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Steinbrenner Says Call Was Blown

October 8, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ George Steinbrenner is no stranger to controversy. But while he thought the umpires blew the call on Travis Fryman’s bunt in the 12th inning, he also knows there’s a time to play and a time to protest.

``Too bad this great game had to be decided by a call like that,″ the New York Yankees owner said after his team lost to Cleveland 4-1 Wednesday. ``I’ve been around this game 25 years, and the umpiring was atrocious both ways.″

Steinbrenner was disappointed in second baseman Chuck Knoblauch, who argued with umpires after the play rather than pick up the ball behind first base. As Knoblauch argued, Wilson scored all the way from first to put the Indians ahead 2-1.

``Knoblauch should have been after it,″ Steinbrenner said. ``Chuck knows it. With these umpires, you make the play and then argue.″

Steinbrenner was angry with plate umpire Ted Hendry for not calling Fryman out for interference. Tino Martinez fielded Fryman’s bunt up the first-base line and Martinez’s throw hit Fryman in the back.

``He saw it, but he didn’t call it,″ Steinbrenner said. ``He (Fryman) was blocking the guy’s ability to throw. I think it was a very poor call.″

Steinbrenner said the American League should be stripped of its authority over umpires.

``You bring the officiating under the commissioner’s office. It doesn’t belonged under the league offices,″ he said.

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