Detroit — While replay officials in New York were taking nearly four minutes to determine whether Nick Castellanos was safe or out at home plate in the 10th inning Friday, Tigers center fielder Leonys Martin sidled over to manager Ron Gardenhire.
“He’s telling me, ‘What happens if they change it? You gonna kick dirt on home plate?’” Gardenhire said Saturday morning after the dust had settled on the 13-10, 13-inning Opening Day loss to the Pirates. “Darn right I am. We were laughing about it.”
It became decidedly less funny for the Tigers when the replay officials overturned the call of safe and wiped the game-winning run off the scoreboard.
“I got hugged six times telling me congratulations on your first win,” Gardenhire said. “We celebrated. And then we un-celebrated. How about that?”
The Tigers spilled out of the dugout and mobbed JaCoby Jones in the middle of diamond after his two-out single appeared to bring Castellanos home with the winning run. Home plate umpire Tony Randazzo called him safe and then sent the play to New York for official video review.
“I thought it was a courtesy review,” Castellanos said.
Both teams did. Pirates players started to walk off the field after seeing the replay on the giant scoreboard. There was no replay angle that showed definitively that catcher Francisco Cervelli tagged Castellanos.
"I didn’t feel him tag me or anything,” Castellanos said. “They said there was one angle from up top where his glove maybe touched my sleeve.
“What are you going to do?”
Three minutes and forty-one seconds later, the call was overturned. Gardenhire burst from the dugout and made good on what he told Martin. He yelled and argued and kicked dirt on the plate – and earned his 74th career ejection.
“What I want to know is, has a manager ever been thrown out of 162 straight games?” he said with a laugh. “Should I try for that? Not a lot of guys get that chance. I have a chance.”
Gardenhire has petitioned the league to send over a copy of the video they used to determine conclusively Cervelli applied the tag.
“We have the opportunity to get the picture and we’ve asked for that,” he said. “We want to see what they saw. What determined it? … We only get a certain amount of views and we didn’t see anything that would overturn it.
“All of our replays show that he could have, might have, possibly (tagged him). Nothing showed conclusively that he touched him. If they have another view, we would like to see it.”
Gardenhire did speak to the team after the game Friday, but his message was unrelated to the overturned call.
“I was just really proud of the guys,” he said. “The way we got after it. We had some snafus here and there and we’re working through our bullpen, trying to get the right guys in the right places.
“But the way we got after it and stayed after the game, it was a fun game. Disappointing at the end, but I was awfully proud of the guys.”