Home plate umpire Scott Barry ejects Red Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield in Thursday's loss to the Tigers. (Rick Osentoski/USA Today Sports)

John Farrell steamed over 'ass-backwards' call that doesn't go team's way in loss to Tigers

John Tomase
August 18, 2016 - 2:26 pm

The umpires didn't cost the Red Sox Thursday's ballyhooed matinee with the Tigers. Their bullpen did. But that didn't stop the Sox from steaming over a peculiar play that didn't go their way in the second inning. With one out and J.D. Martinez on first, Casey McGehee sent a sinking liner to center, where Jackie Bradley dove in vain. The ball ticked off his glove and rolled under him. First base umpire Jerry Layne, however, signaled catch, so Martinez reversed field halfway to third and retraced his steps back to first. Meanwhile, McGehee passed him on the bases before first baseman Hanley Ramirez tagged both. The Tigers challenged the ruling of catch, and also argued that Martinez should be awarded third, since he was running on the play and only returned to first because of an incorrect call. The umpires eventually agreed after a replay review, putting runners on the corners with one out. Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed with a sacrifice fly before Clay Buchholz escaped further damage. So what happened? Layne told a pool reporter from the Associated Press that once replay showed no catch, the umps had to place the runners. "J.D. Martinez [had] rounded second, because he had to go back and touch, because he'd seen that my arm was up, thinking that I had an out," Layne said. "He didn't know. He was going on my call. So he would've clearly gone to third, and by the guy not catching the ball, first and third." The Red Sox protested, with third base coach Brian Butterfield ejected from the dugout on the next batter for what Layne said was arguing balls and strikes. "Martinez going back to first base was based on Jerry Layne's call which again, Jerry Layne is behind him," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "Brian O'Nora gives the safe sign, so Martinez is advancing to second base. The batter-runner is passing the other baserunner. I still don't have an explanation. It is ass-backwards to be honest with you. We go from a potential double play to a first-and-third situation. I still don't buy it."