Longtime Red Sox official scorer Chaz Scoggins joined the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning to talk about the David Ortiz controversy.
Ortiz interrupted Red Sox manager Terry Francona's pregame press conference Thursday (video here) to complain about Scoggins taking away an RBI the day before. "I'm [expletive] pissed," Ortiz said to Francona as the media looked on. "We need to have a talk, you and me." After Francona said he would be there "in a minute," Ortiz walked away swearing about the official scorer.
On the play in question during Wednesday night's game, the Red Sox had runners on second and third in the bottom of the first inning. Ortiz singled to left-center, where outfielder Austin Kearns bobbled the ball, and two runs scored. Scoggins initially gave Ortiz two RBIs as he determined the Red Sox' second baserunner, Kevin Youkilis, was heading home anyhow. But he later took away one of the RBIs.
Asked why he changed his scoring, Scoggins explained: "About two innings later, the Cleveland PR guy came over and told me their pitching coach had called him and told him that [Red Sox third base coach Tim] Bogar had put up a stop sign on Youkilis. I told him I didn't see the stop sign and I had looked immediately to see what the coach was doing and he'd waved him home. He said, 'Well, it's on tape somewhere.'
"So, I went back and reviewed the NESN tape. On their replay, sure enough, you could see Bogar throw up his hands to stop Youkilis until the ball was bobbled by Kearns, and then he waved him home. It was only an instant. He never really got his hands up all the way. But clearly, his intent was to stop Youkilis, even though there were two outs, until he saw the bobble.
"At that, I felt I could not give Ortiz two RBIs on that when the intent was to stop Youilis at third."
Scoggins, who writes for the Lowell Sun, said Ortiz' disappointment is not unusual, nor will it affect that way he scores games.
"I've been doing this for 34 years, official scoring, and I'm used to players being upset. So much of official scoring is objective. It's easy to understand why players think the way they do and why scorers think the way they do. It's inevitable that there's going to be conflict. I've never had any problem with it, as long as it doesn't get personal or confrontational."
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