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Jim Leyland tossed after bad call leads to three runs

May 28, 2012, 2:45 PM EDT

Jim Leyland AP

Tigers manager Jim Leyland was ejected from Monday’s game after two innings following a bad call in Boston’s three-run bottom of the second.

With a man on second and two outs, Mike Aviles swung and tipped what appeared to be strike three, ending the inning. However, home plate umpire Jeff Nelson couldn’t tell if catcher Gerald Laird caught the ball and looked to first base ump Bill Welke for help. Welke ruled that the ball hit the ground, extending the at-bat. Replays showed that it was a clean catch by Laird, though.

Aviles went on to single, the first of three straight run-scoring hits for Boston that gave the team a 4-1 lead against Doug Fister.

After the inning concluded, Jim Leyland came out to state his case about the ball, likely arguing that Welke at least should have had the ball checked for dirt. When Leyland, Laird and bench coach Gene Lamont continued to argue from the dugout as the third was set to begin, Leyland and Lamont were both ejected, leading to another lengthy Leyland argument on the field.

Of course, we’re always told that instant replay would lengthen games. However, it would have taken about two seconds to identify that this pitch never hit the ground and might have shortened this game by a full 15 minutes, considering that the ensuing rally and Leyland’s argument wouldn’t have taken place.

  1. jarathen - May 28, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Bud Selig sees this, consults the voices in his head, and tells us all there is no push for instant replay.

    • vallewho - May 28, 2012 at 10:10 PM

      because it’s a nuance of the game…

      • vallewho - May 28, 2012 at 10:11 PM

        and the Office of the Comissioner of MLB only cares about the integrity of the game….

  2. sabatimus - May 28, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Tigers got totally and completely screwed by that call. I’m a Sox fan and even Orsillo and Remy agreed that the Sox got a big break and that the inning ought to be over.

    • rollinghighwayblues - May 28, 2012 at 2:56 PM

      O’Brien and Castiglione also couldn’t believe it.

  3. rollinghighwayblues - May 28, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    “Leyland and Jones were both ejected”

    Who’s Jones?

    • Matthew Pouliot - May 28, 2012 at 3:08 PM

      Whoops, fixed the first part but not the second. I thought it was pitching coach Jeff Jones who was tossed, but it was Lamont.

  4. woodsmeister - May 28, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    It’s always the umpires with the Tigers, isn’t it? I might have some sympathy for them if they didn’t complain about the strike zone every at bat and whine about every legitimate call that doesn’t go their way.

    • sabatimus - May 28, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      I take it you didn’t see the play?

    • jimeejohnson - May 28, 2012 at 5:09 PM

      Sounds just like Boston Celtics fans.

  5. randygnyc - May 28, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    That wasn’t even close. Horrible call. Not only didn’t the ball hit the ground, it wasn’t even foul tipped. Strike 3, inning over. No runs.

  6. baseballisboring - May 28, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Human element, brah! I mean I’m a Sox fan so I’m glad they’re winning. But yeah, pretty bogus.

  7. dawgpoundmember - May 28, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    It will be a 3 pack day for Leyland.

  8. uyf1950 - May 28, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    I guess that’s one way for the Sox to get to .500 ball.

    • yankeesfanlen - May 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

      Can we ever stop hatin’ on the Sox> Nahhhhhhhhh! Wouldn’t be prudent.

  9. ugglasforearms - May 28, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    “Of course, we’re always told that instant replay would lengthen games. However, it would have taken about two seconds to identify that this pitch never hit the ground…”
    So, are we going to have instant replay every time a manager argues a call?
    Seems to me you have to go with the umps’ decision more often than not.

    • Glen - May 28, 2012 at 5:53 PM

      Shut up, Bud Selig.

  10. The Baseball Idiot - May 28, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    You guys are always bitching and moaning that the umpires should get help from each other. They did that and you’re still bitching and moaning. What more do you want?

    • frank433 - May 28, 2012 at 6:19 PM

      Them to get it right?

    • Matthew Pouliot - May 28, 2012 at 6:25 PM

      FWIW, there was no meeting or discussion. The home-plate ump had no idea, so he simply tossed it to the first-base ump, who made the call. The Tigers thought the umps should have checked the ball for dirt and scuff marks.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - May 28, 2012 at 6:29 PM

      They need to consult each other because MLB refuses to use a helpful replay system like the NHL has. What we need is a central replay room for close calls at the bases and in the field (catch or trap?), but not for balls/strikes. Each manager gets a certain number of challenges, three perhaps. Expert replay officials quickly review the play from every possible angle and either uphold the umps’ call or overrule it. No argument. Everyone then knows the best possible call was made. Play ball.

  11. scapistron - May 28, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Why challenges? Challenges are the most terrible replay idea in the history of replay. I hate the NFL for putting it forth.

  12. matt2calvin - May 28, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    Selig is a baseball relic – the game has passed him by… He is the single worst commish (of the big 3) – has lost touch with the fan base. That is why football has become the National Pastime. Selig could have ruled a perfect game when the umps blew the final out of a game – but he was too smug to do what is right. He lets the horrible umps get away with this crap on a regular basis, without any accountability. Selig is obviously in over his head, and too stupid to realize it. That is why many of us no longer watch every game like we used to. My parents used to keep the box score of every game as it was played. Even they have stopped following the game closely because of the inherent unfairness that comes from Selig’s office. He is killing the game. By the time my kids are parents, baseball will be as popular as hockey. What a shame…

    • vallewho - May 29, 2012 at 12:04 AM

      Just wait until he get put into the HOF. A travesty.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - May 29, 2012 at 12:33 AM

      I agree completely that Selig could have and definitely should have used his authority to give Armando Galarraga his perfect game in that utterly unprecedented and unique situation. I hope the next commissioner corrects that error. But I have enough faith in our great sport to believe it will survive Bud Light’s reign as it has survived all its other challenges over the decades.

    • jarathen - May 29, 2012 at 7:48 AM

      Worse than Stern?

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