MIAMI -- A controversial interference call on Wednesday night reminded Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen about how the game has changed since his playing days.
In the fourth inning on Wednesday, Atlanta's Jason Heyward bounced to second, and the Marlins were willing to concede the run for a double play. Omar Infante tossed to Jose Reyes for the force at second. Reyes' throw to first was accidentally swatted down by Freddie Freeman, who was struck on the left hand by the throw.
Because of interference on Freeman, a double play was ruled. Freeman was shaken up on the play, and he was replaced in the bottom half of the inning due to a bruised left index finger.
Since the ball was ruled dead on the interference, Dan Uggla had to return to third base. Uggla ended up scoring on a two-out RBI single by Randall Delgado.
"That's a double-play ball," Guillen said on Thursday. "I don't know who made the rules; it worked for us. That's really what the umpire thinks. [Freeman's] hand was up. That's what the umpire thinks. It worked for us."
Guillen, a shortstop in his playing days, said that during his time on the diamond, infielders protected themselves by throwing directly toward first base, even if it meant the ball was aimed at a baserunner's head. The tradeoff is, baserunners would do what they could to break up the double play.
"Right now, you've got a lot of protection from the umpires," Guillen said. "In my time, we made sure we hit that guy right in the head. That's our protection. If you hit the guy in the head, he was a tough man. If the guy spiked you, that's the way to play this game.
"Now if you get touched, they want to fight. Why'd you touch me? That's not good for baseball. You're hurting me. Before, when I was playing, they'd go after your little [rear end]. You better get out of the way. The only protection you had was to make sure you throw that ball right through his throat. That's the way to play the game. That's the way I grow up. Baseball has changed that way."
Guillen had the spike marks from Dave Winfield to prove it.
The Marlins manager added that he thought the umpires made the right call on the Freeman interference.
"I think [Reyes] did the right thing," Guillen said. "I'm sure he wasn't trying to hurt him. ... The game changes. But I think the umpire made a tremendous call. That is the rule."