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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Leyland explains dispute of third-inning ruling from umpires

The way Tigers manager Jim Leyland came sprinting out of the dugout at Rangers Ballpark at Arlington during Monday evening's Game 2 of the ALCS, you knew he was figuring the call the umpiring crew had just made was going to cost the Tigers.

He argued vociferously with Tim Welke and his crew for several minutes before heading back off the field.

Here was the situation. With the Tigers already trailing, 2-0, Miguel Cabrera hit a one-out double. One batter later, Victor Martinez appeared to either be hit on the back foot by a wild pitch, or swing at it. He took off jogging for first. Cabrera, seeing the ball skip past Rangers catcher Mike Napoli and nobody moving, took off from second and came all the way home to score.

After an initial discussion, the umpires sent Cabrera back to second, and put VMart on first, saying he'd been hit by the pitch, making it a dead ball, instead of a wild pitch.

Leyland's explanation:
"I'm going to explain the only reason I was upset. I knew the ball hit him, OK? But it wasn't called, OK? He checked the ball for (shoe) polish, and it wasn't called," the manager said. "The reason I was upset is myself — and I believe every manager in the league that goes out on a call like that, and asks an umpire to get help, they tell you they can't get help on that. If somebody would have seen it, they come in right away to say they saw it, and they call it. Nobody moved. Nobody came in.

"So my question to them was, 'Who saw it?' And if somebody saw it, why didn't they come in right away and call it? I wasn't questioning at all whether or not he got hit. I was questioning the process by which I've been told all year ... that's normally one where they say they can't get help on that one.

"If somebody would have seen that, they would've come right in and call it right away. Yes, definitely it hit him. I saw it. And nobody moved. That's the only reason I was upset about it. Nobody moved."

The kicker of the whole thing? Ryan Raburn homered five pitches later, making it all a moot point, anyway.

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