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CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 12: New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) argues a call with umpire Chris Guccione (68) and umpire Larry Vanover (27) during the first inning of the the Major League Baseball game between the New York Yankees and Cleveland Guardians on April 12, 2023, at Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Yankees overcome umpires to beat Cleveland

During yesterday’s game against the Cleveland Guardians, an umpire controversy allowed Cleveland to take the lead in the first inning and saw the ejection of Aaron Boone from the game. The controversy started when a video scoreboard at the stadium showed a replay of Aaron Hicks failing to catch a ball. The ruling on the field was that Hicks had made the catch and doubled the runner off of second to end the inning.

Without ever receiving a formal challenge from Guardians’ manager Terry Francona, the umpires convened way after the allotted 15 seconds for a challenge and overturned the call. Incensed, Boone argued the call, likely pointing out that there was no official challenge, and was tossed from the game by crew chief Larry Vanover and his staff.

While the call should have never been ruled a catch, the issue is the precedent set. As MLB looks to shorten games, about 15 minutes of dead time occurred during the review and argument. After the game, MLB supported Vanover and his crew saying that the umpires are allowed to convene and overturn calls without a direct challenge.

Perhaps in the ultimate “ball don’t lie” moment of the young MLB season, Vanover had to leave the game. A ball thrown to home, unfortunately, hit the veteran umpire in the head. Vanover was able to get back to his feet but had to leave the game. Afterward, it was reported that he had some trouble recalling the injury.

Late Inning Drama

Franchy Cordero tied the game with a home run in the seventh inning with his fourth home run of the season. The New York Yankees pulled ahead in the ninth starting with Giancarlo Stanton reaching second on an error. Gleyber Torres, who was resting a slight hip flexor tightness pinch ran and scored on an Oswaldo Cabrera single.

Meanwhile, the Yankees had to survive a shaky bottom of the ninth from closer Clay Holmes. In the inning, Holmes hit a batter and walked two others to load the bases with two outs, before quickly falling behind Ahmed Rosario. Fortunately for Holmes, Rosario, who homered earlier in the game, would eventually strike out, giving the Yankees their fourth consecutive series win to start the season.