DETROIT — Most eyes were transfixed on Saturday morning as a replay of the previous day’s controversial play appeared on TVs across the White Sox clubhouse.
A few groans could be heard as Detroit’s broadcast feed showed where shortstop Alexei Ramirez tagged Nick Castellanos before he reached second base, a play Robin Ventura and the White Sox elected not to challenge until it was too late. The scene later took a surreal turn when announcers Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone dropped in on the manager’s media session to say they missed the call, too, believing at the time — and in the confusion — that Ramirez had missed the tag because of a technical issue with their broadcast.
Having finally seen the play in question, Ventura, who initially said there wasn’t enough evidence to challenge on Friday only to reverse course seconds later, acknowledged the mistake.
“I think we all missed it,” Ventura said. “You move on. Everybody in 20-20 hindsight would like to change it. But you know, we left that one out there.”
Many have opined that Ventura should have immediately challenged the play because he had nothing to lose in the situation given that it put the winning run on second base with no outs. But Ventura stressed that the initial indication from the clubhouse was the White Sox didn’t see clear-cut evidence the play would have been overturned until after he returned to the dugout. By the time he returned to the field, crew chief Jeff Kellogg determined the play was over and Ventura could no longer request a challenge.
“You can go out there and do it but when you also get — you haven’t seen anything to change it — you can go out there and throw one away, too,” Ventura said. “You get the feeds, it’s what you see. Later on there is a different feed, so at that point you’ve kind of already made your stand out there. You go back in and there is a time limit at that point.”
Ventura has run the play through his head a number of times and what could have been done different from a number of aspects. But with Saturday’s game only hours away, the manager didn’t want to spend any more time focused on Friday’s effort.
“There’s a lot of things you could have done,” Ventura said. “You have to put that behind you and play today instead of sitting around worrying about yesterday.”