4/1/2014 7:57 P.M. ET
Maddon reflects on replay challenge that wasn't
On close call, club's video coordinator advises manager not to appeal play
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
ST. PETERSBURG -- The instant replay challenge that didn't happen in Monday's Rays season opener sat on the front burner Tuesday.
In the third inning, Tampa Bay ace David Price threw to first base in an attempt to pick off Toronto's Colby Rasmus. Umpire Bill Welke called him safe, prompting Rays manager Joe Maddon to walk slowly to first base as the wheels went into motion on the bench and in the club's video room.
Bench coach Davey Martinez quickly called Chris "Chico" Fernandez, the Rays' video coordinator, who began looking at 12 different video screens to see if the video evidence was convincing enough to challenge the call.
"It looked like from where I was at and from where Joe was at that he was out," Martinez said. "When Chico looked at it, he said it was really close. ... It's got to be conclusive. Are they going to see it and overturn it?"
Maddon has been studying how to handle the new instant replay rules and he had one message for Fernandez before the season started: "Just be honest. Tell me what you see. Don't be afraid of being wrong, ever. ... Give us your best call and we'll go with it."
Fernandez wasn't convinced.
"I thought he was out, but it was close, and based on the guidelines, I wasn't sure," Fernandez said.
Fernandez's indifference prompted Martinez to signal Maddon to abort any plans to challenge the call and the game moved on from there.
Maddon believes the instant replay rule will bring about a positive offshoot to the game.
"I think two things are going to occur because of this," Maddon said. "The first part is that the relationship between umpires, players, managers and coaches is actually going to benefit from all of this. Because of the system being in place, there's going to be less reason to be upset or to argue.
"And then beyond that, you're going to find out how often umpires are right. I think those are the two benefits that are going to be derived from this that are going to work in the favor of the umpire. I really believe they want this, because they don't want to leave the ballpark knowing that they influenced the game with a call that wasn't right. They're all about that."
Added Martinez: "The good thing about it, the umpires are willing to work with us and give us time. Joe positioned himself to where he could see me, that was great. And it all worked out. ... You don't realize how important Chico is now."
DeJesus hobbled, doesn't expect to land on DL
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays outfielder David DeJesus left Monday's game after getting hit on his right foot in the eighth inning.
X-rays of DeJesus' foot were negative, but he said Tuesday he experienced "a little bit" of overnight swelling.
"Got here [on Tuesday afternoon] at 1, been doing stuff until now," DeJesus told reporters before the game. "... I know it's not broken, so that's good. But I just want to make sure it's feeling good and go from there."
DeJesus does not believe he'll land on the disabled list.
"That's not something I'm looking at at all," DeJesus said. "It's just one of those things, I have to get all of that [swelling and soreness] out. Be OK soon."
Head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield exchanged emails with Joe Maddon early Tuesday, which resulted in Tampa Bay's manager scratching DeJesus from the lineup against Toronto right-hander Drew Hutchinson.
After communicating with Porterfield, "I was going over different options for tonight," said Maddon, who noted that he also considered starting Brandon Guyer. "... Just looking at game in progress what might happen, we chose to go this way."
Maddon used Logan Forsythe as the designated hitter and Matt Joyce started in left field.
• Reigning American League Rookie of the Year Wil Myers went 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs in Monday's opener. According to Elias Sports Bureau, only two other reigning Rookie of the Year winners have recorded three hits, two runs and two RBIs on Opening Day: Carlton Fisk of the Red Sox in 1973 and Raul Mondesi for the Dodgers in 1995.
• On Monday, 12 babies were delivered at Bayfront Baby Place -- eight boys and four girls -- each winning four tickets to future Rays home openers. The "Rays Fan for Life" program was created as part of the new partnership between the Rays and Bayfront Health.
• Sunday's 1:35 p.m. ET series finale against the Rangers brings about the season's first scheduled "Dog Day at the Rays" in the tbt* Party Deck. Tickets, which cost $30, include entry for one dog and one human and your choice of one of the following items: a Rays-themed dog collar, leash or baseball chew toy. Additional human tickets are $25 each.
• Thursday is Opening Day for the Rays' four full-season Minor League affiliates. Of interest, Triple-A Durham's rotation will see right-hander Nathan Karns followed by left-hander Enny Romero, right-hander Matt Andriese and left-handers Mike Montgomery and Erik Bedard.
• Tuesday was the official release date for "Double Play: Faith and Family First", the new autobiography by Ben Zobrist and his wife, Julianna. The book is available at Barnes & Noble, Lifeway, Family Christian and online.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.