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Girardi upset over interference call that wasn't

06/22/2014 10:03 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

The New York Yankees lost 8-0 to the Baltimore Orioles Sunday, but there was one play that could've minimized the damage and made the final score a little closer.

In the eighth inning, with runners on first and second and no one out and the O's up 3-0, Nelson Cruz hit a ground ball to Yankees third baseman Kelly Johnson, who fielded it and stepped on the bag for a force on runner Steve Pearce.

What happened next, though, was Johnson airing his throw to first into the seats, a play that looked affected by Pearce's hard slide into third -- one that Yankees manager Joe Girardi clearly thought was well wide of the bag and should have been called interference on Pearce.

"He thought (Pearce) could still touch the bag," Girardi said of the explanation third base umpire (and crew chief) Tom Hallion gave him about the play, "but you have to make an attempt for the bag, and he never made an attempt for the bag."

Girardi came out to argue, but it was to no avail, as the call stood. As the skipper said, the play couldn't be reviewed, but he didn't even think that should have been needed.

"I don't think you need to review it, all you have to do is look where his slide was; there's a big mark in the field that tells me where his slide was, so that's one you don't need to review," Girardi said. "Managers are always going to find plays you wish you could review, and there's going to be some you wish they didn't, but (calling interference) is something the umpires have to look at. A lot of times, if it's at second, it gets called, but at third and home it doesn't, and that's what I don't understand."

Perhaps, Girardi surmised, this one was a function of umpires not knowing what to do with runners.

"They always talk about how it's hard to place the runners, but if a guy is taken out they know where to place the runners," he said.

Girardi also took a little bit of umbrage to Pearce's slide as it was, although he did absolve Pearce of any malicious intent.

"I don't think he intentionally tried to hurt him, but it's a pretty violent and dangerous slide," Girardi said. "He's always played hard, and I'm all for playing hard -- and I took guys out, too -- but that's a pretty dangerous one because you're going after someone on the side, and that's how you hurt your knees."

Johnson was luckily okay, and that ended up being a big plot point, because Mark Teixeira was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the inning and had to leave the game, leaving Johnson to take his spot at first base.

The scoreboard wasn't as unscathed, though, as after the play, Adam Warren intentionally walked Chris Davis to load the bases and J.J. Hardy followed with a three-run double to run the score to 6-0.

Perhaps, if Cruz was called out and the situation saw two outs and a runner on second, things may have changed, but as the skipper noted when talking about Brett Gardner's triple-turned-double and an out in the first inning, you can't play the "could've, would've, should've" game.

"You never know what's going to happen….but we didn't score any runs today," Girardi said.

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