In the seventh inning, the Tigers' Andy Dirks(notes) tapped a sacrifice bunt past the pitcher. Second baseman Aaron Hill(notes) had to field the ball and had to make a lunging throw to Adam Lind(notes) at first base. It was a close play, but Dirks was out. Or was he?
First base umpire Ed Rapuano ruled Dirks safe, saying that Lind was pulled off the bag. Blue Jays manager John Farrell argued the call, compelling Rapuano to consult with home plate ump Alfonso Marquez. Rapuano then changed his call, ruling Dirks out. (Replays showed Dirks was clearly out.)
That brought Leyland out of the dugout, and that's when the fun began. Whatever Rapuano said, Leyland wasn't buying. How does the guy five feet from first base — with a perfect view of the play — get overruled by the one standing behind home plate? And just in case Rapuano didn't get that point, Leyland acted it all out for him.
Here's the video, courtesy of MLB.com:
As my friend Rob said to me on instant message, if you turned that video black-and-white and sped it up, you'd have a Charlie Chaplin movie.
Unfortunately, Leyland refused to talk about the play and what his friendly chat with the umpires included after the game. That left players like Dirks to give understatements to reporters.
"Sometimes, when things don't go the way you want, you express your opinion a little bit," said Andy Dirks, who was at the center of the storm. "He's good at it. He's got some experience. It's fun to watch. But at the same time, we've got to keep rolling."
The Tigers rallied one inning after Leyland's ejection, thanks largely to a Jhonny Peralta(notes) RBI triple off Shawn Camp(notes). The Cleveland Indians kept pace with a 5-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, keeping Detroit's lead in the AL Central at one game.