Detroit — It doesn’t change anything in the short-term, and Major League Baseball still stands by its ruling, but the Tigers felt they got some vindication from the league office regarding the disputed video review that nullified the winning run on Opening Day.
“We heard what we wanted to hear, I can tell you that,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “They told us what we knew was right.”
General manager Al Avila spoke with the league office, presumably Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, over the weekend. He was told that review process indeed took too long (3:41).
“The timing of it was definitely wrong,” Gardenhire said. “It’s supposed to be a two-minute deal or we move on. ... There’s always language to give them leeway — discretion is a word I heard a lot. But still, that was blatant, taking almost double the time limit.
“They are looking for a needle in a haystack at that point. Mistakes were made.”
In a statement to the Associated Press, the league said, “The nature of the exchange with the Tigers was that the replay officials made the correct call based on conclusive evidence. The video clearly shows the catcher applying the tag on the upper right arm of the runner.”
Still, the Tigers believe this situation will be used to bring clarity to video process in the future — specifically, if it takes command central in New York more than three minutes to find conclusive evidence, there may not be any.
“It’s going to make it better,” Gardenhire said. “We hope. It’s all about adjustments. There are some adjustments that have to be made.”
Gardenhire also feels a little better about his ejection. He had taken some good-natured ribbing about it because he was arguing with the wrong party. It was home plate umpire Tony Randazzo who called Nick Castellanos safe at the plate.
“We just wanted to make sure they knew I wasn’t arguing that they screwed up the call,” he said. “As (Pirates manager) Clint Hurdle pointed out, I was arguing with the guy who called our guy safe. That’s a great way to put it. But I wasn’t arguing that, I was arguing about the time.”
Gardenhire was especially chafed when the league office tried to blame the Tigers for delaying the timing of the review.
“About the timing of them going to the head phones,” he said. “One of the statements made to me was, the reason it took so long is because you guys were celebrating. I said, ‘You just called our guy safe. We’re not going to celebrate a win?’
“As soon as you put on the headphones, we stopped and stood there. That’s a BS explanation. That’s straight BS. That’s what I told them.”
Shortstop Jose Iglesias, who played 18 chilly innings on Sunday and rolled his left ankle in a collision in short left field, was not in the starting lineup Monday.
“I’m available,” he said. “It’s still a little sore. Obviously this weather doesn’t help. But it’s fine. I’m all right.”
He was going back on a pop up and rookie left fielder Victor Reyes was racing in. Reyes dived to avoid contact. He took an eight-stitch gash in his forearm from Iglesias’ spike. He was unavailable Monday.
“We’re going to keep Reyes from taking swings today,” Gardenhire said. “We’re going to give him a day and see how sore he really gets from this thing. He seems to think he’s fine, but we will let it heal up a little bit.”
Niko Goodrum got the start at shortstop.
“Iggy is fine, he wanted to play,” Gardenhire said. “You always want players to come in wanting to play and he wants to play. But, he’s sore.
He played 18 innings in the cold and got banged up at the end — we want to give him a chance to regroup. It’s the right thing to do.”
AROUND THE HORN
Catcher James McCann threw out Jon Jay trying to steal second base in the first inning. He and John Hicks have now thrown out five of seven base stealers.
… Royals first baseman Lucas Duda left the game in the sixth inning with a right hamstring strain.
… The Tigers bullpen retired seven of eight batters. Joe Jimenez got the last out of the seventh and the first of the eighth. Daniel Stumpf retired the last two hitters in the eighth. And Warwick Saupold pitched a scoreless eighth, allowing only a single to Cheslor Cuthbert.