Here's what umpire crew chief Gerry Davis told me about the delay on today's replay review on Rays right fielder Matt Joyce's eventual home run ball in the Orioles' 3-1 loss to the Rays:
"[Orioles manager] Buck [Showalter] wanted to know whether the ball was, in fact, fair. We got together as a crew to discuss whether the ball was fair or foul, whether any of us had anything differently than [first-base ump Dan Iassogna] had. We did not. So the ruling on the field was that it was a fair ball in play. [Rays manager] Joe [Maddon] wanted to review to see if it was a home run, but only if the consequences were not the possibility of it being a foul ball. He thought the only thing possible was it being a fair-ball play, which would have been a double, or a home run. That’s not true. If we go to replay, whatever we ascertain from the replay is the call we make. So a foul ball is a possibility in that situation. That was the delay, because that’s what I was telling him, that if we go to replay, that’s possibly what could happen."
Showalter said after the game the umpires got the call right. He got the pole in right field painted black in order to discern between a home run and the top of the fence. Unlike some ballparks, Camden Yards does not have a yellow line to distinguish that.
"We know the the black on the pole signifies a ball above the fence," Davis said.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun