Valentine gets foul over foul-ball call
Red Sox manager lashes out at umpires after loss
After the Boston Red Sox lost for the eighth time in 10 games Wednesday night, manager Bobby Valentine lashed out at the umpires.
Specifically, Valentine was angry that plate umpire Jeff Nelson didn't confer with his colleagues in the ninth inning after a Marlon Byrd bunt attempt was ruled a foul ball rather than a hit by pitch. It was a pivotal play in Boston's 4-3 loss to the Royals at Kansas City.
With runners on first and second and no outs, Byrd was trying to drop down a sacrifice when a fastball from Royals closer Jonathan Broxton appeared to hit him on the hand.
Nelson ruled that the ball hit the bat, even though Byrd and Valentine maintained that Byrd was pulling the bat back and that it hit him, in which case he would have been awarded first base to load the bases with no outs.
"Guys battled their butts off, that's all I know. That's a damn shame," Valentine said. "(Expletive) umpire can't make a right call and get help to get it done. It's a damn shame is what it is. Be stubborn. It's not his job to call the frigging play. Just get help. It's a damn shame is what that is. It's a damn shame.
"And then they don't want replay. If they can't get it right, they should frigging ask for help. Why the (expletive) is it so hard to do it at the end of the game if they can do it at the beginning of the game?"
Nelson explained to a pool reporter that he was comfortable enough with his foul-ball determination that he did not think it necessary to confer with the other umps.
"We usually don't ask about a ball hitting a guy's hand based on an umpire that's 100 feet away," Nelson said. "You go on the best information that you have, and also if the batter had been offering at the pitch and the pitch had hit his hand, the result would be a strike and a dead ball. But my ruling was a foul ball."