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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. Terry Wood - Oct 21, 2009 at 9:13 AM

    It was reported this morning that Tim McClelland “knew in his heart” that Swisher left early. Now, thats a new one.

  2. JI - Oct 21, 2009 at 9:20 AM

    The field umpiring has been horrible, but I must admit. The ball and strike calls have been remarkably consistent for these playoffs.

  3. Big Tuna - Oct 21, 2009 at 9:27 AM

    Where’s the accountability? Where’s yours when it comes to spelling?

  4. Mo Green - Oct 21, 2009 at 9:29 AM

    Most of the best umpires are injured, out with concussions and assorted old-man maladies. Really tough year for umps, as a result the best crews aren’t out there.
    It’s gotten harder over the years to do playoff baseball – the season is so long that almost all of the playoff games are played in horrible baseball weather. The games themselves are long and boring, many of them so far very badly played. Just a comedy of baserunning and fielding errors. I’m not surprised McClellan’s mind was out a-wandering, leaving his confused tired old heart to do the umpiring.

  5. Just Statin - Oct 21, 2009 at 9:30 AM

    To Sailin Shoes:
    Are you being serious? There were three bad calls yesterday and the most important one: Swisher leaving the bag early, was the ONLY one that had a direct effect on the score.
    It went AGAINST the yankees.

  6. Mo Green - Oct 21, 2009 at 9:33 AM

    Oh yeah, and hee hee ha ha ho ho to Old Gator. I want you to write a Phillies-Borg preview article before the World Series, with the view from the dystopia of perpetual sunshine.

  7. Old Gator - Oct 21, 2009 at 9:39 AM

    You mean the Bush administration was a union?

  8. Old Gator - Oct 21, 2009 at 9:42 AM

    You got it, Mo. Of course the “view” may be a little distorted by the sunglasses we have to wear down here to protect our retinas from the UV levels. Just watch this space.
    Oh yeah, and this time, don’t forget to lock the door when the masseuse shows up, OK? I hear that contract on you still has three years to run.

  9. wolverine - Oct 21, 2009 at 9:45 AM

    I didn’t see the game, but I’m a soccer referee, so some of this hits home. Do we get everything right? No! Do we try extremely hard to get everything right? Yes! Since I’ve been a ref, I’ve learned to back off quite a bit. Football is lucky b/c they can review everything, but we have to make calls based on what we can see. When you’re watching your kids on the field, keep that in mind. However, MLB umps make a lot more than I do!

  10. Ward - Oct 21, 2009 at 9:46 AM

    “Swisher leaving the bag early, was the ONLY one that had a direct effect on the score” – This, of course, ignores the fact that Swisher shouldn’t have even been on 3rd as he was clearly out on the pick-off. The umps get that one right and the Swisher at 3rd play is moot….

  11. adam - Oct 21, 2009 at 9:48 AM

    The call was wrong but its not the job of the players to tell a paid ump what the call is. It has nothing to do with sportmanship. Its all about being competent and professional.

  12. danny - Oct 21, 2009 at 9:59 AM

    That is one of the reasons I do not watch MLB anymore, the umps have usually decided who they want to win and either by making bad calls on the bases or calling it one way behind the plate they control how close games finish.

  13. jim - Oct 21, 2009 at 10:00 AM

    the quality of MLB umpiring has bene in decline for the last decade or more. They only pay minor league umps 6K a year to start, topping off at 20k at Triple A level… when the pay scale is that low, how many quality people could the gig attarct?

  14. Mo Green - Oct 21, 2009 at 10:00 AM

    Look forward to it – drop some Shinto on us.

  15. Lula - Oct 21, 2009 at 10:01 AM

    The umps do give post game interviews. I don’t know where you live, but they showed it on YES as part of the post game report. McClelland said he thought Cano was on the bag. Still a bad call? Yes, but the umps do generally explain their calls.

  16. Lula - Oct 21, 2009 at 10:03 AM

    That’s too funny! Name one player who would actually do that.

  17. danny - Oct 21, 2009 at 10:08 AM

    That is one of the reasons I do not watch MLB anymore, the umps have usually decided who they want to win and either by making bad calls on the bases or calling it one way behind the plate they control how close games finish.

  18. Jon - Oct 21, 2009 at 10:21 AM

    What about the play at the plate just before Swisher was picked off at second? As far as I could see from the replays, the catcher tagged the runner (I think it was Cano) before he touched the plate. The Cano’s right let was in the air over the plate, but never touched it. He was tagged and then his left leg, which was under his body, slid through home plate.
    Yes it was bang bang, but thats another blown call by the umps, and thats before they blow the call at second with Swisher.

  19. Frank - Oct 21, 2009 at 10:22 AM

    I have seen so many miss calls, etc., in baseball over the years that it amazes me that you never hear or read of an umpire being reprimanded. If players can be sent down to the minors to hone their skills why not umpires? A few years ago, TSN conducted a poll among mlb players as to who they considered the “worst” umpire. The winner of this title was CB Bucknor. He still works the majors and was recently cited for blowing 3 calls in 1 game. Additionally, why isn’t there a physical standard for the umpires? Jerry Layne is sooooooo fat he can’t bend over to call balls and strikes. Remember John McSherry? Poor guy was so large he died on the field and who can forget the mammouth Eric Gregg? Seems the Angels are plagued by the “devil” umpiring core. Remember Doug Edding in the 2005 series against the White Sox?

  20. Peter - Oct 21, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    OK, The Umpiring was horrible last night. Swisher leaving the bag early and being called out at home was a joke. The Ump missed that call. HOWEVER, he really shouldn’t have been there in the first place! He was out at 2nd, so I looked at it at justice, albeit a bad call,…. he should NOT have been there in the first place! The second call was just downright BAD. You had two guys by the base and each one was tagged out BEFORE touching the base! END OF STORY! Regardless of it all, they BOTH were off the bag. I am a YANKEE FAN, but I am embarrassed over the quality of this really poor umpiring from last night game. It is time to use the technology available to us, and stop cowering to these over-priced babies and their union! IT IS RUINING THE GAME! TECHNOLOGY WAS THERE! Everyone saw it, why didn’t they?

  21. millybo - Oct 21, 2009 at 10:50 AM

    Hery Bill this conversation is for iontelligent persons. It is clear that the umpiring stinks throughout baseball not just Yankee games. This is not a Yankee issue but about the need for baseball to fix its umpiring problem before the game becomes a complete joke.

  22. millybo - Oct 21, 2009 at 11:01 AM

    yes my spelling is bad,( was typing too fast) but you get my point!

  23. Denny - Oct 21, 2009 at 11:10 AM

    It is time to do away with the umpires – there I said it!
    We have the technology. The electronic strike zone will not vary
    from ump to ump. An instant replay booth can handle all the calls at the bases, on the baselines, and the outfield in a matter of seconds. It’s obvious that the umps can not see – for whatever reason – all the angles that the TV cameras can.
    Do we want to stick to tradition or do we want a game that is called correctly?
    Remove the human element and that will eliminate all the bloched
    calls we saw last night!

  24. Yankette - Oct 21, 2009 at 11:10 AM

    How much longer till both feet are in the grave?

  25. tom s - Oct 21, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    besides for the missed calls, how about home plate ump telling Scioscia that Napoli was obstructing his view. Napoli looked like a fish out of water after that – going to one knee, then the other, then both. very strange.

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