Boone returns to field 3 times to argue with umps after ejection
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone was fuming Wednesday and made sure he got his point across, returning to the field three times after he was ejected from Wednesday's game against the Cleveland Guardians.
Boone was upset because of replay-review confusion following what appeared to be an inning-ending double play for the Yankees in the first frame. Instead, umpires ruled that a catch by outfielder Aaron Hicks dropped in for a base hit, resulting in a 1-0 lead for Cleveland. Josh Bell added to the Guardians' lead with an RBI single later in the inning.
(Video source: MLB.com)
Boone was upset because it wasn't initially clear whether or not Guardians manager Terry Francona was challenging the call, and Francona was still granted permission to do so after the play was shown on the big screen at Progressive Field. Under new rules, managers are supposed to immediately signal that they're considering challenging a play and then have 15 seconds to decide whether to do so.
While Boone acknowledged following the Yankees' 4-3 win that the umpires ultimately got the call correct, he was still steamed that they allowed the late challenge. He felt that the home crowd's reaction to seeing the play on the scoreboard helped sway the umps' decision.
"I just think it completely bailed (the Guardians) out. I disagree still," Boone told reporters, per YES Network. "We've been told all winter and all spring that we gotta be up and ready (to challenge). I knew they missed the timing play, but I also knew they missed that, so we weren't challenging the play, because I didn't want them to have the ability to go look at the play. (Then) it gets thrown up on the scoreboard. I'm not saying they looked at the scoreboard, but obviously you could feel the emotion in the building. Then it's them getting together to get it right, and then going to Cleveland, (and) I think in the end bailing them out. I obviously took exception to it.
"They got the play right, I will say that. But there's no way that the environment did not create, in my opinion, the end result."
Boone added that he's had "a couple conversations already with the league" to try to understand how and why this happened. He said MLB told him that because the umpires got together to discuss the play before Cleveland challenged, it changed "the mechanics" of the specific situation.
Crew chief Chris Guccione told pool reporter Brendan Kuty of The Athletic that the umpires allowed Francona to challenge the catch because he asked for it "promptly" after they broke their huddle. He also confirmed that the 15-second challenge clock was stopped by rule once the huddle began.
The ejection was the 27th of the Yankees skipper's managerial career.