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Randy Marsh, Rich Rieker quotes
10/20/2004 1:44 AM ET
RICH RIEKER: On page 19 is a quote from the rulebook; and the other side, section 6.1, that's out of our umpire manual for Major League umpires

PHYLLIS MERHIGE: Would you be good enough Randy to describe what happened on the field on both plays, the home run and then the play at first base, and to tell us about the process that the umpires go through on that?

RANDY MARSH: Naturally Jim Joyce had to call down left field. It is really tough sometimes, especially when you are working down the lines and the ball comes down and comes back in and you're trying to get the best angle possible. He thought the ball was still in play, and Tito came out and wanted us to check.

In this day and age, we try everything we possibly can to get the play correct. What would have happened if we didn't get together and get the play correct? You would have been -- you'd have a lot to write about if we didn't, but we did get together.

Every guy out -- every other umpire thought that the ball was over the wall. And that's why we had to change it and give Bellhorn the home run in that situation.

Years ago, that process wasn't used all the time. It's better for the game, it's better for umpiring; it's better for the league because they know you've done everything that you can to try to get it right. And sometimes things happen where you might get together and maybe someone else could not give you a better shot, but at least you're trying to get the play correct.

PHYLLIS MERHIGE: I was asked to ask you whether only the umpires on the field have input or did you get a signal?

RANDY MARSH: No, we got together with the whole crew, and like I said, all other five umpires, all agreed that the ball had gone over.

On the play at first base, when you look at the replay, Arroyo was coming over tagging, and Mientkiewicz came right between me and. Arroyo and I did not see Alex wave at him and knock the ball out.

And in that situation, Joe West did some outstanding umpiring. He was coming down the line and he could see it clearly. He was the man that really helped us out there. When we got together, he was the guy that had the best shot and was sure of it. In that situation, the runner is called out for interference, no runs could be scored, all runners return to the last base they have occupied at the time of the interference. So Jeter came back to first base.

It's unusual to have this happen twice, especially in major games like this, but we made every effort possible to try to get the play correct and I think that's what we did.

Q. In a collision like that, what can you do to knock the ball loose and what can't you do?

RANDY MARSH: As long as he is running normally, I mean, you're going to have -- you're going to have collisions like that.

But he cannot intentionally wave, slap at the man and try to knock the ball out of his glove.

Q. The rule here talks about malicious or unsportsmanlike acts. Is there a degree to which you can interpret the maliciousness and the unsportsmanlike and take it farther than calling the batter out?

RANDY MARSH: Yeah, I think what that was put in there for was, remember a few years ago when Albert Belle swiped the guy out at second base, I don't know in it was Vina or somebody, just really waylaid the guy and in that situation you could go further and possibly eject the guy. This wasn't anything that severe. That's what we stayed with.

Q. On the play at first base, was West going to make that call or come to you before the protest came, or, you know -- did it happen because of the protest?

RANDY MARSH: When Tito came out, I thought, "well, was there something I didn't see?" And there was. Like I said, when you look at it, Mientkiewicz came right between me and Arroyo. I saw Arroyo come over and Mientkiewicz got between me and him and next thing I know the ball is flying past me. I should at least check with him and see. It's all part of trying to get it correct.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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