LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers have been simmering for a couple of weeks now at the state of Major League Baseball's replay rules, but Wednesday's 5-4 loss to the Miami Marlins turned up the heat.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was ejected for arguing with umpire Bob Davidson after a Giancarlo Stanton sliding attempt to catch Howie Kendrick's line drive was not overturned in New York. Mattingly got his money's worth, tossing his cap at one point, even though he was fully aware Davidson was simply relaying what someone said into his headset.
The call stood, because there wasn't sufficient evidence to overturn it, Mattingly was told. The play, which happened in the fourth inning, resulted in Mattingly's second ejection of the season.
"I saw the ball bounce off the grass and bounce up into his glove," Mattingly said. "When they showed it on the big screen, we saw it bounce and you just know it's going to get overturned and when it doesn't, it's just frustrating."
Mattingly has voiced his displeasure with the protocol a few times. His beef: Umpires in New York shouldn't know the call on the field before deliberating. Right now, they choose one of three options: The call is overturned, the call stands (because of insufficient evidence) or the call is confirmed.
Some inside the Dodgers' clubhouse have wondered whether umpires are hesitant to overturn close calls because they are protecting their colleagues in the field. Umpires are penalized and rewarded based on their record of making correct calls. Mattingly wouldn't go so far as to suggest such a conspiracy when asked about it Wednesday.
"I shouldn't talk about it. I really shouldn't," Mattingly said. "I've expressed how I feel. I think they've just got to take the human element out of it. The call is yes or no safe or out. They don't know what the call is. It shouldn't be a stand or overturned. Just go look at it point blank wholehearted, safe or out. It's pretty simple for me. Just take all the human element out of it."
Later in the game, a similarly close play was overturned in Miami's favor. The umpires ruled Marcell Ozuna had hit into a double play until the replay officials overturned the call.
"The guys in the booth probably shouldn't know the call on the field," Dodgers pitcher Chris Hatcher said. "There's a human element. If they don't know the call on the field, they call it like they see it. If you're going to do it, do it right. That still doesn't change what happened. I pitched like s---."
Other managers have expressed frustration with the current replay system, including Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia. Scioscia's beef, like Mattingly's, was with a "call stands" ruling, one in which Kole Calhoun was ruled out at second base in a pivotal play in San Francisco.
"I don't know where they're dropping the ball there in New York, but it's something that needs to be worked on," Scioscia told reporters. "They're getting the angles, everything we're seeing. I don't know how they don't come to the same conclusions everybody would come to on that play."