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Bad call leads to a strange double play in the Rays-Orioles game

Apr 8, 2010, 9:14 AM EDT

Carl Crawford was up with Reed Brignac at first in the Rays-Orioles game last night. Crawford quite obviously checked his swing at what appeared to be ball four. Brignac begins trotting down to second base as is right and proper.

Except home plate umpire Kerwin Danley quite slowly and quite incorrectly ruled that Crawford went around, transforming Brignac’s trot into the slowest steal attempt in recorded history. Matt Weiters threw down to second to complete the rare not-strike-him out, shouldn’t-have-thrown-him-out double play.

The video can be seen over at MLB.com.  As can a reference to the fact that Danley had taken a ball off the mask earlier in the game which both Carl Crawford and writer Bill Chastain seem to think led to the slow, wrong call.

  1. Curious George - Apr 8, 2010 at 9:47 AM

    Ah, the “human element”. Yuck. Either the umpiring profession can’t be performed at a high level, or the men currently in the profession are not very good. I don’t pretend to know which. I do know that umpires far, far too frequently detract from the game.

  2. willmose - Apr 8, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    I can’t tell from the video whether Crawford went around or not. However, looking at the call on MLB.TV it is clear that Crawford did not swing.
    Instead of busting the umpire’s chops, how about commenting on Brignac’s poor baserunning. Why didn’t he wait a couple of seconds before wandering to second base? How the heck could Brignac tell whether Crawford went around or not? The umpires call the game (poorly at times) and the players play thg game (also poorly at times). I chalk this one up to poor umpiring and horrible baserunning.

  3. Stephanie - Apr 8, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    What may not be clear from the video is that Crawford was standing on first base, removing his batting gloves, when the play went down. Brignac had no choice but to head to second. He did, in fact, hold on first for a short period of time, but started for second once Crawford was halfway down the baseline.

  4. The Great Dane - Apr 8, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    Totally agree. To use a soccer term, play until the ref blows the freakin’ whistle……..

  5. Josh - Apr 8, 2010 at 10:33 AM

    Where is Gator on this?? Seriously, this is a nice example of why “the human element” argument for umpires is a farce. If we truly liked capricious judgments in baseball then we wouldn’t have a book of ideal rules. Instead, we’d just go out and ask four of the “nicest” “fairest” men we know to give us their opinions about the game. But instead, we have a rule book that lays down the structure of the game such that it is as fair as possible to offense and defense, and umpires are charged merely with knowing the rules and acting them out. When an ump goes “off script,” so to speak, he proves himself a poor player upon an awfully important stage. It is not “part of the game” for them to invent new interpretations on the spot. Shame on bad umpires, always, everywhere.

  6. Josh - Apr 8, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    Uh, Great Dane, if you’re talking about soccer I think you mean “roll around on the ground like a sissy until the ref gets fooled, blows the whistle, issues a card, and then get up and happily trot back to your position.” Right?

  7. Megary - Apr 8, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    I think this should be a recurring feature here at HT…Bizarre Double Plays
    Not necessarily just in O’s/Rays games, however.

  8. The Great Dane - Apr 8, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    That’s very good.

  9. BC - Apr 8, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    EPIC BASERUNNING FAIL

  10. Chipmaker - Apr 8, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    12-June-1980, Dodgers at Mets, seventh inning. Garvey on first with two outs, Cey at the plate. Cey takes ball 3, somehow manages to think it was ball 4, and starts trotting toward first. Garvey, not up to date on matters either, trots toward second. Mets catcher Stearns is paying attention, however, and throws to second, Garvey out by a mile. Cey then has to lead off the eighth.

  11. Ron - Apr 8, 2010 at 5:13 PM

    It’s not soccer. Its baseball. This is the runners fault, entirely.
    Yeah, the umpire should make a quicker call, but thats not the issue.
    Brignac DID NOT have to leave 1st base, regardless of where Crawford was. Crawford doesn not have ther RIGHT to first base until the umpire makes the call and tells him to take his base. Until then, Crawford is not entitled to the base.
    Brignac was NOT forced, and did not have to leave the base, as no call was made. This is no differnt than getting picked off.
    By the way, this is all in the rule book. Some of you guys who want to bash the umpires for every call actually need to go read and understand what it is your talking about first.
    If Brignac and Crawford wanted to assume ball four because it was called, it is their fault. Poor fundamentals and poor coaching.

  12. TC - Apr 8, 2010 at 5:45 PM

    I’m going to side with the players here.
    Crawford is well out of the screen (on his way down the line) before the ump raises a fist. For an event that happens so many times per game, so many hundreds and thousands of times in a career, it seems weird to have to double check every walk.

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