Published November 20, 2014
Tigers manager Jim Leyland says he's never quite seen a play like the call that led to his first ejection of the season.
Leyland was tossed Monday night during an animated argument after first-base umpire Ed Rapuano called Detroit's Andy Dirks safe at first. Rapuano then conferred with plate umpire Alfonso Marquez, reversed himself and called Dirks out.
Replays showed Dirks was clearly out.
"My only point was in 48 years of baseball, I have never seen a play where a groundball is thrown to the first baseman, called one way, and changed. I have never seen that in 48 years," Leyland said. "I'm obviously smart enough to know that the guy was out. That was not my argument whatsoever."
The Tigers beat Toronto 4-2. They are hosting the New York Mets on Tuesday night, with Rapuano umpiring behind the plate as part of a slightly different crew.
Rapuano said before Tuesday's game he had no comment on the situation.
"Rapuano's one of the best umpires in baseball," Leyland said. "He's one of the great guys."
Leyland didn't want to discuss the play after the game. He said Tuesday that he didn't want to say something in the heat of the moment that might result in a fine.
"It's not that I don't want to explain the situation," Leyland said. "I obviously expressed my displeasure with the umpires, but there's really no need to express it in the newspaper, because that's usually a no-no."
Leyland was ejected after he imitated Rapuano changing his call.
"They got the call wrong, getting the call right, in my opinion," Leyland said.
Leyland said this play was handled differently from other calls umpires might miss.
"If I go out, on a play, once in a great while — not often — but once in a great while, the umpire says, 'Jim, I missed it.' Well, I turn around and walk away. What can you say? The guy was honest," Leyland said. "To me, that's what should have happened last night when (Toronto manager) John Farrell went out."