The Toronto Blue Jays trailed the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-2, in the top of the ninth on Tuesday, but went up 4-3 after a bases-loaded throwing error by Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe.
Only they didn’t.
Yes, the runs were taken off the board, as replay officials determined that Jose Bautista interfered with Forsythe during his throw to first to complete the double play.
Ball game. Rays win, 3-2.
Jays manager John Gibbons was not happy after the game.
“Are we trying to turn the game into a joke?” Gibbons asked reporters. “I mean, really, that’s flat-out embarrassing. That cost us a chance to win a Major League game. It’s really an embarrassment. Baseball has been a hard-nosed game. There’s really no explanation for it. Wins matter in this business, and for that to come out like that, I don’t get it. . . . That’s good baseball. That’s been baseball forever. But maybe we’ll come out and wear dresses tomorrow. Maybe that’s what everybody’s looking for.”
Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney gave their take on the ruling – and Gibbons’ reaction – during Wednesday’s show.
“Look, I understand in the moment after the game (Gibbons is) upset and he says it’s embarrassing and a joke . . . but the simple fact of the matter is that Jose Bautista actually did interfere with Logan Forsythe’s ability to turn this double play,” Barber said of CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Yes, he slid by the bag, and by the interpretation of the rule, was it a violation? Borderline. . . . It was non-consequential, and here’s why: Jose Bautista, whether he was on the bag, in the vicinity of the bag – whatever – he reached out and he grabbed Logan Forsythe’s leg. He grabbed his plant foot and lifted it a little bit, which obviously throws off your mechanism for throwing and that’s why he missed. Was this actually the Chase Utley Rule? No, this was interference. This is like old-school interference. So I get what he’s saying, but it’s not egregious to me. . . . I just don’t think this was the Chase Utley Rule. I think it was flat-out interference.”
“This is what worries me,” Tierney said. “If this is October and they determine that Bautista did not engage in a bona fide slide, as he did not attempt to remain on the base, Tik, I watched that play five or six times at my desk – you probably heard me – I thought that was a clean slide. It wasn’t violent. It wasn’t dirty.
“I agree,” Barber said. “If this was in October – just like you see (ticky-tack penalties not get called in the NFL postseason) – you got to let that go. If it was this exact play, you got to let it go.”