ST. PETERSBURG – It took five games for Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon to ask for replay, and he got it right.
It happened with two out in the seventh inning of the Rays 8-1 victory Friday against the Texas Rangers at Tropicana Field.
With a runner on first, Leonys Martin hit a sinking line drive to right field that Wil Myers caught hear the heel of his glove. The ball rolled up the web and a lot of white was showing, prompting first base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt to rule Myers had trapped the ball.
“Hunter saw a lot of white,” Maddon said. “That was his rationale.”
Myers immediately signaled to the dugout for Maddon to challenge, while bench coach Dave Martinez yelled, “Wichita,” which Maddon said during spring training would be the code word among the Rays to challenge a call. That’s a takeoff of Denver quarterback Peyton Manning yelling, “Omaha,” at the line of scrimmage when he changes a play.
“I just gave him a thumbs-up like, ‘Yeah, I had that ball,’” Myers said. “On the replay it was closer than I thought it was. I hit my palm and kind of rolled up my glove. That’s what the umpire saw, he saw the ball at the tip of my glove. Luckily we got it overturned.”
Maddon talked to Wendelstedt ,and Wendelstedt headed for the headsets.
“I felt pretty good about it going out there,” Maddon said. “I felt pretty good the catch had been made. Wil’s one of those guys, he’s not going to dissemble. He’s going to tell you the truth right there. He absolutely thinks he caught the ball, so I felt good about that.”
After a delay of 1 minute, 43 seconds, Wendelstedt called Martin out and the inning was over.