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“It looked like he got tied up with [home plate umpire] Clint [Fagan] behind the plate,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “He goes to **** his arm, had his hand hits the mask. After conferring with the umpire, he felt like it was after the ball was released. Physically, I don’t know how that could have happened after he released the ball. But in that case, that should have been a dead ball in the situation that it was, but they kept it as it was.”
It was an entanglement Saltalamacchia confirmed after the Red Sox’ 9-7 loss at Rogers Centre.
“I got it, went to go through it, elbow hit the umpire’s mask,” the catcher explained. “Which I’ve done in the past but no one’s ever said anything. But I didn’t really make a stink about it because I didn’t know the ruling on it. But now I know once it hits his mask it’s got to be a dead ball. It definitely, definitely hit. Part of the game.”
As for any subsequent conversations, Saltalamacchia said, “I did talk to him because he had told John that I hit him on the follow thru, which is kind of impossible. But I did tell him that, and he said, ‘Well, I thought you did.’ I told him that ‘when my arm is going back is when I felt it hit you.’ At that point I was already getting ready to go forward so I couldn’t hold up.”
WEEI: Umpire's mask thwarts Salty's attempt at ruining a rally
That was a kick in the pants eh? I don't know what's more surprising: that Salty has never heard of umpire interference before or that home-plate umpire Chuck Fagan didn't acknowledge that the ball smacked his mask.
But even though the team took a loss, despite the rally led by David Ortiz, the Sox took it in stride and didn't even think about using the umpire interference as an excuse. John Farrell said they lost due to lack of execution and Jon Lester admitted he was struggling from the first pitch on. If this were May 1st, 2012, the Morning Dump would be about Bobby Valentine getting tossed and then blaming a Sox blowout loss on this call.
So if anything, this is just a reminder that this year's team is already superior to last year's and it's more than just the record. (Even though having a 18-8 April record is pretty damn good.)
Globe: Sox lose slugfest | Less chirping on Farrell | Hanrahan activated, Bailey still closer | Some odd moments in a loss for the Sox | Herald: Lester loses way against Blue Jays | Bailey, Hanrahan show it's a new year | Salty claims up got in throw's way | Ortiz swinging a hot bat | CSNNE: Bats can't overcome bullpen | This start a different story for Lester | Victorino still out, but hopeful of avoiding DL | Salty's error looms large WEEI: Ortiz the difference maker in the AL East? | Victorino's health still up in the air