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Denkinger calls postseason umpiring 'kind of a disaster'

Oct 22, 2009, 3:10 PM EDT

Don Denkinger worked as an MLB umpire from 1969 to 1998 and is infamous for blowing a call at first base in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series between St. Louis and Kansas City, yet even he calls the umpiring in this year’s playoffs “kind of a disaster.”
In an interview with Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record, Denkinger criticized the many blown calls we’ve seen throughout the playoffs and questioned commissioner Bud Selig’s reluctance to expand instant replay:

I’m in favor of getting all the calls correct, whatever it takes. I don’t see how he can get away with not [expanding instant replay]. It makes no sense not to. There’s nothing better than getting every call right. …

The way the game used to be played, what [the rulings were] just stood. But now there’s so much technology out there that can tell you if you’re right or wrong, why not use it? Why not have a guy in the booth who can review the play and get a ruling in 20 seconds? I don’t think anyone wants to see the game delayed any more than it is … but I think everyone wants to get the calls right. That’s the scenario every umpire thinks about.

And no one better understands the fallout from a blown call in the postseason.

  1. Daniel - Oct 22, 2009 at 4:31 PM

    The Umpires are human with errors, I can understand some mistakes, but please review thing properly and correct them, use the officials to help if need, and if all else fails, use the replay, after all, it is now baseball with out the balls to get the call right. Do the right thing and do it soon, because right now these umpires are making bad judgements on calls then only excusing themselves after the game is done.

  2. BDA - Oct 22, 2009 at 4:56 PM

    Watching the debacle that was Tim McClellan in the last game of the ALCS should have been embarassing for Major League Umpires. The blown call at third when the ball was live and both Cano and Posada were tagged out was inexcusable. Teams can’t win in the postseason if they have to play a team and the umpires as well.
    It seems like McClellan has been doing this (blowing calls) for too many years.

  3. willmose - Oct 22, 2009 at 4:58 PM

    Don why not have instant replay? Because guys like you would still get it WRONG! All any of the umps have to do is ask for help. BTW, on the Swisher call, the ump missed the call at second base, but the crew chief did his job and got him at third base. Good umpires don’t fall asleep at first base during the World Series.

  4. Josh - Oct 22, 2009 at 5:04 PM

    If instant replay were expanded, it would most certainly need to be done in a manner that would not further delay baseball games. Baseball games are three hours long as is, and that is one problem alot of people have with it.

  5. Omega - Oct 22, 2009 at 5:28 PM

    There is no need to expand replay in baseball. In fact they need to take out the homerun instant replay.

  6. len - Oct 22, 2009 at 6:27 PM

    the angels should try to get on base and hit with runners in scoring position . They have no one to blame but themselves for the hole that they’ve dug.

  7. Greg - Oct 22, 2009 at 6:46 PM

    Reason why the games are so long is simple. TV. Broadcasters, used to be one guy, now onn any given telecast there might be 3 guys in the booth & 2 out in the park. Tim McCarver takes 4 hours to do a 2 hour game. My point is TV has hijacked the game. Would not matter what you do, TV will always set the rules, its all about the nmoney. That & Bud Selig.

  8. GW - Oct 22, 2009 at 8:00 PM

    There is so much money on the line that the calls have to be right. The umpires miss at least one critical call a game and miss 1 in 5 pitches. The game is setup so no human can call the game 100 percent. The quickest way to become disinterested in a game is poor officiating. I don’t watch Basket Ball for that reason. It is even worse than Baseball.

  9. Iain - Oct 22, 2009 at 8:18 PM

    I live in Australia and the ‘Replay’ or ‘Video Ref/Ump’ as we call it here was introduced to Rugby League about 10 years ago. It has all but detroyed the game. Personlly i am not 100% against a reply being introduced to baseball but it has to be dont the right way.
    In Rugby here, the Video ref is used all the time. The problem is, they still get the calls wrong at least 30% of the time. Also, our Refs are so concerned about making a dud call, they go to the video ref just about every call they have to make, even if it is obvious. (And then the Video ref still gets it wrong)!!.
    It has slowed the game down so much and has taken the fun out of it. Things are put under the microscope so much it is ridiculous…And they still get it wrong!!
    My point is that baseball/Rugby…whatever sport you are playing survived perfectly well for 100’s of years…Why do we need to change??
    Yes – refs get it wrong sometimes…But i guarantee they still will with the replay. And isnt Umps making a controversial call or decision part of the fun of the game???

  10. Chuck - Oct 22, 2009 at 11:56 PM

    Girardi was managing game 5 so that there would be a game 6. What the hell was that all about ??????????????

  11. opalboy - Oct 23, 2009 at 10:20 AM

    why doesn’t Selig want replay? Then they couldn’t steer the “RIGHT”
    teams down the stretch. follow the money. there I said it.

  12. fish-oil - Jan 16, 2010 at 8:26 AM

    I am a retired firefighter. Lately I am feeling degregationproblems with my memory and I am concerned about it. I was considering memory practice, or omega3 fish oil capsuls. What is the best bet?

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