Replay reversal leads Rays to first victory of the year

by Gary Shelton on April 6, 2016 · 0 comments

in general

Toronto manager John Gibbons argues against the  reversal.

Toronto manager John Gibbons argues against the reversal.

Wednesday, 6 a.m.

Instead of all this talk about flipping bats, perhaps Jose Bautista should have been talking about flipping second basemen.

And results.

And, of course, his manager’s lid.

In fact, Bautista flipped almost everything in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday night when he slid illegally into Rays’ second baseman Logan Forsythe. He turned over a Blue Jays’ rally, Forsythe’s night and the game result.

As it was, the Rays won 3-2 when Bautista’s slide — it was fairly obvious if you paid attention to the new rule, fairly innocuous if you didn’t — included his reaching out and grabbing Forsythe’s leg. He also slid beyond the bag. That ruined Toronto’s night, because Forsythe’s throw bounced wide of the bag and Steve Pearce was unable

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to catch the one-hopper.Two runs seemed to score on the play, the tying and go-ahead runs.

The thing is: The slide was exactly what the rule was written to avoid.

Odorizzi struck out 10 in 5 2/3 innings.

Odorizzi struck out 10 in 5 2/3 innings.

Still, the Rays seemed undecided on how much crowing to do because of the enforcement of the rule. After all, not many teams go nuts in celebrating a replay-reversal walkoff, do they?

“How many games have ever been won like that?” Cash wondered.

Well, none. But doesn’t every rule change have its own beginnings?

I guess we’ll come out wearing dresses tomorrow,” said Rays’ manager John Gibbons. “That turned the game into a joke. It’s flat-out embarrassing.”

Common sense has to come into this,” Bautista said. “I feel like I slid directly at the bag. I could have done much worse and chose not to.”

Frankly, it’s hard to blame the Jays for being a little steamed. For 100 years, there would have been nothing wrong with Bautista’s slide. It was hard-nosed baseball. Period. But baseball changed the rules for a reason. How can umpires not make the call in game three and make it later in the season?

“The rule put in is obviously to protect players and keep them safe,” Cash said. “We saw what took place last year in the postseason. It is what it is. I’m happy we won. I can understand the frustration on the other side. We all deal with that in this game, especially with what replay has brought out the last couple of years.”

For Forsythe, it was a way to save his night. Forsythe had three hits, including the winning two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth. Still, if an errant throw had cost the Rays the game, that would have been tough to swallow.

“I felt something on the slide,” Forsythe said. “When I first saw him coming in, I thought he was going for the bag. I didn’t know if he kicked his foot out to catch the back of the bag.”

The Rays and Jays wrap up their series with a 1:10 game this afternoon.

Frosty rounds third after hitting his winning home run.

Frosty rounds third after hitting his winning home run.

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