MINNEAPOLIS -- When manager Joe Girardi met with the media Thursday before the Yankees took on the Twins, the main topic was the controversial call made Wednesday night by crew chief Dana DeMuth, which credited Kansas City's Billy Butler with a home run.
After reviewing the play in which the ball struck the left-field wall and bounced back into play, DeMuth determined it to be a home run for Butler. Joe Torre, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of baseball operations, said Thursday in Cooperstown, N.Y., that DeMuth had misunderstood the ground rules at Kauffman Stadium.
"It's unfortunate. You know, I can't tell you if he gets the call right that the game's not going to change or what's going to happen during the rest of the game," Girardi said. "You don't know. You don't know if Billy Butler ends up scoring. It's a totally different game, in a sense.
"But it's unfortunate that it's the second time it's happened. It happened with the Angels, and you would've thought that it would've been cleaned up. You know, it's a tough fence, but there are other tough fences. We got the call wrong, and we've got to move on."
As Girardi alluded to, Wednesday night was not the first time such a call had gone the Royals' way this season at Kauffman Stadium.
Butler initially was credited with a double June 1 on a similar hit, but a review then ruled that it should be a home run. That call gave Butler a two-run walk-off homer as the Royals won, 2-0, over the Angels.
What makes such a call upsetting for Girardi is that rather than simply getting a judgment call wrong, DeMuth made the incorrect call because of a misinterpretation of the ground rules.
"Well, I think everyone in life, not just baseball, needs to be accountable for their own actions. That's the bottom line," Girardi said.
"There's a lot at stake every day. You're fighting for games. You're fighting for your division. You're fighting for playoff spots. Some people are fighting for jobs. There's a lot at stake."