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After shock of bad umpire's call, Rays move on


Published:   |   Updated: April 10, 2013 at 07:10 AM
ARLINGTON, Texas -

Ben Zobrist said he was able to keep his emotions in check while arguing Monday with home plate umpire Marty Foster after Foster's missed call ended the game because he wasn't mad at Foster.

“More in shock,” Zobrist said.

Shock quickly followed by anger is how most of the Tampa Bay Rays reacted after Foster ruled a pitch thrown by Rangers closer Joe Nathan that was low and outside was strike three, sealing Texas' 5-4 victory.

Foster quickly admitted his mistake and even called Rays manager Joe Maddon before leaving Rangers Ballpark.

“He knew that the play did not come out as planned. You have to respect him a lot for checking in about that,” Maddon said. “For me, for us, it's over with. I think it shows a lot on his part. He's a very good umpire. He's also a very good guy.

“It's just unfortunate with what happened with him (Monday) night, but it's time to move on.”

The play, which was probably the second-most talked about subject in sports Tuesday behind Louisville winning the NCAA men's basketball tournament, spurred talk about the need to expand instant replay to include balls and strikes.

“I think calls like that is one of the things that's bringing Major League Baseball closer to replay,” Zobrist said.

His teammates weren't in agreement, however.

“You're never going to do that,” Kelly Johnson said. “As long as there's human umpires you're never going to replay balls and strikes. It's not logical. The games would take six hours. Everything would be disputed.”

Zobrist floated the idea of a challenge system like in the NFL, but his teammates seem to like the idea of the human element being part of baseball.

“I think that human error is part of the game,” Matt Moore said. “We fall on the short end of the stick sometimes. Having said that, we've been the beneficiary of some calls. I wouldn't say it's something I would vote 'yes' for in the near future.”

Evan Longoria is not in favor of replay for balls and strikes.

“I've always kind of been a traditionalist,” he said. “People make mistakes. You hate to see it happen on the other end. You're on the receiving end of a bad call, but we all know and hear that we've gotten some calls from time to time that helped us to win games.”

David Price said he always wants to see the right call made but a replay system would disrupt the flow of the game.

“That's part of the game. It either goes your way or it doesn't,” he said. “I'm sure every team feels like it goes against them more often than not. But it is tough. You want to see the right call made.”

rmooney@tampatrib.com

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Twitter: @RMooneyTBO

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