Martinez 'beside myself' over Turner's baseline interference originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
In the seventh inning of the Nationals’ victory over the Cubs on Wednesday, with Washington leading by two, Trea Turner struck out to lead off the frame. But, the third strike made it past Cubs catcher Willson Contreras, prompting Turner to run to first base.
Turner arrived at the bag the same time the ball did, as Contreras’ throw ended up in right field. But, the speedy shortstop was called out anyway for runners interference, a play quite similar to what happened in Game 6 of the 2019 World Series.
Nationals manager Davey Martinez immediately came out to argue, which led to him picking up the base and throwing it into foul territory. Naturally, he was ejected — the first time he’s been tossed this season.
Following the game, a 4-3 Nationals win, Martinez was asked about the play and was just as fired up about the call from the umpires as he was a couple of hours earlier.
“Honestly, I am beside myself with this whole out of the baseline thing,” Martinez said. “I really am. I think it’s awful.”
Martinez was just getting started, too.
“If he’s running straight down the line and the catcher makes a bad throw, what do you do?” Martinez said. “What do you do? He didn’t even run hard and he made it to first base. And you’re going to call him out? I’m over it. I’m really over it. I’m tired of it. I’m going to argue 1,000 times when that happens. I really am. I’m sick of it. It’s a brutal call and I’m done hiding it. I really am.”
The call was objectively a bad one, as Turner ran in a direct straight line from home to first. He wasn’t in the grass or even in play down the baseline.
Turner, who believes the call Wednesday was “by far” worse than the one in the 2019 World Series, doesn’t understand what else he should have done in that situation.
“Running in a straight line to the base, I don’t know why I would bother doing anything different,” Turner said. “It comes down to the guy making a bad throw. If the guy makes a bad throw, then you’re out. But if he doesn’t, then you’re either safe or out. He might as well pick it up and throw it in the stands so he’ll call you out.”
Although the shortstop was visibly upset about the call as well, Turner said postgame that he loved seeing his manager back him in that situation.
“I love it. It makes me feel like I did the right thing, which I did and we know that. It makes me feel like I should continue to do what I’m doing and not second guess myself,” Turner said.
As for how Major League Baseball can fix issues like these, Turner suggests that opinion plays should be able to be replayed.
Ultimately, what it comes down to for both Martinez and Turner is the umpires getting the call right. In this situation, they — like many — feel the umpires got this one wrong, which is why they were so upset about the situation.
“I know [Martinez] doesn’t want to get thrown out necessarily, but it’s important to share that you know what happened and that it’s not right,” Turner said. “It’s important we get the calls right because that could have been the difference in the game right there. If we get another run there, it’s 5-2 going into the last inning. If we give up two runs instead of one, we still win. It’s important to get the calls right.”