NEW YORK - Derek Jeter and Joe Girardi were livid. The Yankees captain was called out by umpire Marty Foster on an attempted steal of third base in the first inning of Monday’s 7-6 loss to Toronto, even though replays showed he got a hand on the bag before he was tagged by Scott Rolen.
“I was told by the umpire that I didn’t have to be tagged to be out,” Jeter said, sounding somewhat annoyed.
Crew chief John Hirschbeck lent credence to Jeter’s claim.
“It would make his actions seem appropriate if that’s what he was told,” Hirschbeck said.
Hirschbeck did not make Foster available to reporters.
“The best way I can answer it is to talk to Marty about it,” Hirschbeck said. “Not here at the ballpark, but if I see him tonight, or if not, we’ll have lunch tomorrow and we’ll discuss it. Getting a play right is one thing, but how you handle it is also important. Nowadays, with the cameras, ESPN and the reporters, I say the media, I actually mean television — it used to be if the ball beat you, you were out, but it isn’t that way anymore. It’s not a reason to call someone out. You have to make a good tag.”
Jeter’s attempt on a 2-1 pitch with Nick Swisher at the plate would have given the Yankees a runner at third with no outs. Jeter was pulled away from the argument by third base coach Rob Thomson. Hirschbeck admitted Jeter doesn’t argue very often.
“Yes, in my 27 years in the big leagues, he is probably the classiest person I’ve been around,” the crew chief said.
Girardi picked up the argument and was ejected for the 10th time in his career — his seventh as a manager and fifth as Yankees manager. He also was tossed May 4 against Boston and June 24 at Atlanta.
“I don’t believe if the ball beats you, you’re automatically out,” Girardi said. “Jeter is not going to argue unless he’s safe. That’s the type of player Derek Jeter is. I wanted an explanation. I also don’t believe that perception is reality. I don’t believe that statement, either.”
That only made it worse for Girardi.
“I didn’t care for the explanation,” the manager said.
New York also thought second base ump Wally Bell blew at least two calls. Bell ruled Aaron Hill safe when New York thought Jeter’s throw beat him to second on Vernon Wells’ grounder ahead of Alex Rios’ three-run homer in the third inning. Then New York was convinced shortstop Marco Scutaro was off second when Eric Hinske was called out on Brett Gardner’s seventh-inning grounder.
“Sometimes, you just miss a play,” Hirschbeck said. “I think you’re human, and sometimes you just miss it.”
Even when asked, Hirschbeck did not allow Foster to be available for reporters.
“Marty asked me to handle things today,” he said. “We hopefully learn from our experiences. It’s the only way we get better at what we do.”
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