Confusion over a balk call eventually led to Mark McGwire managing the Padres

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Update (11:37 PM EST): There was more controversy in the top of the fourth when catcher Derek Norris appeared to tag Gregory Polanco on the leg on a play at the plate, but Carlson called him safe. McGwire challenged the ruling and the play was overturned upon review.


Petco Park was home to some craziness over a balk call. Here’s what happened:

In the top of the third inning, home plate umpire Mark Carlson called a balk on Padres starter Colin Rea, allowing Andrew McCutchen to score. The umpires then got together and conferred and said there was no balk. That caused Pirates manager Clint Hurdle to come out for clarification. Initially, the umpires wouldn’t budge on overturning the call and Hurdle returned to the dugout. But as the Pirates’ broadcasters noted, their videographer told Hurdle he was right, and he came back out. The umpires — after some more conversation — overturned their overturning of the balk call, upholding the initial balk call. Padres manager Andy Green came out, got angry, and got ejected. As a result, Padres bench coach Mark McGwire became the acting manager.

Here’s the video.