Gaston: Use DH in All Interleague Games
And then the Blue Jays manager got even more of a reason to push for a rule change.
Toronto closer Scott Downs suffered an injury to his left foot pushing out of the batter's box while grounding out in the top of the 10th inning. Gaston allowed Downs to hit because he had a five-run lead at that point and only his backup catcher left on the bench.
"I know that a lot of people like this interleague play," Gaston said, "I know it's great for the fans and all that, but that's what happens. My guys don't take batting practice every day. They don't run. So things like this are going to happen until somebody wakes up and says, 'Look, let's just play [with] the DH all the time or call it off.' "
An X-ray taken Tuesday was negative, but Downs is scheduled for an MRI on Wednesday, and the way he was limping after the game, the disabled list seems like a strong possibility.
Downs, who took over as closer in late April, is 8-for-9 in save chances with a 1.98 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings.
The Jays already have used the DL for a pitcher six times this year, with Shaun Marcum, Dustin McGowan and Jesse Litsch all still out.
"What else can we do? Jeez," Gaston said. "It's just one of those years where you lose everybody."
The Yankees might agree with Gaston's proposal. Chien-Ming Wang suffered a foot injury running the bases last year in Houston, missed the rest of the season and hasn't been the same this year.
Jays starter Ricky Romero on Tuesday had his first three at-bats since high school and said, "It's pretty tough. ... That's the one thing that they told me before I went up: 'Don't get hurt.' "
When Yankees co-chairperson Hank Steinbrenner called for the DH in the National League after Wang's injury, he was mocked.
Will Gaston's words carry more weight?
"Interleague play is certainly good for the fans," he said more than five hours before Downs' injury, "so you can't bark on it. I just think they should have the DH no matter where you're playing. Because it's a little bit unfair, I think, for American League teams. And it's unsafe for the [AL] pitchers."
Unfortunately, those words were prescient.