- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi strongly advocated for the implementation of expanded instant replay after he was ejected for arguing a blown call by second base umpire Jeff Nelson in the eighth inning of his team's 3-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Sunday afternoon.
"Let's have instant replay," Girardi said. "And not just home run fair (or) foul (calls). Let's have instant replay."
With the Yankees trailing the Tigers 1-0 and Detroit second baseman Omar Infante on first base with two outs in the top of the eighth, center fielder Austin Jackson singled to right field off New York right-hander Hiroki Kuroda.
Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher came up throwing behind Infante, who took a big turn at second.
Second baseman Robinson Cano applied the tag on Infante as he tried to slide back in head-first. Replays showed that Infante was out and that the inning should've been over. Instead, Nelson called Infante safe, allowing the inning to continue. Girardi came out to argue with Nelson, but to no avail.
"(Infante) was out by five feet," Cano said.
Girardi came out to make a pitching change and went to argue with Nelson again, and this time he was ejected.
The Tigers would add another run in the frame.
Upon seeing the replay for himself, Nelson later admitted to a pool reporter that he made an incorrect call.
"The hand did not get in before the tag," Nelson said.
Asked why he ejected Girardi, Nelson replied, "Oh, he continued to argue the call after being warned not to, left his position on the mound to make the trip, and came down and argued the call."
Even so, the Yankees failed to score, perhaps making Girardi's point moot.
"I am not saying we win the game if the call (was) right," Girardi said. "I am not saying that. ... But in this day and age there is too much at stake, and the technology is available. That's what our country has done. We have evolved technology to make things better."
The Yankees were also victims of a blown call in Game 1 of the ALCS, when Cano was mistakenly ruled out while trying to beat out an infield single. The call cost the Yankees a run.
"It's frustrating," Girardi said. "I don't have a problem with Jeff's effort, I don't, because he hustled to get the play. But in this day and age when we have instant replay available to us, it's got to change.
"These guys are under a tremendous amount of pressure. It's a tough call for him because the tag is underneath and it's hard for him to see. We play 235 days to get to this point, and two calls go against us. We lose by a run last night."
Executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre said baseball remains undecided on how it will proceed with the possible implementation of instant replay.
"I know we're talking about balls past the line and trap plays," Torre said. "But it always seems we want the replay to be the last thing that happened.
"We are certainly sensitive to it. We are looking into it. We have technology set up in this ballpark and over at Citi Field the last month of the season, and looking at the results of that, but that wouldn't have included the play tonight."
Torre said there are many scenarios that need to be addressed when deciding on the implementation of instant replay.
"We have to make sure we don't make a knee-jerk reaction to something that's, you know, already -- we settle this tag play at second base, and all of a sudden we find, you know, something else comes up and something else comes up, and the game goes on and on forever and forever," he said.
"So we're looking into it. We're not saying it can happen, but right now we haven't really come up with a conclusion on what's the best way to go about it and not make the game drag on and go any longer than they are already going."
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.
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