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Atrocious umpiring not a factor as Yanks stomp Angels

Oct 21, 2009, 12:26 AM EDT

At least some brought their A games to the park on Tuesday. The Halos certainly didn’t live up to their logos, and the boys in blue continued to build the case for why instant replay needs to be greatly expanded in baseball.
Since it turned into a rout, CC Sabathia will be the story, and deservedly so. On three days’ rest, the big left-hander silenced anyone still questioning his postseason record with eight innings of one-run ball. He improved to 3-0 and lowered his ERA to 1.19.
Had the game remained close, then the umpires would have faced their greatest scrutiny yet. Tim McClelland, widely revered as the game’s best, horribly botched two plays at third, making it obvious in the process that he wasn’t even paying attention to the game in front of him.
In the fourth, second-base umpire Dale Scott missed a clear pickoff at second base. That was the play that led to McClelland’s first error. Nick Swisher should have been called out after straying from the bag, but Scott ruled him safe following the pickoff throw. He went on to advance to third and seemingly score on a sac fly, but McClelland, who never looked to see where Swisher was, said Swisher left too early and called him out, though replay showed he didn’t. It wasn’t even particularly close.
At least that was righting a wrong. McClelland’s call in the fifth suggested that his head was a long way from Anaheim. Swisher hit a comebacker to Darren Oliver with Jorge Posada on third and Robinson Cano on second. Oliver threw home, and catcher Mike Napoli snatched the ball and ran Posada back to third. Cano, meanwhile, had run almost all of the way to third, only to stop a foot in front of the bag. Posada returned to third, but overran the base, allowing Napoli to tag both players while neither was on the bag. Bizarrely, McClelland only gave the Angels the one out. Fortunately, the Angels did get out of the inning without further damage.
So, the score will overshadow the bad umpiring and some poor managing from Mike Scioscia, who decided against pulling an ineffective Scott Kazmir to start the fifth and never went to Ervin Santana until it was 5-1. It didn’t matter, since the Angels couldn’t get anything going against Sabathia and they again failed to stop Alex Rodriguez, who went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and three-run scored.
Now comes the unnecessary day off before a must-win Game 5 for the Angels. A.J. Burnett and John Lackey will pitch. With Lackey comes his personal catcher, Jeff Mathis, and that the Angels are facing a right-hander means that Maicer Izturis is due to start at second over Howie Kendrick. However, Scioscia better have some sort of new plan in store, because a weaker lineup is hardly what the Angels need right now.
nbcs

  1. Isaac - Oct 21, 2009 at 1:00 AM

    After what I just saw in this game I want post game interviews of these umpires and I want them to justify there call. Tim McClelland did not even see swisher he was facing the outfield how can he justify that.
    Now it goes both ways. I am a Yankee fan but the Cano Posada one out at third is also crazy. I would be going nuts if I was the Angels that’s 2 outs. Where is the accountability!!!

  2. cannuck - Oct 21, 2009 at 1:08 AM

    Umps do not care…there is no accountability and never will be….it almost seems like they are doing it on purpose, thumbing their noses at MLB and us the fans….good grief!

  3. Old Gator - Oct 21, 2009 at 1:46 AM

    I’m pretty appalled by the officiating for nearly every sport these days, although for some reason Badminton seems as yet unaffected by the blight of incompetence that has struck baseball, hockey and basketball. Olympic diving, though, seems to have recovered nicely with the implosion of the DDR. In any case I’m not surprised to see the umps blowing call after call but so far, to this disinterested bystander, it looks like the pain is being evenly shared. It just seems worse to Bums and Angels fans because they’re getting their globulous nates handed to them in the legitimate plays anyway.
    Now then, on to the main issue, which is the game. Although I know things can turn around as quickly as a sleeping rattlesnake with a boot on his tail – just ask the Borg about that a few years back – it looks like a Borg-Phillies series impends and the understated storyline for me is that Godzilla himself, Hideki Matsui, stands once again on the cusp of winning that Series ring he so badly wants and crowning his great career. Last Summer I was in Tokyo strolling through the kaiju-sized bazaar just north of the Sensoji temple in Akasuka, where votive offerings for the temple are sold. In addition to incense, dharmapala figures, little sacrificial scrolls and various other gifts for the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas were uncountable numbers of Hideki Matsui bobbleheads of all sizes and poses, all in his Borg uniform. There’s going to be a run on those bobbleheads if the Borg gets close, just a little divine bribery to push Godzilla and his buddies over the top. I would love to be watching this series from the land of the rising sun even more than from this dystopia of perpetual sunshine down here.

