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The umpires strike back: two more bad calls last night

Oct 30, 2009, 8:20 AM EDT

After the way the postseason has gone, everyone is watching the umpires closely, so it’s probably worth noting that they blew two calls last night.

First base ump Brian Gorman was wrong when
he called Chase Utley out at first on the double play that ended the top of
the eighth. It wasn’t Don Denkinger bad, but Utley was very clearly safe.  Not sure why neither Utley nor first base coach Davey Lopes argued the call, but maybe they’re just wise old zen masters who realize that nothing would have come of it.  Charlie Manuel wasn’t too pointed about it, but he did say the call was wrong after the game.  So too did Gorman: “On the replay it looked like there was a little bit of ball outside
[Teixeira's] glove. It’s what we call a whacker.”

The other one, which Matthew noted in his recap, was when the ump ruled that Ryan Howard caught Johnny Damon’s liner and then doubled up Posada in the seventh. it looked like a short hop on the replay. The umps did not admit that that one was wrong after the game.

Like I said, neither of these were egregious, but after what we’ve witnessed in the past month, we’re pretty much obligated to point this stuff out.

  1. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Oct 30, 2009 at 8:49 AM

    Not sure why neither Utley nor first base coach Davey Lopes argued the call,

  2. Crash - Oct 30, 2009 at 8:59 AM

    Those were two very tough calls. The Cano (not Damon) ball couldn’t be seen by any umpire to over rule the first base umpire’s call. 2nd base was watching Posada coming in to second. 3rd base ump watching running coming to 3rd. Home plate umpire was obscured being several feet behind home plate with the batter/runner blocking his view. The foul line umpires weren’t going to call it. The Utley call wasn’t easy. If you’ve never umpired at any level even little league, some calls just aren’t easy. No beef with them this time aroung.

  3. A - Oct 30, 2009 at 9:24 AM

    It was a Damon line drive not Cano

  4. comeonman - Oct 30, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    IT IS VERY EASY TO CRITICIZE THESE GUY’S AFTER WATCHING REPLAY’S,
    THEY DON’T HAVE THAT OPTION BECAUSE THE COMMISH WON’T PLACE A UMPIRE IN A ROOM WITH TV/EQUIPMENT THAT CAN QUICKLY REVIEW A CALL AND HAVE HIM RELAY THAT EXACT CALL TO THE HEAD UMPIRE.THIS WOULD MAKE TO MUCH SENSE, I GUESS IT IS BETTER TO HAVE THESE UMPIRE’S GET RIPPED AND HAVE THEIR PROFESSIONALISM AND HONESTY QUESTIONED.
    COMEONMAN,,,,,,,
    GO YANKEES

  5. comeonman - Oct 30, 2009 at 10:22 AM

    AWESOME PLAY BY MOLINA, BIG TIME PITCHIN BY AJ………….
    SOME OF THE BATS ARE STILL COLD, BUT ALL YOU NEED ISS A FEW OF THE
    GUY’S TO GET A GOOD SWING
    HERE COME THE YANKEES ………………..
    I ONLY SAY THIS BECAUSE THE YAKEES WON, BUT PEDRO TURNED BACK THE
    CLOCK TO HIS RED SOX DAY’S BUT AJ DEALING ………

  6. comeonman - Oct 30, 2009 at 10:25 AM

    AWESOME PLAY BY MOLINA, BIG TIME PITCHIN BY AJ………….
    SOME OF THE BATS ARE STILL COLD, BUT ALL YOU NEED IS A FEW OF THE
    GUY’S TO GET A GOOD SWING
    HERE COME THE YANKEES ………………..
    I ONLY SAY THIS BECAUSE THE YAKEES WON, BUT PEDRO TURNED BACK THE
    CLOCK TO HIS RED SOX DAY’S, BUT AJ WAS DEALING ………

  7. downsouth - Oct 30, 2009 at 10:46 AM

    Umps pretty much blew 2 rallies by both teams. Both were really close I guess. Just gives more steam to having replay. Yanks could have easily put up more runs with the bases loaded and 1 out. Howard could have as well with runners on. Guess they crossed each other out? Either way, once again great pitching. Pitching kind of flip flopped from game 1. Pedro didn’t pitch badly, as CC didn’t either. Burnett and Lee just dominated.

