Jim Leyland’s Beef With Ed Rapuano

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I gave you the video of Jim Leyland’s ejection as part of today’s Morning Mitten Mix, but here it is again in case you missed it.

A few national baseball blogs have picked up the story. They seem to be of the opinion that Rapuano ended up getting the call correct, so he was “right” and Leyland was “wrong”.

Craig Calcatera on Hardball Talk:

"And entertainment aside, the ump got the call right I think, so the fact that Leyland really had no argument made it even better."

Evan Brunell on CBSSports’ Eye on Baseball:

"All due respect to Leyland, but Rapuano’s actions should be applauded. Although Rapuano appeared to be in perfect position to make the call, it was pretty clear that he was not sure what the right call was. In that situation, he found another umpire who could confirm the correct call and then changed his own call. That’s all you want from umpires — to make the right call."

The replay obviously shows that Andy Dirks was out, that Ed Rapuano’s initial call was wrong, and that correcting the call was the right thing to do, but I don’t think that’s what launched Leyland into the most animated tirade that we’ve seen from him in his six years in Detroit.

Sure, Jim was probably unhappy that the call was reversed to the benefit of the opponent, but we’ve seen him accept reversed calls amicably in the past. He’s not a hot head, and this wasn’t a particularly crucial play, so I have a hard time accepting that this was about an overturned call.

I think part of Jim was just plain sick of seeing seemingly perfectly positioned umpires blow calls at first base.

I think he wanted to know why Rapuano had invented an incorrect call in the first place (pulled him off the bag? Really?). Rapuano clearly wasn’t paying attention to the play as it was unfolding, and his willingness to confer with the home plate umpire made that point clear.

Looking back at the replay, this looks like a play that should have been called correctly by Rapuano in the first place. Every time.

That seemed like Leyland’s point throughout the rant. You’re standing right here. This is your call. Get it right. You shouldn’t have to ask him.

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