Rays, O's almost make replay history
Fan interferes with long drive, but umpires don't request help
ST. PETERSBURG -- Upon further review, there is no review. The Orioles and Rays almost made baseball history on Saturday with the sport's first use of instant replay, but the umpires decided that they saw things right the first time.
Tampa Bay held a one-run lead in the third inning when the play in question happened, and it came off the bat of Nick Markakis. Markakis hit a ball to deep right field, and a fan appeared to reach over the wall to catch it. First-base umpire Jeff Kellogg judged it a double without assistance, and Aubrey Huff crushed a three-run homer moments later.
Kellogg, the crew chief in Saturday's game, was unavailable for comment. Baltimore manager Dave Trembley, who ventured out onto the field seeking an explanation, said after the game that he didn't think a replay review was warranted.
"[They] told me it was fan interference," he said, "And it didn't go over the yellow line."
Right fielder Justin Ruggiano, the closest player to the play, initially had the same instinct as Trembley. Ruggiano said the fan got "half an arm and a glove" over the wall, but he still thought that the umpires might need replay help.
"Right when it happened, I raised my arm up. I was thinking about a replay in the back of my mind at first," Ruggiano said. "I was kind of hoping they would use it. ... I wanted to be the first team."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. Associate reporter Brittany Ghiroli contributed additional reporting. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.