Banister ejected for arguing overturned call

Banister ejected for arguing overturned call

ARLINGTON -- The Angels got the call overturned. Rangers manager Jeff Banister got the ejection.

The Rangers ended up going home happy after a 3-2 victory over the Angels on Monday night at Globe Life Park, reducing their magic number to three to clinch the American League West (with some help from the Blue Jays, who defeated the Mariners).

But the scene in the sixth inning was almost as chaotic as the Rangers' celebration after Ian Desmond's single drove home Elvis Andrus with the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth.

The crux of the argument was whether a double by Angels third baseman Yunel Escobar got lodged beneath the padding of the wall in right-center or if he should have been out when he tried to stretch his hit into a triple.

"I have an outfielder who felt the ball was not lodged," Banister said. "If you look at the video, the ball is still spinning. That's not a lodged ball."

There was one out when Escobar's line drive rolled to the wall and came to rest underneath. After chasing down the ball, Nomar Mazara fumbled it as he tried to pick it up but was successful the second time.

Escobar was coasting into second base, but then saw Mazara have trouble with the baseball. Escobar tried to go to third base and was thrown out easily on the relay from second baseman Rougned Odor.

Escobar pointed out to the umpires that the ball should have been dead, even though Mazara never put his hands above his head. Fielders can do that when they feel a ball is unplayable, whether it is stuck under a fence, a bullpen bench or other obstacles. The practice is common on balls hit into the ivy at Wrigley Field.

"It's tough to see from our dugout exactly what happened," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We thought it was out of play. I think that's what [Escobar] saw. He kind of stutter-stepped and slowed down. What happened was, the ball got wedged under the fence, and whenever that happens it's a dead ball."

Scioscia asked for a review, and it was granted by crew chief Joe West, who was serving as the second-base umpire. The call was overturned, and Escobar was sent back to second. He ended up scoring on a triple by Mike Trout.

"The ball wasn't going to be caught," West said. "The umpires are scrambling to get in position [for] possible plays. The ball goes out there and sticks. From the infield, you can't tell if it's stuck. If we had gone out, even being 100 feet from it, we may not have been able to tell it was stuck. But when we went to replay, they said it was stuck."

According to Globe Life Park ground rules, a ball lodged in the padding of the outfield wall results in a double.

Banister went out to argue and was ejected, as skippers are not allowed to dispute a call determined by replay.

"You can not argue relay," Banister said. "I know that. From my vantage point, the ball rolled under. I had an outfielder that wanted to play the ball, and the padding cost him. The runner looked like he was going to stay at second, he saw Mazara drop the ball and decided to go to third and got thrown out."

It was the second ejection for Banister this season and the seventh of his career.

"They made the call, I wanted an explanation," Banister said. "I know you can't argue. I also feel the umpires we have at the Major League level are the best there are."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.