Joe Maddon rips MLB review process after call on final play costs Cubs

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Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he was certain the video replay showed Chris Denorfia was safe on this game-ending play Wednesday.

In a three-run game with two outs in the ninth, it wasn’t exactly the deciding factor.

But that didn’t stop Cubs manager Joe Maddon from going off on MLB’s replay-challenge process after watching Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to the Dodgers end on an unsuccessful challenge with Anthony Rizzo on deck and Kris Bryant right behind him.

“I cannot believe the conclusion,” Maddon fumed. “That might be the worst non-overturn I’ve seen to this point.”

At issue was the tag at second on Chris Denorfia, who drove a pitch from Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen to the wall in left with two out in the bottom of the ninth – only to have the ball carom cleanly to Scott Van Slyke, who made a perfect throw to second baseman Kike Hernandez.

At least one replay angle seemed to show Denorfia getting his hand around the tag and to the bag in time. But after a 3-minute, 19-second review, umpires in New York looking at the video determined it was not definitive enough to change the call.

“I wish that whomever made that call could have just been at Wrigley Field and looked at our big screen if they wanted to see something definitive,” Maddon said. “To say there was nothing definitive right there, I cannot disagree with more strongly.

“I have no idea why they would say that. It makes zero sense to me whatsoever. … The play ‘stands.’ If it was ‘confirmed’ I could almost live with that. To say it stands, it’s just not a really cool way to go in that particular moment – game on the line, and it was obvious from that one shot that he was absolutely safe, no questions asked.”

Unless you asked Denorfia if he thought he was safe.

“I don’t know,” he said.

Or if you asked Denorfia what he thought after watching the video.

“I thought it was too close to overturn,” he said.

Denorfia saved most of his anger for himself.

“It’s not a smart baseball play,” he said. “It’s something that I know not to do, to get thrown out when we’re trying to put an inning together. A lot of things went good for them on that play. The ball bounced right to him, and he put it right on the bag. But it doesn’t matter. I shouldn’t have gone to second anyway.

“I have the play right in front of me. I could see it when I was rounding first. I was just already committed. It wasn’t a smart baseball play.”

Maddon, who lobbied for MLB to clear the umps from the decision room and “just get a bunch of nerds back there that know how to look at video tape,” said he was fine with Denorfia trying to take second on the hit.

“Of course. You just cannot get thrown out there,” Maddon said. “And he didn’t.”

“I appreciate that,” Denorfia said. “But we shouldn’t even be having this conversation right now. We’ll get them tomorrow.”

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