ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Nolan Fontana was called safe and then out on the same play by the same umpire — without a replay review.
Welcome to the majors, kid. Nothing is certain.
Making his major league debut for the Los Angeles Angels, Fontana was initially ruled safe by second base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt on a stolen base attempt in the second inning Monday night against Tampa Bay.
Rays manager Kevin Cash challenged the call — but before there was even a video review, Wendelstedt correctly changed his ruling to out.
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“After consulting with me, he said, ‘I want to change it myself. I think I erred,'” crew chief Joe West told a pool reporter. “I said, ‘OK, it’s your call.’ So he changed it.”
Wendelstedt said an umpire must be honest with himself.
“I committed one of the two errors that normally result in missing a play,” Wendelstedt said. “You have good positioning, which I had, and good timing. Most of the time you’re going to get them, most of the time, right. I had really bad timing. As soon as my hands were out, I knew that I missed it.”
Los Angeles went on to win 3-2.
After the game, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Fontana was indeed out. Scioscia, however, said he’d never seen umpires get together on the field and change a challenged call before an available replay review.
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