Following the Detroit Tigers' frustrating 7-4 loss in the first game of a four-game set against the Boston Red Sox on Monday, Tigers manager Jim Leyland had to toe a fine line in regards to his post-game comments. After being ejected in the third inning by first base umpire Bill Welke for arguing a close call, Leyland was hot under the collar but it wasn't because of the ejection.
The Tigers were originally upset with home plate umpire Jeff Nelson after he needed to appeal to Welke and Welke botched a Mike Avilles swing-and-miss in the second inning. Instead of a frame-ending strikeout, Aviles was granted another chance at the plate and proceeded to single to center, which set the tone for a three-run Boston inning that broke the game open.
Leyland was not pleased with the sequence; his comments via ABC News in Detroit:
"Well there shouldn't have been a second inning rally. There should not have been a second inning rally. There was three outs. I've been in the game a long time and when the catcher catches the ball and it's strike three you call the guy out, it's that simple isn't it?
Leyland pleaded that he was not looking to get fined or suspended and demanded the media to use their power to set the record straight so he wouldn't have to.
"Now anybody that saw that - have the nerve to write what you saw and say it - because I'm not going to sit here and rip umpires.