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Maybe the Ball Was Made of Flubber


    After watching replays of Thursday night's controversial foul ball ruling by third base umpire Bob Davidson, the Marlins were more convinced than ever that Davidson blew the call, a call that cost the Marlins a walk-off victory over the Phillies.

    "He blew the game," said shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who was on second and heading toward third on Gaby Sanchez's hard hopper down the line.

 Said Wes Helms: "I know the replays showed the ball hit the line and when it passed the bag it hit fair, so the ball was definitely moving inward. From our angle and the replay, it was definitely a fair ball."Flubber

   Replays showed the ball hitting the chalk line twice before it sailed over the bag and landed several inches on the fair side of the line. Davidson didn't see it that way, though. He contended that the ball passed by (on the foul side) and not over (fair) the bag. For Davidson's position to be correct, the ball would have had to have an incredible amount of sidespin to start out fair, circle around the bag in foul territory, and curl back into fair territory -- on ONE hop. When I asked Marlins infielders a few moments ago if they've ever seen a baseball act that way, they laughed.

    One telling sign that Davidson might have known he was wrong (even though he continued to claim afterward that he was in the right) was the fact he did not eject Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez, who went into a tirade over the call.

   "I think I did everything possible I could do, under my standards, to get thrown out," Rodriguez said. "The fact that he didn't throw me out, that gave me the reason to believe that he knew he was wrong. For less than what I did yesterday, I've been thrown out."

   Rodriguez said he intends to hold a closed-door clubhouse meeting after batting practice to talk about last night's controversial setback.

    "I think they are a little bit down after last night's game and we should meet and talk about it, and turn the page," Rodriguez said.

    SANCHEZ NURSING A SORE HAMSTRING....Gaby Sanchez was not in the lineup on Friday due to a tender right hamstring. Newcomer Chad Tracy is starting at first. Rodriguez said Sanchez is day-to-day and apparently suffered the injury while stealing second on Thursday.

SLUMPING ROSS SITS....Rodriguez is also giving the night off to Cody Ross, who struck out four times on Thursday. Emilio Bonifacio is starting in center. "I think Cody Ross is struggling a little bit offensively, and I think he needs a rest," Rodriguez said.

  NIGHT OFF FOR NUNEZ....After two arduous nights on the mound, Leo Nunez won't be available tonight when the Marlins open a three-game series against the Cardinals. Rodriguez said Clay Hensley would be his closer, with Jose Veras in the set-up role.


  Marlins: 1. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 2. Emilio Bonifacio, cf; 3. Logan Morrison, lf; 4. Dan Uggla, 2b; 5. Chad Tracy, 1b; 6. Mike Stanton, rf; 7. Wes Helms, 3b; 8. Brett Hayes, c; 9. Ricky Nolasco, p.