SAN FRANCISCO — A monitor in Arizona’s dugout at Oracle Park showed a live television feed during the first inning of Monday night’s game between the Diamondbacks and Giants, and D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said a day later that he quickly informed umpires about the technical snafu.
Arizona lost 6-1 on Monday night. Lovullo said Tuesday he alerted crew chief Dan Bellino about the live feed to make sure there was no misunderstanding about possible cheating.
Lovullo also told Bellino he had instructed his players not to look at the two monitors in one corner of the dugout. The two screens typically show feeds of the two clubs’ bullpens, but something was awry with the control centre for one of the monitors on Arizona’s side.
“We have zero control over them, zero,” Lovullo said. “It’s all in-house, upstairs, the play-by-play. After the first pitch it popped on as a live feed — we had a live game feed inside of our dugout, so everybody was trying to turn it off. I said, ‘Stay away from it, it’s like fire, don’t even go near it,’ because if something happens where somebody sees us trying to turn it off and there’s a live feed you’re going to get accused of something.”
Rather than stop play — “I felt that was unfair,” Lovullo said — he waited until the conclusion of the inning. Carson Kelly struck out looking to end the inning on a ball down the middle of the plate, which Lovullo said at least showed nobody was cheating.
The monitor was switched to the bullpen feed in the bottom of the first.
Lovullo also spoke to Giants manager Gabe Kapler to make sure there was no live feed in the Giants’ dugout. There wasn’t.
“Yes, I thought Torey was thoughtful for us,” Kapler said in a text message before the game. The subject didn’t come up in his earlier pregame media session.
Lovullo didn’t take any chances.
“It’s a very, very hot topic in baseball,” he said. “I don’t ever want to be accused of cheating. This organization does things with integrity and I just wanted to make sure I was as honest as possible.”