Replay Debate Heats Up after Screw Up
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, June 27- Phil Hughes pitched eight strong innings and the New York Yankees, with a three-run first inning and a late home run from Alex Rodriguez overcame a ninth inning rally and defeated the Cleveland Indians 6-4 in the Bronx Tuesday night.
But the game story was not about the Yankees hitting another home run, a solo shot by Rodriguez in the seventh that gave New York a 5-0 lead. It was a ball that was supposedly caught by Dewayne Wise when he went over the wall down the left field line with two outs in the Indians seventh inning, on a ball hit off the bat of Jack Hannahan.
Third base umpire Mike DiMuro, after the game, saw the play on replay and realized the ball hit off Wise’s glove and fell in the stands. At the time, the Indians had a runner on third base.
Had the play been ruled a foul ball, it may not have mattered in the final outcome. Though Cleveland would score four runs in the ninth off Cory Wade, including a home run before Rafael Soriano recorded the final out and his 16th save.
DiMuro, a veteran umpire of twelve years said, “Now that I see the tape it is obvious that the ball fell out of his (Wise) glove. In hindsight, I should have asked him to show me the ball since he fell into the stands and out of my line of vision.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said about the play, “It was a tough play. As much as we want them to be perfect (umpires) they are so much under a micro scope.” But, the Yankees, as with every team in baseball have been the victims of calls that have gone against them.
This time they could joke about the play and call. However, the missed call once again brings up the question about expanding the use of instant replay in the game.
Wise got a huge ovation from the crowd and tapped the glove of Yankee captain Derek Jeter as they ran to the dugout.
“What was I supposed to do run back to left field?” commented Wise about the play that also got a smile from Hughes. “I saw him looking at my glove so I just got up, put my head down and ran off the field,” he said about the call from DiMuro.
Hughes (8-6) gave up six hits, and struck out four in winning for the fifth time in his last seven starts. Rodriguez hit his 13th home run and 642nd of his career. The Yankees increased their major league lead home run total to 116 and won their fourth straight game.
“We only hit one home run,” said Girardi that got a laugh from media in his post game press conference. New York had a streak end of five straight games with two home runs or more.
They look to sweep Cleveland Wednesday afternoon and are a season high 17 games over .500, with a four game lead in the American League east.
e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com
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