Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Umpiring controversy in the middle of Tampa Bay Rays' 3-2 loss to Toronto Blue Jays

ST. PETERSBURG — There was a lot of shouting at umpiring chief Joe West and his crew in the Rays' 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field.

Before the game ended, both managers were ejected along with Rays centerfielder B.J. Upton after a ninth-inning strikeout, his fourth of the game and third time looking, an outburst he said will likely result in a fine and a suspension.

But long after the yelling and hollering had ended, Rays manager Joe Maddon said one play still screams for Major League Baseball to adopt instant replay, and West acknowledged miscommunication by the umpires.

With the Rays trailing 3-1 and runners on first and second and one out in the seventh, Sam Fuld bounced to third baseman Edwin Encarnacion, who stepped on the bag at third to force Casey Kotchman but fired wildly to first. Fuld was called safe by West, who indicated that first baseman Adam Lind had missed the tag.

But West conferred with second-base umpire Angel Hernandez, and Fuld was called out to end the inning.

"That's the second time that call has happened to us this year, and I really have a hard time with that call being changed from that distance," Maddon said. "If there's any play that screams for instant replay, it's that one.

"You've got first and third, you've got (Ben) Zobrist coming up, not a bad moment for us. I didn't like it. It's such an awkward play to have that happen twice in the same season."

After the game, West agreed with Maddon that while his crew was right to confer, there was a miscommunication between umpires and Fuld should've been called safe.

While Hernandez told West that Fuld had been tagged, he believed the outfielder was already on first when the tag occurred. Fuld also said he was tagged after he touched first.

"All I asked Angel was did he tag him, and Angel told me I thought you had him safe for being on the bag," West said after the game. "I didn't heed that warning. I made a judgment based on what I had at first base. So it appears that we may have erred, but we did everything protocol right by the book."

The Rays, who were stymied by Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow again, rallied for a run on Fuld's RBI single in the ninth and had runners on the corners when Zobrist bounced out to first to end the game.

Jays manager John Farrell was ejected in the seventh inning by home-plate umpire Chad Fair­child for arguing balls and strikes. Upton threw a tirade after being called out on strikes in the ninth, tossing his helmet and both batting gloves.

On April 10, Maddon's most dramatic of his now 18 ejections occurred in a game against the White Sox in Chicago.

Dan Johnson hit a grounder that bounced off Sox first baseman Paul Konerko. Second baseman Gordon Beckham recovered it and threw to pitcher Gavin Floyd, who bobbled the ball. First-base umpire Doug Eddings called Johnson safe, but the play was overturned after umpires convened.

"I'm anti-replay. I've been," Maddon said. "But I'm getting more on board with it now, not because it's been against us."

Blue Jays 3

Rays 2

Umpiring controversy in the middle of Tampa Bay Rays' 3-2 loss to Toronto Blue Jays 05/04/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 5, 2011 4:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays vs. Angels, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Angels

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  2. Fennelly: This season's Chris Archer is a pleasure to watch

    The Heater


    At this time last season, through 10 starts, Rays pitcher Chris Archer was 3-5 on his way to 9-19.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, May 21, 2017.
  3. Bucs' O.J. Howard ends big day with BP, first pitch for Rays


    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard is known for his athleticism at 6-foot-6, 251-pounds. As an outfielder, he took his Autuaga Academy High School baseball team to the state tournament in Alabama as a junior.

    On Monday, after a little instruction from Steven Souza, Jr., the left-handed hitting Howard started making …

  4. Arm problems in the past, USF rides pitching into AAC baseball tournament


    TAMPA — By his second relief inning in last year's season opener, USF right-hander Ryan Valdes had lost the fizz on his fastball.

    USF senior right-hander Ryan Valdes, an Alonso High alumnus, is one of three prominent Bulls pitchers flourishing after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. [USF Athletics]
  5. Ryan Fitzpatrick likes Bucs weapons, believes he's a good fit


    Ryan Fitzpatrick’s experience playing for six other NFL teams is what made him attractive to the Bucs as a backup to starter Jameis Winston. But if he has to play, the former Jets quarterback is happy about all the weapons on Tampa Bay’s offense.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick is happy about all the weapons on Tampa Bay’s offense.