Girardi: Alburquerque’s move is a balk (updated)
I couldn’t hear the FOX broadcast (yeah, yeah, I know), so I don’t know what was said during the time when Joe Girardi was going back and forth with Jerry Layne from the dugout, but Girardi talked about it after the game. He says Al Alburquerque’s move home is a balk.
Here’s what Girardi told the New York writers in his postgame session:
“I think Albuquerque balks every time. One time his foot goes up twice. One time it goes up once. If a guy’s trying to steal a base and he goes up twice one time and goes up once one time, if you’re going to squeeze, you don’t know when to go as the runner. I think it’s a balk.”
Clearly, Jerry Layne doesn’t agree.
“Obviously he doesn’t think it’s a balk,” Girardi said. “There’s a couple of umpires out there that can see that and call that.”
For the record, Alburquerque has been called for a balk twice in his Major League career. Girardi saw one of them, because the first was in Game 4 the 2011 AL Division Series against the Yankees. That came in a similar situation with a runner on third; in that case the bases were loaded.
The other balk came last September 29 at Minnesota with a runner on first.
“I think it’s a balk,” Girardi said. “I don’t think there’s any question about it.”
UPDATE: Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones disagrees with Girardi’s comments, not surprisingly. All the same, he talked with Alburquerque about it this morning and had him outside for some extra work on it.
“Personally, I don’t think what he does is a balk,” Jones said, “but I don’t want to get into a situation where another umpire calls it. … We’re going to try to eliminate any doubt.”