Washington Nationals Manager Dave Martinez was ejected in the 7th inning of Game 6 of the World Series, after arguing a controversial runner interference call at first base.
The Nationals had a 3-2 lead with a runner on first and one out, when Trea Turner hit a softly hit ball towards Astros pitcher Brad Peacock. Peacock fired the ball to Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel, but it struck Turner as he made his move to get to the base.
First, the play:
Trea Turner was called out on this play.
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 30, 2019
I just want to point out that this meltdown happened during "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" which is not clear on the Fox broadcast, and it's hilarious pic.twitter.com/pHFJwSmLMQ
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) October 30, 2019
Martinez became the first manager to be ejected from a World Series game since Braves Manager Bobby Cox got tossed during the 1996 World Series.
“Even though first base is in fair territory, the runner is required to run in the lane in foul territory. Turner was just inside the foul line — although the rule raises the question of where exactly Turner is supposed to run on his final step to the bag,” ESPN reports.
“For me, I mean, what else do you do?” Turner said. “I don’t know. The batter’s box is in fair territory. First base is in fair territory. I swung, I ran in a straight line, I got hit with the ball and I’m out. I don’t understand it.”
MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre delivered an explanation that didn’t help most people understand the call any better. Torre claims that the call was correct and in any event, was a judgment call and not subject to review.
“Torre said Turner was called out because he interfered with Gurriel trying to catch the ball by running into Gurriel’s glove. He went on to say that had Turner run in the proper lane outside the foul line, he could have avoided hitting Gurriel’s glove. Torre did not say what would have happened had Turner run in the proper lane and still hit Gurriel’s glove,” ESPN reports.
“It’s a judgment call on the umpire,” Torre claims. “Sam Holbrook made the call. It was the right call. Of course, then you watch Davey Martinez, and I can relate to that. When you wear a uniform, you know what you want to have happen, basically.”
In any event, Washington’s Anthony Rendon came on after the play and hit a home run which made the potentially series altering call, not decisive. MLB is probably pretty happy Rendon hit that home run.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn