SEATTLE -- Josh Hamilton injured his left thumb sliding head-first into first base Tuesday night, but that didn’t prevent the Angels left fielder from giving Major League Baseball two thumbs down to an instant-replay ruling in the fifth inning of the Angels’ 5-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners.
With a runner on second and one out, Corey Hart lofted a fly ball to deep left that Hamilton appeared to catch above his head and pull toward his body, but the ball squirted out on the glove-to-hand transfer and fell to the ground.
Third-base umpire Seth Buckminster initially ruled Hart out, but Seattle Manager Lloyd McClendon challenged, and after a 2-minute, 51-second replay review, the call was overturned.
“C’mon MLB, that’s terrible, and you can quote me on that,” Hamilton said. “You can see on the replay that I catch the ball and I come down with it [before the ball comes out]. I always flip the ball out of my glove. I never reach in and grab it.”
Manager Mike Scioscia hadn’t seen a replay by the time he spoke to reporters after the game, but knowing how umpires are interpreting the rules, he did not dispute the call.
“They felt Josh was trying to transfer it to throw,” Scioscia said. “The catch isn’t completed until the ball is in the bare hand. That’s in the rule book.”
Was it the right call? “The way it’s outlined, the outfielder has to get the ball into his bare hand if he’s making a play, just like the transfer at second base on a double play,” Scioscia said.