That brings us to Coors Field on Friday night. For a few seconds it seemed like we may have been headed towards that inevitable flare up. It happened in the third inning with Troy Tulowitzki running on first base, D.J. LeMahieu at the plate, and Madison Bumgarner pitching. As it’s being reported, Tulowitzki asked first base umpire Tim McClelland to check the baseball. McClelland complied, stopping play to give it a once over before tossing it out of play.
Bumgarner had the outward reaction you’d expect. He didn’t appear pleased by the stoppage or the insinuation, and even directed some words in Tulowitzki’s direction, but it didn’t go beyond those words. That left many of us wondering what exactly the situation was. Had Tulowitzki played the gamesmanship card himself? Did he think something shady was going on? What did McClelland find, if anything?
Andrew Baggerly of Comcast Sports Net San Francisco has some of the answers. At least the ones straight from the players.
“I wasn’t accusing him at all,” Tulowitzki said. “I have too much respect for him to do something like that. I didn’t think they were cheating.”
Tulowitzki said he noticed the mark and pointed it out to umpire Tim McClelland, only to suggest that they put a fresh one into play.
“You respect the game and there’s something on the baseball, so let’s get rid of it and move on,” Tulowitzki said. “You respect guys who compete. I have respect for him and hopefully he has the same for me.”