  4. Supereri - Oct 21, 2009 at 1:57 AM

    I’m a Yankees fan, but Swisher was out at second and both Posada and Cano were out at third. There have been SOOOO many blown calls. The league needs to get a handle on this worsening problem. Or maybe the problem has always been bad, but instant replay and high speed cameras have made it more obvious???

  5. Luvheat - Oct 21, 2009 at 2:00 AM

    what?

  6. Big Ern - Oct 21, 2009 at 2:12 AM

    what does it matter when the Angels can’t hit to save their lives. I am an Angel fan and I say its time to rebuild. Let Figgins go. He’s a playoff bust every year when it counts. Vlad, Rivera,Tori, Napoli, you guys need to follow the example of Lyman Bostock and donate your paychecks to charity. You most certainly didnt earn them.

  7. Old Gator - Oct 21, 2009 at 2:26 AM

    That.

  8. Cru19 - Oct 21, 2009 at 3:20 AM

    I just saw the post game interview with Mclelland. He said “in my heart” I felt that Swisher was out. In my heart??? In my heart??? Good God Almighty.

  9. SCboy - Oct 21, 2009 at 5:16 AM

    The calls are horrible and it happens constantly. Are these guys getting paid? I too am a Yankees fan but both Swisher calls at 2nd and 3rd were not close. The video on the 2nd base call shows the umpire standing right there with a perfect view about four feet from the play. Swisher was out by a foot. The video on the 3rd base call shows the umpire looking to centerfield when the ball is caught and Swisher is on the bag. The Posada/Cano play at 3rd was just plain little league caliber umpiring. Isn’t there an umpiring 101 course where they are told that when a runner is not on the bag and they are tagged with the ball, they’re out?
    And the calling of balls and strikes? I don’t know how the players contain themselves as well as they do. I hate the no argue balls and strikes and rule. Baseball was so much more fun before that. Plus, it helped keep the umpires on their toes.

  10. Enufalready - Oct 21, 2009 at 5:56 AM

    I wish you would. Sayonara.

  11. Michael B Pasternack - Oct 21, 2009 at 6:13 AM

    Up until about 10 years ago I used to manage a ladies softball team. The umpire made a bad call in an important game and I uncharacteristically blew my top. I mean I made Earl Weaver look like an angel and was thrown out of the game. I wish I had that umpire’s phone number as I would now like to recommend him for the major leagues. He was much better than what I saw last night.

  12. Paul Cate - Oct 21, 2009 at 6:19 AM

    I watched the game and the umps definitely had their minds somewhere else. What really seems odd though is that nobody on the Angels, including the manager, was arguing the calls.

  13. mklane - Oct 21, 2009 at 6:23 AM

    The problem with the umpires, is they are no longer selected by how good they are, but by senority. Years back only the best umpires were selected for the post season…

  14. wheresthesportsmanship - Oct 21, 2009 at 6:37 AM

    The botched call at third base with Posada and Cano could have been “addressed” if Cano had shown true sportsmanship and said to the incorrect umpire that “I was not on the bag when I was tagged, and therefore I should be called out as well.” There hasn’t been a man in sportsmanship in a very long time.

  15. yankee - Oct 21, 2009 at 6:55 AM

    The Yankee paid HOW MUCH for these UMP,S???????

  16. blackbeered - Oct 21, 2009 at 7:05 AM

    Unions protect incompetence … everywhere.

