By Ashley Dunkak
COMERICA PARK (CBS DETROIT) – As rulebooks grow and get more specific, and as instant replay expands, sports start to look different. Detroit Lions fans saw the effects of this phenomenon when wide receiver Calvin Johnson caught a ball and crossed the plane of the end zone (the normal criteria for scoring) only to have the catch ruled an incompletion because he did not “complete the process.”
The Detroit Tigers learned baseball’s version of “completing the process” Friday in their series opener against Baltimore.
With Steve Lombardozzi on first base, Nick Markakis made contact with a pitch and took off. As Lombardozzi sped toward second, Tigers shortstop Andrew Romine snagged the ball and stepped on the bag. He dropped the ball – or as Major League Baseball put it, “involuntarily released” the ball – on the transfer, failing to complete the double play.
Because of that, the umpires called the runner at second safe.
New Tigers manager Brad Ausmus challenged the call, and a two-minute review upheld the decision of the umpires.
Ausmus was 2-for-2 on challenges going into Friday’s game. Since Ausmus challenged a play that was upheld, he forfeited the chance to have another challenge, which managers are awarded if a call they challenge is overturned.