Cleveland — It looked to the Tigers' coaching staff, like a textbook example of an illegal block of the plate by Indians catcher Roberto Perez.
Home plate umpire Laz Diaz, with technical support from Major League Baseball's video review room in New York, saw it differently.
Maybe by the end of the night, an 8-6, rain-delayed Tigers loss, it didn't matter much. But it's a good bet it will be a case study for umpires in the future.
It was the first inning and Victor Reyes was trying to score from first base on a double off the center field wall by Harold Castro.
The Indians executed a flawless relay — from center fielder Oscar Mercado to shortstop Francisco Lindor to Perez. Lindor threw a strike. Perez, whose left foot was across the plate, barely had to move.
Reyes slid head first into Perez's shin guard and was called out. Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire immediately challenged the call, arguing it was an illegal block of the plate.
"We thought he took the ball into (Reyes)," Gardenhire said. "He could havecaught the ball without burying him. He never gave us anywhere to slide and you are supposed to give a guy a chance to slide.
"He had no chance."
The video review room confirmed Diaz's call. And the explanation later was there was no violation of the home plate collision rule. They deemed Perez set up correctly and the ball carried him into Reyes' path.
"You can say the ball took him there, yes you can," Gardenhire said. "But we're saying it our way. We had no lane to slide because of the way he way he went and caught it. Perez did a really nice job of blocking the plate.
"We had no avenue from where he started, with his foot on the line. You are supposed to be out front of home plate. So good play on his part."
Reyes, speaking through interpreter Carlos Guillen, said he was aware of the rule and knew he couldn't barrel over Perez. So at that point, with the plate completely blocked, he had no option but to slide into his shin guard.
"It was a double off the wall so I was full throttle toward home plate," he said. "So yeah, I had no choice. He was in the middle of my path. I did my best to reach the plate but he just blocked the whole area."
Asked if he expected the call to get overturned, Reyes shrugged.
"Obviously, the throw to the plate, all the catcher had to do was catch the ball," he said. "He was standing in the middle. But, the rule is the rule."
The rule is open to interpretation, as catchers and managers have been saying since it was adopted. This one will be dissected at umpiring schools and clinics for quite a while.