TORONTO — Manager Joe Maddon said he came away with "an adequate amount of hope" the Rays will prevail in their protest of Saturday's game after talking for five minutes with Joe Torre, the Major League Baseball executive who will make a ruling.
The first accomplishment in the Sunday morning conversation was Torre indicating the protest is valid, Maddon said, just the 10th valid one in the past 10 years. MLB rules forbid protests involving replay decisions. But the Rays are protesting crew chief Bob Davidson's decision in the 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Blue Jays to allow the use of replay too late, not the actual replay.
Secondly, Maddon said, Torre seemed "willing to listen" to the Rays' case, instructing Maddon to "submit everything that went on (Saturday) from my perspective," which he planned to do via email. Torre did not give a time line for a decision, but it is expected in the next several days.
Maddon's premise is that the rules are clear that there can be no challenges once the pitcher is on the rubber and the batter in the box, so there should be no umpire discretion or rules "nuance" — even, as Davidson said, in the spirit of getting the call right. (The fourth-inning call was reversed, with Wil Myers picked off first base). "It's tantamount to inadmissible evidence," Maddon said.
He also dismissed Davidson's claim that he saw Toronto manager John Gibbons slowly making his way out of the dugout as Yunel Escobar was settling into the box: "I hate to accuse anybody of dissembling, but I'm certain that was not the case." If the protest is upheld, the game would be replayed from point of the controversy. The Rays return to Toronto on Sept. 12-15.
ARCHER FILE: RHP Chris Archer was sharp over seven innings in Sunday's 2-1, 10-inning win, allowing one earned run or fewer for the 13th time in 26 starts. He also attempted to make a play Maddon wished he hadn't: a full-out headfirst dive for a foul ball and coming up short. "It's wonderful, it's a great hustle play, he's athletic in everything — but fielding," Maddon said. "So, 'Archie,' just let it fall, man."
REHAB REPORT: C Ryan Hanigan (oblique) went 1-for-3 and caught nine innings for Class A Charlotte in his third rehab game and could rejoin the Rays in the next few days. … OF David DeJesus (fractured left hand) went for 1-for-4 as the DH in his fourth game.
MISCELLANY: CF Desmond Jennings had a rare show of emotion, flinging his bat and helmet after striking out. … Myers struck out three more times, giving him 10 in five games since telling the Rays he was ready to come off the DL, nine looking. … Jays RF Jose Bautista was ejected for arguing a strike call.