Controversial call forces Wade to call league
Astros general manager Ed Wade spoke with a Major League Baseball official by telephone during Tuesday’s night game at Busch Stadium to voice his displeasure about a controversial home run by Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols not being overturned by instant replay.
Not long after the umpires didn’t reverse the call despite replay evidence showing Pujols’ ball hit the top of the padded wall and bounced back into play, Wade called Joe Garagiola Jr., baseball’s senior vice president of standards and on-field operations, from his home in Houston.
“I already knew it’s not an issue you can protest,” he said. “It’s not a rules interpretation; it’s an umpire’s judgment, so from that standpoint as far as having any recourse, there really isn’t any. I indicated to Joe we thought the call was wrong and would appreciate the Commissioner’s office looking at it because obviously it had a significant impact on the game last night and replay is there to remedy close calls, and we thought that one clearly showed it wasn’t a home run. We couldn’t understand why the decision was made.”
Jim Reynolds, the umpiring crew chief, told a reporter that a replay from a side angle showed the ball hitting the top of the padded wall and skipping over it and then striking a cement wall before caroming back onto the field. The two-run homer by Pujols was the difference in the Astros’ 3-1 loss to the Cardinals.
“We didn’t see it that way,” Wade said. “It’s subject to interpretation. We’ve got this policy in place to review close calls like that. In a perfect world it solves these issues immediately. That one, we just respectfully disagree with the solution.”
Astros manager Brad Mills was upset after the game and said changes need to be made to baseball’s use of instant replay, which began in 2008.