The idea came to Royals manager Ned Yost in the hours after he was ejected on Thursday night for wrongly protesting a decision from the replay officials in New York. For him, it makes perfect sense.
On Thursday night, Seattle’s Danny Valencia had homered off the foul pole in right field in the top of the fourth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Yet initial replays could not confirm that the ball hit the foul pole, which led to the Royals requesting a crew-chief challenge.
When the call was upheld by the replay crew in New York, Yost came storming out of the dugout, positive that the ball had hit the railing short of the foul pole — only to find out later that right fielder Melky Cabrera and other angles indicated that the ball did hit the pole before ricocheting off the railing.
“Why don’t they paint the poles black?” Yost said, sitting in his office on Friday afternoon. “Would that make it tougher to see? With yellow, it’s really tough to tell … but if it was black, it would be more contrast.”
The moment led to Yost’s second ejection in two games. One day after a 6-4 victory, he remained contrite about arguing with home-plate umpire Larry Vanover, who threw him out moments after he emerged from the dugout.
“Vanover gave me an opportunity,” Yost said. “It was all self inflicted. He told me: ‘Just get back in, I won’t throw you out.’ But the longer that replay went, the more mad I got.”
On most days, the Royals’ line of communication on video challenges runs from instant-replay coordinator Bill Duplissea to bench coach Don Wakamatsu, who relays the information to Yost.
Duplissea has proven to be among the best in the league at deciphering which plays to challenge. So Yost was sure he would be right, he said.
“Then when I got up to the freaking video room, they [were like]: ‘Maybe it hit the pole,’ ” Yost said. “I’m like: ‘What the hell? Don’t tell me it maybe hit the pole.’
“Melky said it hit the pole. Then I felt like a real idiot.”
As he left Kauffman Stadium on Thursday, Yost said he bumped into Vanover in the parking lot. He offered a brief apology, he said.
“I wasn’t mad at you guys,” Yost told Vanover. “I was mad at New York, and New York got it right.”