  17. joerunner - Oct 21, 2009 at 7:24 AM

    mklane (13) mentioned that ump assignments for the post season are by seniority. Added to that is some sort of ‘rotation’ factor. It was done to make it “fairer” to the umps so the post season money could be shared by more of them. It has always been an incredibly stupid idea. The post season is about the best baseball teams. The best umps should be on the field with them. If last night doesn’t prove that, nothing ever will

  18. little nobody - Oct 21, 2009 at 8:07 AM

    The umpiring for all the playoff games has stunk. It is so bad and inconsistant. The strike zone is nowhere to be seen. These guys are seasoned umps and should know better. What gets me is that the announcers don’t mention it during the game (at least on TNT they don’t and they show the pitchtrax right on the screen). I know that the pitchtrax is not really official but come on….the guy on Monday had about a 3 inch strick zone. Calling strikes that were obviously balls. The only guy who actually had a good rating was the guy who called the very first playoff game.

  19. DC Richmond - Oct 21, 2009 at 8:10 AM

    Yes, there were several botched calls last night, but what really surprised me is that the team managers did not argue nor did the umpires collaborate. The botch call at third with Posada and Cano, why didn’t the other umpires step in, were they asleep too??? Also, the botch call of Swisher leaving the bag too soon, what was the home ump watching, he had the best view and should have made the call. I am glad the game was a runaway, no controversy in the win for the Yanks! I am against instant replay, but I feel they should pick the best umpires to work the postseason, this would give them an incentive to be good…huh, what a concept.

  20. Bill Roush - Oct 21, 2009 at 8:13 AM

    I’m not sure what the complaining is about. Isn’t this the Yankees? And, isn’t this what happens every year that they are in the playoffs? I mean, if Jeter and company had to face a real strike zone instead of the “Yankee” strike zone, they would bat fifty points lower. And, is it a fluke that every critical “missed” call (every year!) goes for New York? Look, it’s important for TV ratings that N.Y. be in the world series and NOT a small market team. The only time that baseball was on a level playing field was between 1960 and 1975. Before 1960, the Yankees could buy their team (Hell, the Athletics were like a farm team for N.Y. and the Ruth “trade” was a cash transaction) and after 1975 they could buy their team again. In between (other than the early 60’s when the remnants of their earlier purchases kept them competitive)they sucked when they had to fairly compete.

  21. Ike frazier - Oct 21, 2009 at 8:17 AM

    The calls were horrible the umps don’t seem to care about their jobs or the fact that fans paid a good amount of money to see a game called fairly. I’m a yankee fan too.

  22. hop - Oct 21, 2009 at 8:25 AM

    i have said this for years, they (the umps) should be judged like NCAA football refs, if they stink up the joint they really get punished and are held accountable.

  23. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Oct 21, 2009 at 8:29 AM

    I’m not sure what the complaining is about. Isn’t this the Yankees? And, isn’t this what happens every year that they are in the playoffs? I mean, if Jeter and company had to face a real strike zone instead of the “Yankee” strike zone, they would bat fifty points lower. And, is it a fluke that every critical “missed” call (every year!) goes for New York? Look, it’s important for TV ratings that N.Y. be in the world series and NOT a small market team. The only time that baseball was on a level playing field was between 1960 and 1975. Before 1960, the Yankees could buy their team (Hell, the Athletics were like a farm team for N.Y. and the Ruth “trade” was a cash transaction) and after 1975 they could buy their team again. In between (other than the early 60’s when the remnants of their earlier purchases kept them competitive)they sucked when they had to fairly compete.

    I think you need to adjust your tinfoil hat, you are getting some interference.

  24. Chas - Oct 21, 2009 at 8:43 AM

    Let’s see if the Commish has the balls to do something about the umpires!! The guy at third was the “crewchief”?? He was the worse one there! I too am surprised the managers have not argued more of these calls this year. If I’m the owner of the team, I’d be meeting with my manager and giving him holy what for, for not standing up for the team!
    I’m a Yankee Fan but first off, I’m a Baseball Fan and these guys are ruining the game by blowing calls like this!

  25. Sailin Shoes - Oct 21, 2009 at 9:01 AM

    To “Church of the perpetually outraged”:
    Obviously you’re a non-baseball fan or, in other words, a Yankee fan. The “bad” calls always go in favor of the Yankees. Coincidence?

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