CINCINNATI -- One day after a controversial loss, Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price wasn't backing down from his assertion the system cheated his team out of victory while throwing a wrench into the wild card race.
"I think Major League Baseball is going to have to take a hard look at these end-of-game situations," Price said on Friday afternoon. "For it to end like that is a crime."
The Reds were tied 3-3 with the St. Louis Cardinals in the bottom of the ninth inning on Thursday when Yadier Molina doubled to left field scoring Matt Carpenter from first base with the winning run. But the ball actually bounced over the home run wall and off one behind it then bounded back in the playing field.
The correct call should have been a ground-rule double sending Carpenter back to third base but the umpires didn't see it and the noise in the stadium prevented Price from hearing the phone ringing in the dugout from his video team. By the time they figured out what happened the umpires had left the field. The game was declared over.
"We weren't in the clubhouse sitting around in shorts looking what's in the kitchen to eat," Price said. "We were still on the field. We're talking about 30 seconds after the play.
"My feeling now in retrospect is maybe he (third base coach Chris Maloney) saw that the ball did go out of play and there was nothing to lose because if the runner was thrown out at the plate they could appeal it and it's a ground rule double. Maybe he saw something no one else did." Price has an advocate in Cubs manager Joe Maddon who stressed it's hard to see outfield plays from the sunken dugout at Busch Stadium while also agreeing it can be tough to hear the phone.
"The phone in Pittsburgh (for example) is kind of quiet," Maddon said. "It's a buzz instead of a loud ring. We should have a blinker that comes on." Maddon has often criticized baseball's desire to speed games up as he and Price agree that was part of the problem on Thursday. The Reds needed more than the allotted 10 seconds before the umpires left the field.
"The things that I read (on Friday) the manager wasn't out fast enough," Price said. "He has to make an immediate call. The focus needs to be making sure the rule is adjusted to accommodate time to see the replay."
Maddon simply added: "I have no sympathy for the time element there at all."
The outcome affected the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets more than the Reds as Cincinnati isn't in playoff contention. But the win by the Cardinals kept them closer to the two wild card leaders.
"We want the game to end with a proper result," Price said. "One that should be supported through replay. ... What's the point of replay if you can't use it in every single circumstance?"