Mariners successfully challenge force at plate as review shows ball was bobbled
ARLINGTON -- Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon was successful in getting a call overturned with a replay review on Monday night. Rangers manager Ron Washington was so upset by the reversal that he was ejected by umpire Ted Barrett.
The play took place in the sixth inning. It also involved the new "transfer" rule, and it was not the first time Washington has been upset about the new rule's interpretation.
"I understand what the rule says," Washington said. "I don't agree with it."
The Mariners had the bases loaded with one when Brad Miller hit a grounder back to the mound. Pitcher Pedro Figueroa fielded the ball and threw home for the force. Catcher J.P. Arencibia made the catch, then fumbled the ball as he started to throw to first base.
Home plate umpire Paul Schrieber ruled the runner, Dustin Ackley, out at home. That's the way umpires had been calling that play until the expanded replay was introduced this season. Forced runners had previously been called out when the umpires ruled the fielder lost control after the catch while transferring from their glove.
That is no longer the case. McClendon appealed and the call was reversed after a 3-minute, 30-second review. He won a similar appeal last week against the Angels when opposing outfielder Josh Hamilton dropped a ball on a transfer after a catch in the outfield.
"The rule applies not only to the outfield, but the infield as well, particularly on that type of play," McClendon said. "I thought it was a clear violation of the rule and it was in impactful play, so we felt we should go out and challenge it."
Washington went out to argue after McClendon won his appeal and was automatically ejected by rule for arguing after a replay.
The Rangers had a similar play occur a week ago in Boston when shortstop Elvis Andrus, trying to turn a double play, lost the ball on the transfer from the glove to his throwing hand. The original call was out, and then reversed after review.
"Same as it was in Boston," Washington said. "The guy was out, I understand the rule. We have to do something about the rule."
Washington has maintained that the transfer rule should stay in effect and the forced runner should still be out if the fielder drops the ball while transferring to his throwing hand. But umpires are now calling runners safe after watching on replay.