Jul 4, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista (19) reacts after the Blue Jays grounded into a double play against the Oakland Athletics in the eighth inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Bautista outraged by “joke” of MLB replay system, speaks out

Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista has been relatively quiet in regards to umpires and calls thus far this season, but he will be silent no more. After the Blue Jays lost a controversial replay challenge in Saturday’s game with the Oakland Athletics, Bautista blew up about the replay system following the game.

“This whole replay thing has become a joke in my eyes

The call in question came during the top of the 8th inning, with the Blue Jays trailing 3-1 and Melky Cabrera on first base. Bautista sent a liner into the left fielder corner. Cabrera got on his horse and despite seeing Yoenis Cespedes in come up with the ball as he was rounding third, attempted to score on the play. The relay from Jed Lowrie got to the plate at roughly the same time as Cabrera, but catcher Derek Norris appeared to miss Cabrera’s back with the swipe tag.  However, home plate umpire called him out, prompting Carbera to signal Gibbons to appeal.

Here’s the video. You can make the call for yourselves, but as you can see from the angle up the third base line, Norris never makes contact with Cabrera on the tag.

New York upheld the call on the field, proclaiming the evidence inconclusive to overturn. That beauty of a call prompted Bautista to explode to the media after the game.

“He missed him by a good foot or two. I don’t really know which replay they were looking at but clearly they must have had a different video feed than the one we had. It’s pretty frustrating for you to battle as a team, keep the game close, for our pitchers to be doing what they’re doing, for us to keep grinding through games, and facing some touch pitching, and somehow be able to get an opportunity to tie the game in the eighth inning, it all goes down the drain because somebody first, initially, made a bad call to begin with. And then it gets upheld by god knows who, in some room in New York supposedly.” – (h/t Gregor Chisholm)


But Jose Bautista couldn’t just let it lie there. Once the flood gates opened up he railed on further, which will likely prompt a fine from the office of Major League Baseball.

“This whole replay thing has become a joke in my eyes. I think they should just ban it, they should just get rid of it, I don’t really understand the purpose of it, but getting the right call on the field is not the purpose. That’s pretty obvious and evident. I don’t know what kind of agenda the people that are doing the replays are on, what their plan is, what their purpose is, who they’re looking after. But obviously getting the right call on the field is not what they’re doing.”  – (h/t Shi Davidi, Sportsnet)

The Blue Jays have a pretty good case to make in regards to feeling the replay system is slighting them. According to John Gibbonsmanagerial page at Baseball-Reference.com, which keeps track of all challenges issued, the Blue Jays manager has won just 8 of his 28 challenges to date, or 28.5%. That despite taking the time to have his staff review the calls before issuing most challenges.

Shi Davidi at Sportsnet goes on to note that the Jays were unlucky in a series of calls in Milwaukee, prompting Bautista to note that the Jays were also victimized in the Baltimore series earlier this month. The call in Baltimore that Bautista eludes to is likely this one, where the right fielder visibly avoids the tag at home plate, but the umpire, who was shielded by the catcher, called him out. After going to replay, the call was upheld and the Jays lost the challenge on that call as well.

There is no doubt that Jose Bautista will be hearing from the Commissioner’s office and at some point will have to write out a sizable check. However, by raising his voice here, he may at least draw some awareness to a system, may not be corrupted or riddled with conspiracy, but is still obviously far from perfect and perhaps a little unfair to some teams.

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  • JaysHopeful

    Whether he’s right or wrong seems a little inconsequential. I wonder what good he expected to come from this.
    (Especially after losing 3 straight, the lead in the AL east, and set to face Shamardzija today).

  • RyanMueller

    I am with Bautista on this one. Replay is crap and takes away from the game…what’s next having computers call balls and strikes. Just get rid of it and we, the fans, will just have to deal with the blown calls as they come.

    • HartKiller_09

      And he was shooting his mouth off about the umpiring before instant replay. And you know what? If Melky was called safe last night and replay showed he was out and the call was over-turned, he’d have thrown a fit about that.

