It may sound like a case of sour grapes or even an excuse for the New York Yankees loss to a better Detroit Tigers team, but the shouts for expansion of instant replay in MLB just got another loud proponent in Joe Girardi.
The Yankees manager called on baseball to expand its use of replay after two badly officiated calls went against New York in the first two games of the American league Championship Series. Both calls played important roles in each instance and led to Girardi getting tossed from Sunday's game for arguing umpire Jeff Nelson's blown call at second base.
"In this day and age when we have instant replay available to us, it's got to change," Girardi said after the Yankees lost to the Tigers, 3-0, and fell behind two games to none in the best-of-seven series. "We play 235 days to get to this point and two calls go against us."
"Yeah, let's have instant replay," he said at the news conference. "And ... not just home run, fair, foul. Let's have instant replay."
The call that got Girardi's ire was a tag at second base in the eighth inning of Sunday's game. The Tigers' Omar Infante overran second base on Austin Jackson's two-out single and Robinson Cano tagged him before he could get back. Second base umpire Nelson didn't see it that way and called Infante safe — keeping the Tigers alive and allowing them to score to more runs and make it 3-0.
The call compelled Girardi to send Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda — who was splendid up until then — to the showers. Girardi was tossed minutes later after he seethed through a commercial break.
Nelson, who saw the play on replay after the game — admitted he botched the call.
"I had the tag late and the hand going to the bag before the tag on the chest," he said. "The hand did not get in before the tag. The call was incorrect."
Cano — who was called out at first on another bad call in Game 1 — argued Nelson's call to no avail.
"I was safe (Saturday) and I had (Infante) by about five feet," said Cano. "But no excuses, either way, you have to score some runs."
"I am not saying we win the game if the call is right. And I'm not saying we win the game if the call was right (Saturday) night either," said Girardi. But in this day and age there is too much at stake, and technology is available. That is what our country has done, we've evolved technology to make it better."