TORONTO -- The Blue Jays celebrated a victory Saturday that came on a run-scoring single by Jose Reyes in the bottom of the 10th inning. They poured out of the dugout when Colby Rasmus slid across the plate, slapped Rasmus in the face with shaving cream and danced their off the field.
And Rays manager Joe Maddon turned and walked toward the visitor’s clubhouse believing the game was far from settled.
Maddon protested the game in the fourth inning after crew chief Bob Davidson allowed Jays manager John Gibbons to challenge a call at first base on an attempted picked off of Wil Myers. Jays pitcher Mark Buehrle was standing on the rubber and Yunel Escobar was standing in the batter’s box before Gibbons left the dugout.
“It’s a legitimate protest,” Maddon said. “Hitter in box, pitcher on the rubber, that locks the mechanism, period.”
As it stands now, the Rays lost 5-4 in 10 innings.
If the protest is upheld, the game will resume when the Rays return to Toronto next month with them trailing 2-1, Escobar batting and Myers on first base.
“It should be,” Maddon said. “Absolutely it should be, because the rule states that (Gibbons) should not have been able to go to the replay.”
The umpires will file their report. Joe Torre, Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations for Major League Baseball, will review the facts and a ruling can be expected at the beginning of the week.
It doesn’t appear the Rays have a good case for two reasons. Davidson said Gibbons indicated to him before Escobar stepped back into the batter’s box that he wanted to challenge and because Rule II 5-D of MLB’s replay review regulations gives the umpires some wiggle room.
The rule reads in part: “The Crew Chief shall have the final authority to determine whether a Manager’s Challenge is timely.”
Rays third base coach Tom Foley said he heard home plate umpire John Tumpane tell Gibbons he couldn’t come out and challenge the call on Myers.
He said, ‘No, no, I got him on the rubber and I got Yuni in the box,’ and he told him you can’t come out,” Foley said.
But Gibbons did come out and Davidson, who was umpiring third base, allowed the challenge, which overturned the call of frist base umpire Bill Welke, who originally called Myers safe.
“I’ve got everything in front of me,” Davidson said. “I see Buehrle, he’s on the rubber, and as I’m seeing Escobar getting ready from my judgment to get into the box, now I see Gibbons giving the thumbs up that he’s coming out. So I thought, in my judgment, that it was in time to file a challenge on the play.”
Escobar was standing in the box taking practice swings when Gibbons climbed out of the dugout.
“(Escobar) was just about getting in but I’m looking at Gibbons and he’s coming out and he’s not a speed merchant, and I thought, it’s on time,” Davidson said. “We want to get the play correct, that’s what we’re out here for, so that was my thinking on that.”
Before Davidson went for the headsets to check with replay officials in New York, Maddon informed him if the call was overturned he would protest the game.
“It was inappropriate for Bob to do what he did, permit that to happen,” Maddon said. “So I’m trusting they are going to interpret the rule properly and get us back to that point in the game.”