  8. Neal Kinder - Oct 30, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    If Howard would have caught the ball he would have walked up and touched 1st base not thrown to 2nd.Neither of the idiot anouncers had enough baseball knowledge to point it out.Mitch Williams was the only one on any sports report to acknowledge the fact.What makes it worse is McCarver and Buck (Yankee haters)said it wasn’t that glaring of a mistake,it would have been bases loaded and 1 out with the heart of the order coming up,not that big of a mistake?

  9. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Oct 30, 2009 at 11:30 AM

    If Howard would have caught the ball he would have walked up and touched 1st base not thrown to 2nd.

    I was wondering this as well. (Un)Fortunately I had the sound muted so I couldn’t hear Buckarver, but that play makes zero sense if Howard thinks he caught the ball.

  10. Steven Levy - Oct 30, 2009 at 11:54 AM

    The ump should not have missed the Utley call; that’s their bread-and-butter call, the reason they get paid.
    The line drive looked to me like it was caught just off the ground. Even on three or four replays, it wasn’t clear whether or not there was leather between the ball and the ground. The most telling thing was that Howard would have stepped on the bag if he were sure he caught the ball. On the other hand, he might not have known for sure either; he couldn’t see it hit and could only feel it, and he was probably anticipating grabbing it on the very short hop. In any case, I can’t see how you can fault the ump. He was positioned in the right place and had to make an immediate call.
    Replay is ridiculous. Baseball takes long enough as it is. If they didn’t tag A-Rod with an error for the RBI single that went under his glove, why tag the umps with errors? The game is about humans, not machines.

  11. P - Oct 30, 2009 at 12:11 PM

    The game is about the humans playing it, not humans umping it.

  12. Pilothawkeye - Oct 30, 2009 at 12:52 PM

    For all of those who frequent these blogs, you all know that I am a softball umpire, and have been so for over 30 years. As an umpire, it has pained me to see all the attention being paid to what has been an unacceptable large number of controversial calls during this post season.
    When I watch a game, I do watch it through the eyes of an umpire (just can’t help it I guess). The two calls involving the 1st base umpire last night did indeed make me wonder. The ump was in the correct position when Cano hit the line shot to Howard. Admittedly, ‘trap calls’ are extremely tough to call. Umpire mechanics always stress to ‘look at the call, absorb what you saw, process what you saw, and THEN make the call’. There is no law stating that the ump must instantly make the call. I agree with some of the earlier writers here that if Howard cleanly caught the ball, he would have stepped on first. As an umpire, I sometimes watch what the player does on a trap play before making the call, for in about 99% of the time, the player’s reaction will tell you what happened. Therefore, I would NOT have called Cano out, and since Howard’s throw to 2nd was off the bag, Posada would have also been safe, and the bases would have been loaded with one out.
    In regards to the ‘double-play’ in the 8th, I had the runner safe at first, and was rather surprised to see the runner get called out. This was definitely a ‘bang-bang’ play, and could have gone either way. Just remember; a tie does NOT go to the runner, it goes to the umpire. The ump probably figured the runner ‘looked’ out so he was.
    Bottom line is both calls were extremely close, could have gone either way, and it is only with the technology of ‘super-slo motion’ replay can we see if the ump got a call that they have a split second to decide upon right.
    Am I an advocate of instant replay in baseball? NO!!

  13. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Oct 30, 2009 at 1:29 PM

    Bottom line is both calls were extremely close, could have gone either way, and it is only with the technology of ‘super-slo motion’ replay can we see if the ump got a call that they have a split second to decide upon right.

    I’ve done my fair share of criticizing, and while not a baseball ump I was a soccer ref for years so I know what it’s like to officiate a game, but I think a lot of people miss this point. When you slow something down to the point we can, it makes calls look obvious, but in real time a fraction of a second isn’t easy to spot. However,

    a tie does NOT go to the runner, it goes to the umpire

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but technically doesn’t a ball have to beat the runner to be called out. So if a ball arrives at the same time, then it didn’t beat him, ergo a tie goes to the runner?

