Trea Turner called out Joe Torre on national TV.
It didn’t do the Nationals shortstop any good to focus his ire on Major League Baseball’s chief baseball officer during Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday night — Turner remained out after umpire Sam Holbrook called him for interference while running to first.
And none of it ended up mattering anyway, as the Nationals beat the Houston Astros 7-2 to force Game 7.
But the awkward moment made for some great TV.
With a runner on first and his team up 3-2 in the seventh inning, Turner put a bunt down a few feet off the third base line. Pitcher Brad Peacock’s throw to first was slightly off the mark, causing first baseman Yuli Gurriel to reach in front of Turner to catch it.
A lengthy delay followed, during which the Fox broadcast showed Turner in the dugout calling for clarification from Torre.
“Hey, he’s right there! Just ask him!” Turner yelled.
“Joe Torre is right there ... and he’s sitting with his head down trying not to look up!”
After the game, a much calmer Turner explained his actions.
“Joe Torre’s in charge of the umpires and I think if we want clarification, we should do everything we possibly can to get the calls on the field right,” Turner told reporters. “And if it’s in the rules that I did the wrong thing, then so be it. But I think this stage is just too big and too important to a lot of people ... I just think we should do everything we can to get everything as right as possible and let the players decide the outcome.”
Torre, who had a conversation with crew chief Gary Cederstrom soon after the incident, did provide clarification after the game.
“Really the violation was when he kept Gurriel from being able to catch the ball at first base,” Torre told reporters. “It’s a judgment call on the umpire. Sam Holbrook made the call, the right call.”
“If you notice, he was running inside the line toward fair territory, toward the grass, and he was coming from that angle. If he had been running in the 45-foot line he’d have been coming from a different angle and the first baseman may have had an easier chance catching the ball. But as you saw, the glove came off Gurriel’s hand and he wasn’t doing anything but trying to catch the ball. And my view, if [Gurriel] catches the ball, Turner — he’s fast but he hadn’t quite gotten to first base yet.”