Joe Girardi wants to clarify rules on blocking plate

Joe Girardi looks on from the bench against

Joe Girardi looks on from the bench against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 2, 2014. (Credit: Getty Images / Bob Levey)

TORONTO - A night to think about it brought no more clarity for Joe Girardi, and he plans to talk to Joe Torre about it.

In the third inning of Saturday's loss, Francisco Cervelli was called out at home on a bang-bang play in which the Yankees thought Toronto catcher Josh Thole set up illegally to block the plate. As part of a rule to rid baseball of collisions, catchers are forbidden from blocking the plate without the ball and must leave at least part of the plate open for a runner to touch. But a catcher can block the plate to field a throw, leaving some gray area in the rule.

"I'm going to talk to him when we get back," Girardi said of Torre, MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations.

Girardi said the way the rule has been explained to managers is different from what was enforced Saturday.

"I was told if you're straddling the plate, that's blocking the plate and you have to have the ball to do that," Girardi said. "Now I'm really confused."

Girardi said his problem wasn't with Saturday's plate umpire, Dana DeMuth.

"I just think there's still confusion to the rule," he said. "I think it was a rule that was brought upon and agreed to late, and I don't know if everything's been completely ironed out."

Close call for Ellsbury

Girardi got a scare with two outs in the eighth inning when Edwin Encarnacion tripled to deep right-center. Centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury gave a long chase and missed making the catch by inches before crashing into the wall and staying down a few seconds. "I was saying, 'C'mon, c'mon, get up,' " Girardi said. "And he did." The chase was another sign that Ellsbury is completely recovered from the right calf problem that sidelined him the final two weeks of spring training. "I surprised myself how close I got," Ellsbury said of his effort.

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