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Rays on the ropes, Joe Maddon ejected after Michael Young homer follows questionable call

Oct 7, 2010, 4:20 PM EDT

Joe Maddon had Game 2 starter James Shields on a very short leash this afternoon, pulling him from a 2-0 game with two outs in the fifth inning and two runners on base.
Chad Qualls replaced Shields and appeared to wriggle out of the jam by getting a checked-swing strikeout on Michael Young, but first base umpire Jerry Meals ruled that he didn’t go around … and Young delivered a three-run homer to straightaway center field on the next pitch to make it 5-0.
Maddon headed out to the mound to chat with Qualls, waited for home plate umpire Jim Wolf to come break up the meeting, and then got himself tossed in a cacophony of expletives. And then the fans at Tropicana Field started chanting “Replay! Replay! Replay!” before Vladimir Guerrero delivered an RBI single that extended the Rangers’ lead to 6-0.
(Thanks to Jeff Sullivan for the checked-swing screen capture.)

  1. ultimatecardinalwarrior - Oct 7, 2010 at 4:36 PM

    He clearly went around as the replay shows…so what does this mean for the replay debate?

  2. BCTF - Oct 7, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    Maybe the fans should have started chanting “Underrated…Underrated…” to the Texas team.

  3. Mr. Heyward - Oct 7, 2010 at 4:53 PM

    It would mean something if the Rays could put up ANY DAMN HITS!!!

  4. geoknows - Oct 7, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    People can chant “replay” all they want, but one place it’ll never be used is on checked swings.

  5. Mark - Oct 7, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    Which is the wrong idea entirely. A blown call is a blown call, whether it’s on a home run, a catch/trap play, a tie/out at a base, a dropped ball, a foul tip, a hit by pitch or a check swing. We have the technology to instantaneously assess whether the correct call was made on any close play. Why not use it when it’s freely available?
    If FOX or any other network can show a blown call in seconds, there’s no excuse for MLB to prevent replay from being shown.

  6. Trevor B - Oct 7, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    Even watching it live it was ridiculously obvious that was a swing. Reply, now, seriously guys. It took 15 seconds to look at the video again to see that was a swing.

  7. bigshotrob - Oct 7, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    What sport uses replay for every close play?

  8. bigshotrob - Oct 7, 2010 at 5:21 PM

    What sport uses replay for every close play?

  9. Mr. Heyward - Oct 7, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    There’s no way checked swings can be part of replay. They are hard to discern even in super slomo. Not everything is replayable in football either for the same reason.

  10. RoyceThe BaseballHack - Oct 7, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    It’s the ninth inning of this game, now. The Rays have two freakin’ hits and have one error. You’re trying to sell me the idea that a blown call by the Ump is their biggest problem, or The Game’s biggest problem? Get a grip.

  11. Mark - Oct 7, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    I’ve never heard that before, because everytime I’ve seen a baseball game they replay a check swing and it’s blatantly obvious as to whether or not they go around. It’s pretty obvious if the bat has crossed the plate or not. I’ve never had that problem or heard that complaint before.

  12. The Baseball Idiot - Oct 7, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    He didn’t clearly go around. Granted, where I’m watching from, I might not be seeing all of the replays. But the replay I saw came from the close end of the dugout at a 90 degree angle.
    That’s a lot different than the 45 degree angle from twice the distance the first base umpire is seeing it from.
    Knowledge of the field is a powerful tool.

  13. bobbychez - Oct 7, 2010 at 7:02 PM

    The MLB rulebook does not have a definition of a checked swing (called a half swing in the rulebook), it is dependent on the umpires.Some umps go by whether the batter broke his wrists on the swing or whether the intent was there to go around. However, going past the front of the plate is not the best way to judge a swing, the batter could position himself in the front of the batter’s box and any half swing he makes could go beyond the front of the plate.

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