 2009-10, dropped to fourth in the latest All-Star voting update, trailing New York's Alex Rodriguez (2,063,520-1,226,770), Texas' Adrian Beltre and Boston's Kevin Youkilis. … DH Johnny Damon and 2B Ben Zobrist are fifth, OF Matt Joyce 13th.
MINOR MATTERS: INF Felipe Lopez cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Durham for the second time in the past six weeks. … Double-A Montgomery LHP Matt Moore (2-1, 1.05, 50 K in 341/3 IP) and Class A Bowling Green OF Cody Rogers (.297, 6 HR, 18 RBIs) were named the organization's top pitcher and player for May. … Montgomery pitching coach Bill Moloney, shot in the thigh June 6, returned to the dugout Monday.
DRAFT BREEZE: Second-round pick OF Granden Goetzman, of Palmetto High, became the highest chosen of the Rays' 23 (out of 60) draft selections to sign. "It's electric just standing here," he said on the field pregame. "This is the goal." … Scouting director R.J. Harrison spoke with top pick RHP Taylor Guerrieri on the phone and is trying to schedule a visit. … Others signed include ninth-round C Matt Rice, 11th-round 1B Cameron Seitzer (son of big-leaguer Kevin), 29th-round 2B Jonathan Koscso (USF), 42nd-round C Michael Bourdon (Tampa).
MISCELLANY: Damon extended his team-record streak of reaching base to 39 games with a third-inning double. He tied Rusty Staub for 53rd on the all-time doubles list at 499. … Bucs coach Raheem Morris sat with Maddon for his postgame media session. … The Rays held a moment of silence pregame for Tom McEwen, the longtime area sports columnist who died June 4.