  14. scatterbrian - Oct 30, 2009 at 1:36 PM

    These kinds of plays are not blown calls. If a play requires replays from different angles in order to get the right call, it obviously means it couldn’t be determined with the human eye. How is that a blown call? Maybe I’m arguing semantics, but I define a blown call as something that was clearly wrong. Utley’s DP was probably blown, but Damon’s liner was split-second.

  15. Jaymen - Oct 30, 2009 at 2:10 PM

    Buck has always been a Yankee hater, that clown was the only announcer to try and find fault with the Yanks ’98 team, one of the all time great teams (ESPN ranks them 2nd all time best) McCarver has been a Yankee hater ever since they fired him a few years back. Fox sports has as much credibility as Fox news… very little. How I wish NBC would get the World Series again.

  16. Crash - Oct 30, 2009 at 2:24 PM

    Yep, you’re right! I stand corrected.

  17. Pilothawkeye - Oct 30, 2009 at 3:03 PM

    It is the other way around. The runner has to beat the throw.
    btw, since you have officiated soccer for many years, I am sure you have received ‘more than your fair share’ of arguments regarding the offsides (or not) call.

  18. TonyRose - Oct 31, 2009 at 5:54 AM

    Hey McCarver and Joe Buck you are the worse announcers I have ever heard calling a game. Not only did you skip right over the real bad call on the Yankees double play that howard threw to 2nd base, obvious he knew he did’nt catch the ball on a fly. you 2 guys(announces) are so afraid of your jobs you passed right over it. Now I will tell you why! your Met fans and national league people. You just can’t get over the fact that the New York Yankees are in a different league that the SORRY METS. You guys should hang out with Bob Costas so you can talk about how a bat and ball is made, Terrible you guys are REAL terrrrrrrible. Joe it’s ok to be gay but when you said “it took my breath away” come on Buck your on National TV. McCarver do us all a favor “RETIRE” Your bad man you found a home. Your voice is bad your stories are as if you invented Baseball. Stay home with your boyfriend Joe Buck Please someone get them off TV and Especially FOOTBALL NOooooooooooooonot football to NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOplease no more Buck and McCarver.

  19. TonyRose - Oct 31, 2009 at 6:14 AM

    To Be continued !! There were 2 announcers name McCarver and Buck,
    and everyone knows that they both S–K,
    They call all the games so bad you can see,
    That when they come on TV, I go take a Pee
    They talk so much but not of the game,
    All their complaints are the Yankees to blame.
    They laugh and they giggle like 2 girls at nite
    I would love to book them on the next flight.
    They screw up Football they know nothing about
    They just keep talking with their big mouth
    We miss Madden please come back,
    McCarver and Buck STINK and that is a FACT !!

  20. TonyRose - Oct 31, 2009 at 6:32 AM

    TonyRose
    Todays title boys and girls is UMPIRES
    Umpires are like Politicians, they lie so much they believe it themselves. How stupid do you think we the people are. When are we going to wise up. 6 umpire 6 old and blind and dumb umpires could’nt see the ball bounced before Ryan Howard’s glove ok ok then why did Howard throw to 2nd base. Clear as day. Stop sticking up for these umpires thats like saying we are going to get our men out of Iraq, we are going to have health care, we are going to be out of the recession, come on people. Your paying big money to see a World Series game. Maybe if the poor stop sucking around the rich we will get somewhere. If instant replay is good for football then it is good for boring ass baseball. What entertainment, you actually watch a person making millions$$ that can’t hit to save their lives. I think they should get a raise, yea give them more money that will do it. This way they could strike out 10 times as much. Pathetic the whole game now is sad. If you gave me FREE seats to the game I would laugh at it and never go. I used to love baseball and football. Now football is like touch football they blew it big time. Football has more penalties than the hospitals have pills. A mess one big mess. So enjoy yourself and when you look in the mirror today you will see 6 big letters stareing you in your face “S U C K E R” I rest my case. good day we the people !!

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