By RONALD BLUM
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Joe Girardi could have used a birthday present
Sunday: increased instant replay for umpires.
The Yankees manager was ejected from Game 2 of the AL
championship series on his 48th birthday after arguing a pivotal
missed call by second base umpire Jeff Nelson in a 3-0 loss to
Detroit that left New York in a 2-0 deficit.
Nelson admitted he blew the call on second baseman Robinson
Cano’s tag, which should have ended the eighth inning before
Detroit expanded its lead from one run to three. And Girardi still
was steamed Cano was called out by Jeff Kellogg on a close play in
the opener, a 6-4, 12-inning loss.
“Too much is at stake. We play 235 days to get to this point,
and two calls go against us,” Girardi said with passion in his
New York was trailing 1-0 with two outs in the eighth Sunday
when Austin Jackson singled with Omar Infante on first. Right
fielder Nick Swisher threw to second, where Infante had run past
the base, and Cano tagged him on the chest sliding back.
“I had the tag late and the hand going into the bag before the
tag on the chest,” Nelson said.
Then he watched the replay after the game.
“The hand did not get in before the tag. The call was
incorrect,” Nelson explained.
After Boone Logan relieved, pinch-hitter Avisail Garcia blooped
a single to right for a 2-0 lead and Girardi returned to the mound
to bring in Joba Chamberlain. Girardi got into a heated discussion
with Nelson and was tossed. Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera
followed with another single for a 3-0 lead.
“He told me let it go. He was trying to keep me in the game,”
Girardi said. “It’s hard to let it go, you know, when it changes
the complexion of the game.”
Infante knew he should have been called out.
“I think the umpire got confused `cause he saw my hand,” he
said. “Something with my hand made him think I was safe.”
New York felt it was a turning point.
“That’s a monster play in that situation,” Swisher said.
“It’s a lot different as a one-run game than it is a three-run
Four of Girardi’s five ejections this year have come in games
against Detroit. He’s been tossed 22 times overall, including 19 as
“In this day and age when we have instant replay available to
us, it’s got to change,” Girardi said. “I have been thrown out of
games enough to know it would be quicker to get the call right or
wrong or right on replay than for me to go out there and argue.”
Baseball began video review by umpires late in the 2008 season,
but it is used only to determine whether potential home runs went
over the fence or were fair. The commissioner’s office is
considering an expansion to allow for video to determine whether
balls down the lines are fair and whether fly balls are trapped.
Equipment was installed this year at Yankee Stadium and Citi
Field to test technology. But the expansion of replay under
consideration wouldn’t have included Sunday’s tag play.
“I understand Joey’s frustration. You want everything to be
perfect, and it’s not perfect,” said MLB executive vice president
Joe Torre, Girardi’s former manager with the Yankees.
“The sad part about it is umpires, players, managers, they are
all human. And it happens. Certainly we don’t mean for it to
happen. And the umpires, you have to be in that room to appreciate
how the effect it has on an umpire that missed a call, especially
in postseason, where obviously the chips are on the table,” he
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)