Interference call causes momentary confusion
Encarnacion ruled out after bumping into Teixeira on Navarro's popup
NEW YORK -- An innocent looking play in the fourth inning ended up causing some confusion at Yankee Stadium during a game between the Blue Jays and Yankees.
With Edwin Encarnacion on first base, Toronto's Dioner Navarro hit a little popup in the direction of New York's Mark Teixeira. Encarnacion was off the base and watched the ball for a split second before realizing he needed to get back to first.
The problem was that as Encarnacion was attempting to return to the bag, Teixeira was taking several steps back to make the catch. The two players slightly bumped into each other, but Teixeira was still able to camp under the ball and make the grab.
When the contact was spotted, first-base umpire Chris Conroy called runner interference on the play. Encarnacion was ruled out and Navarro was initially called out as well in what appeared to be the makings of a very bizarre double play.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons immediately came out to argue the call and the umpires converged for several minutes to make sense of what just happened. In the end, Encarnacion was ruled out for runner interference and Navarro was awarded first base, even though he had just popped out.
According to Conroy, Encarnacion was out because "unintentional, but interference nonetheless, therefore he's the one declared out." Crew chief Jerry Meals further explained things to a pool reporter by saying Navarro got the base because "on a fair batted ball, he goes to first base. The ball is dead."
The situation was initially confusing, but Gibbons was satisfied by the answer. The play ultimately did not have an impact on the game as Toronto's Juan Francisco and Erik Kratz proceeded to strike out to end the scoreless inning.
"I didn't understand, you can't call two outs on that play," Gibbons said follwing his club's 6-4 loss to New York. "At least they got together and got it right."