PHOENIX -- Astros manager Cecil Cooper is one of only a handful of baseball figures who would support the use of instant replay to clarify questionable calls, especially when it comes to determine borderline home runs.
If instant replay was an option during Tuesday's game in Arizona, the umpires would have reviewed J.R. Towles' hit in the third inning and likely would have agreed that it was a home run, not a double. Replays showed the ball hit over the yellow home run line, but when it bounced back on the field, the umpires ruled it in play.
When Cooper trotted onto the field to talk to the umpires, they stood by their decision.
[Third-base umpire Paul Schreiber] said he didn't see it that way," Cooper said. "He saw it as a ball that didn't go out. I started talking to him and then said, 'You know what?' I'm not going to argue about this.' The last time I did it, it didn't come out right."
Cooper was referring to his run-in with the umpires on April 19, when he argued that Rockies center fielder Ryan Spilborghs dropped Geoff Blum's fly ball while diving. Replays showed the ball dropped out of Spilborghs' glove.
Cooper was ejected after arguing with the umpires that day and received a "talking to" from Major League Baseball disciplinarian Bob Watson. The skipper had that in mind when discussing Towles' hit with the officials on Tuesday. This time, Cooper made sure cooler heads prevailed.
"I just wanted to check with these guys," Cooper said. "They said, 'No, no, no, it didn't go out.' I'm not going to argue. I said, 'OK, whatever you say.' That's what happened. When I walked away I asked [Schreiber] how his wife and family were. He said, 'What did you say?' I said, 'How's the wife and family?' Then I walked away. Just trying to keep it light."
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.