Detroit — There was a method to Ron Gardenhire’s madness Tuesday night.
He knew perfectly well that he would be ejected the minute he left the dugout in the ninth inning to protest a decision that was made from the video command center in New York. But he felt it was worth the ejection to make a point about how super slow-motion replays can distort what actually happened on the play.
“I just wanted to make sure they knew where I was at on that,” Gardenhire said. “At least I have a say-so in it. I’m not happy about it.”
Marlins left fielder Harold Ramirez, with two runners on and the Tigers down by a run, bobbled and then dropped a fly ball. Third base umpire Fieldin Culbreth ruled immediately that it was not a catch. The tying run scored and the Tigers would have had runners on second and third with one out.
The Marlins challenged the call and after a minute and 49 seconds, the call was overturned. It was explained that Ramirez dropped the ball on the exchange to his throwing hand.
“I was just explaining that when you slow everything down, you can see where maybe the ball might’ve stopped for a second,” Gardenhire said. “But that was one continuous play where he was bobbling the ball.
“I know they were saying he was making the exchange, but he never had control of that ball himself. When you slow that camera way down, yeah, it looks like it stuck in his glove for a second. But in fast motion, he never controlled the ball.”
Gardenhire and Culbreth have a good relationship, and it wasn’t like Gardenhire was reading him the riot act.
“It’s basically impossible to argue with Fieldin, he’s such a good guy,” Gardenhire said. “I wasn’t arguing, but I wanted to get my point across. And Fieldin said, ‘I know Gardy, I called it.’ Where do you go from there?
“You go back down to the clubhouse, that’s where.”