New angle shows why Aaron Boone was furious over Terry Francona phantom challenge
By Adam Weinrib
Despite the umpires giving Terry Francona two extra minutes to get his challenge off on Aaron Hicks' diving catch attempt, the Yankees still secured their fourth series win in four tries this season on Wednesday afternoon.
Aaron Boone got ejected almost immediately and watched the final eight innings from the clubhouse, and after reviewing the totality of the video footage of Hicks' bobble/the video board showing the play/Francona in the dugout, it's immediately clear what got him so steamed.
Surely, Francona at least reacted to the replay on the big board, right? It wasn't just the crowd's reaction mixed with the umpires realizing they'd beefed it that spurred the crew on to break MLB's newly-passed law?
Survey says ... nope. Francona watched, was sort of non-plussed, reacted with a, "Hey, what?" finger, but never called for the challenge. About 20 minutes later (give or take), he was given the challenge anyway as a treat by an umpiring crew that felt bad for lil' old Cleveland.
MLB umpires gave Terry Francona, Guardians free challenge they never asked for vs Yankees
Why did the umpires even decide to confer?! Still waiting on any information whatsoever.
And, on top of everything, the umpires awarded Jose Ramirez, who was doubled off second base in the real world, third base following this moment of silence. Why? He logically would've advanced there if the ball had dropped, but he never really even attempted to reach the bag. Naturally, the umpires decided to rectify that grave injustice, too, making every element of the play up as they went along.
After the game, Aaron Boone hit all the correct notes in discussing the call. The call, ultimately, was correct, which he admitted. However, the Guardians got a chance they hadn't earned to get a crucial reversal. The scoreboard operator triggered a "replay review" graphic erroneously, and also decided to replay the play, give the crowd a chance to whine and moan about it, and trigger the city of Cleveland to change the tide of the game. Honestly, the blame falls on the independently-acting rogue ballpark staff just as much as it falls on the umpires, who allowed themselves to be influenced.
According to Boone, MLB told him that Cleveland did everything up to code, which might be the most unbelievable part of this whole thing, too. Maybe the league office was also watching the scoreboard?
Luckily, this story has a happy ending -- no, we're not referring to umpire Larry Vanover getting drilled with a baseball. That was horrible.
Instead of having to think about these ill-gotten runs forever, the Yankees won this battle 4-3 thanks to a two-out Oswaldo Cabrera game-winning single off Emmanuel Clase in the ninth, followed by a Clay Holmes bases-loaded escape job. Should've been 3-1, but we'll take it.