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Nyjer helps coax Tito into challenging call

CHICAGO --- In the first inning of the Indians' win over the White Sox on Saturday, Nyjer Morgan was initially called out on a pickoff play, but manager Terry Francona challenged the call, which was overturned.

The review took just 22 seconds and led to a big inning for the Tribe. Morgan, who led off the inning with a single, would have been the second out. The Indians took advantage of the overturned call and scored three runs on a two-run single by Michael Brantley and an RBI fielder's choice by Asdrubal Cabrera.

"I probably had the worst view in the house, but Nyjer insisted he was safe -- and that's not always the end all -- but [first-base coach] Sandy [Alomar Jr.] said he was safe," Francona said. "They looked for 22 seconds and got it right, and that ended up helping us."

Morgan's refusal to leave the base led to a humorous exchange between Francona and first-base umpire Gerry Davis, precisely because Francona didn't see the play or initial call clearly.

"I know, it really screwed me up," Francona said with a laugh. "I went out there and said, 'Gerry, did you call him safe?' And he said, 'No.' OK, I said, 'Then we're going to appeal, because he's still here.' I thought maybe I missed something."

Francona also acknowledged that players will by nature insist a close safe/out call went their way, regardless of reality.

"Players during a game aren't going to be able to just be honest. That's why they do that, because it's the emotion of the game," Francona said. "But we did explain to him that it's not going to be personal replays, they're team replays. We have to do what we think will help our team. And we have a replay guy -- we certainly watch how people react to plays, because sometimes that's why you go out in the past to argue or to check -- but we have a replay guy, so we can check."

Joe Popely is an associate reporter for
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