  • HartKiller_09

    Same old Bautista. Blown calls are human error, there’s no conspiracy here. But that’s Bautista, the losing streak has nothing to do with the team not playing well, the replay officials just have an evil agenda.

    • electronik

      Human error explains the initial mistake, but it doesn’t do much to explain away getting it wrong after reviewing multiple angles in slow motion.

      It’s quite a stretch to suggest Bautista is blaming this issue for all of the Jays problems. I certainly didn’t get that from his comments, but I’m open to hearing how others have interpreted them.

      • HartKiller_09

        None of the replay’s were definitive enough to over-rule the call. The replay has to clearly show without any doubt whatsoever that what was ruled on the field was incorrect and none of the replays can completely rule out that the catcher missed Melky entirely.

        I don’t like replay in baseball either, but Bautista’s not pointing out the flaws in the system, he’s giving his usual cry-baby rant about someone being unfair to him or the Blue Jays, suggesting that there’s some secret hidden agenda at work here. His words might carry more weight if they weren’t coming from someone who’s been whining about umpiring for years.

        • shamefultofan

          look like definitive to me…melky was safe..umpire blow the call….it was a big play that might have given them a chance to get some offence going… what is it with ppl and bautista … he had a legit reason to be pissed…he is a great player and shows that he wants to win… just like pillar wanted to hit now he’s disgruntled… made me like him more and now he’s in the minors with all these other losers playing ..and he a right handed stick…

          • HartKiller_09

            I don’t like Bautista because he was a career nobody who came out of nowhere and suddenly started acting like he was Mickey Mantle. Wanting to win doesn’t make somebody a winner and there’s a reason you don’t see Derek Jeter or anyone on the St.Louis Cardinals crying that the replay officials have a hidden agenda against them. If it’s not the replay officials he’s shooting off about umpires. If he had of just ranted about the flaws in the replay system that’s fine, but he started rhyming off all the times replay wronged the Jays and suggested the league is out to get them because he’s a childish baby who’s ego is so big he probably actually believes he’s important enough for MLB to conspire against.

            The call was a mistake because the umpire couldn’t tell from where he was standing that the tag missed, and none of the replays showed without any doubt that the tag missed. I’m sure the tag DID miss, but going by the rules of replay it’s a tough call to over-turn because none of the angles were close enough to show that the tag didn’t at least graze him and if replay is inconclusive you stick with the initial call. A blown call but not a group of guys in New York conspiring to cost Jose Bautista an RBI.

          • shamefultofan

            the reason why u don’t see jeter or anyone on the cardinals arguing is because jeter play’s for the yankee’s and the cardinals are the cardinals…plus we don’t watch all their games… i bet if sports net covered yankee games and cardinal games then i’m sure u would see more arguments… plus count all their championship the the yankee’s and the cards have…hard to compare

          • HartKiller_09

            No, you don’t see Bautista like behaviour from Yankees or Cardinals because they’re professional, class organizations that won’t allow it . I’m sure you do see the occasional argument coming from their players, but not the same player, over and over, who then proceeds to rant and rave to the media afterwards and accuse the league of having it in for him. If Bautista acted the way he does in Toronto in New York he either wouldn’t be doing it a second time or he wouldn’t be there long – ditto Brett Lawrie. You think a .200 hitting Brett Lawrie chews out a Yankee teammate on the field for not tagging up to get him an RBI and is in the line-up the next day? Nope, he’s crushing his next Red Bull on a bus to Scranton. That’s why those organizations are winners, that’s why they’re respected – the Blue Jays are a bush league organization and if you want umpires to give you the benefit of the doubt you earn it – you don’t throw batting helmets at umpires and criticize their “mediocrity” in the paper and then wonder why the close one’s aren’t going your way.

            MLB’s not out to get the Blue Jays and any issues they’ve had with umpires were brought on by allowing guys like Lawrie and Bautista to shoot their mouths off at will. If the league was really trying to stop this juggernaut of a baseball team they could have just blocked the Miami deal.

  • Bosco

    “eludes to” ?? Come on man!