Ellsbury out after call overturned, then replay confirms Rule 7.13 wasn't violated
TORONTO -- John Gibbons saved the Blue Jays a run with his challenge during the ninth inning of Friday night's 6-3 loss to the Yankees at Rogers Centre.
The incident occurred with nobody out and a runner on third base. Derek Jeter hit a slow chopper to third and infielder Danny Valencia attempted to get Jacoby Ellsbury, who had reached third on a triple, at the plate.
Valencia's throw to home was a little high, but catcher Dioner Navarro was able to get the tag down. Home-plate umpire Mike Everitt didn't think the tag was applied in time and ruled Ellsbury safe at the plate.
Gibbons challenged the call, and the ruling on the field was overturned. That prompted Yankees manager Joe Girardi to formally request the umpires to review whether Navarro had been blocking the plate.
Crew chief Bill Miller agreed, and they went back to the replay for a second time. Following another review, it was confirmed that Navarro was not in violation of 7.13, which states the catcher must provide a clear lane for the runner.
Girardi disagreed with that assessment, as he felt Navarro's foot was blocking Ellsbury's path to the plate. Girardi said after the game that Major League Baseball is trying to protect catchers, but by doing so there is still some lingering confusion about what the rule entails.
"It has been one of my points of contention of this rule -- when a guy is running basically down the baseline, a straight line, if the guy's foot is on the line, that's blocking the plate," Girardi said. "Everything is here to protect the players and catchers, and I'm all for it. But in that situation, he has no place to slide.
"You are asking him to deviate from his path and maybe slide with his hand. If he gets his hand stepped on, that could be the rest of the year."