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. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …