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Ump misses the tag in the Rays-Twins game

Jul 2, 2010, 8:20 AM EDT

Another bad call in a year full of them. This one came in the 10th inning of the Rays-Twins game last night.

The scene: runners on first and second, Rays batting, no one out, game tied at 4. Willy Aybar singles to left and the go-ahead run scores. As the play continues, Kelly Shoppach, who
had been on first, tried to advance
to third.

Delmon Young throws it to Michael Cuddyer at third (query: you happy with Michael Cuddyer playing third, Twins fans? I wouldn’t be). Cuddyer catches it and applies the tag to Shoppach.  Watch the video: the overhead shot is fast, but the replay (and the screencap pic above) seems to show the tag, with Shoppach’s jersey even creasing a little and everything. Third base umpire Alfonso Marquez calls Shoppach safe, however, saying that Cuddy missed the tag.

It ended up not mattering — the run would have scored anyway and 5-4 ended up being the final score — but a missed call is a missed call, and we get a lot of those these days.

  1. Jonas - Jul 2, 2010 at 8:31 AM

    No, not happy with Cuddyer at third. But what are the other options at this point, short of the front office going out and getting someone? Gardy doesn’t trust Valencia, Punto can’t hit, Tolbert… (shudder).

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 2, 2010 at 8:41 AM

    That play is just INSANITY!!! I mean, it wasn’t like it was a bang-bang play. The guy was out by a mile, didn’t even try to avoid the tag, and the umpire called him safe?????? It was extremely close, and the only way to tell that he did not tag him would have been to slip a piece of paper between the glove and the runner’s jersey and see whether there was room. What a disgrace on the part of that umpire to be swayed by the runner saying he wasn’t tagged. Even IF the Cuddyer DIDN’T tag him, the umpire HAS to call him out there…it was just too close to not call him out. It never ceases to amaze me the stunning way these egomaniacal umpires continue to put themselves into the forefront of the game. Next time, Cuddyer should tag the guy hard enough to throw him onto the ground…maybe then the umpire will make the proper call.

  3. Bill@TDS - Jul 2, 2010 at 8:52 AM

    I’m happy with Cuddyer at third as long as (a) there’s a righty on the mound and (b) Hardy is hurt. It allows them to get both Kubel and Thome in the lineup, which I have to believe (considering the alternative is replacing Thome’s bat with a replacement-level hitter like Valencia or Tolbert) more than offsets what Cuddyer costs you defensively. And, you know, SSS and everything, but he hasn’t been terrible there. Just run-of-the-mill bad, not unlivewithably bad.
    It wasn’t even THAT close, Chris. You could tell that he tagged him, live and on the replay. It was just a horrible, horrible call. The most bizarre thing to me is that Shoppach and Maddon are both continuing to say that it was the right call, even though they have eyes and everything. And even though it didn’t make a difference in the outcome. I would think that Shoppach would WANT to take credit for completely duping an umpire the way he did — take some pride in your work, man! It’s what AJ would do.

  4. Samira - Jul 2, 2010 at 9:08 AM

    Punto has actually been hitting just fine. He’s over .250, which isn’t going to win any batting titles but it’s a serviceable average. But they need him at shortstop with Hardy out. I’m not a huge fan of Cuddy at third, but I like him better than the other options until Hardy gets back, and it keeps Kubel and Thome in the lineup, which doesn’t suck.

  5. ThatGuy - Jul 2, 2010 at 9:09 AM

    Your definatly right on the call, horrendous. It had not affect on the game fo course, with the exception of causing Duensing to work again (3rd game in a row which means he will likely be unavailable today).
    As for Cuddyer, I truthfully think Cuddy should see more time there for the rest of the season. It gives the Twins their best scenerio. Thome should DH probably 3 times a week(all against righties), that leaves Kubel in right and when Hardy gets back puts Punto back to what should be his ideal role, super sub. Letting Punto be super sub lets everyone stay healthy because he can sub 2nd, SS, 3rd and OF. Cuddy can play, OF, 3rd and 1st. The lineup without Punto has no weak spots, and with Punto only has a weak 9 hitter(who still gets on base at a decent clip). Cuddyer being flexible allows us to keep a good lineup on the field almost everyday.

  6. minnesconsin_ad - Jul 2, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    don’t forget Punto’s error at SS cost the twins a run (and maybe the game) last night. it’s like gardy has fooled the world into believing in Punto’s greatness. He certainly has Dan Gladden fooled, last night on the radio he called Nicky the “premier utility guy in the league.” he then realized punto’s actually a starter on this team, back-pedalled, and claimed he could be a starter for most teams in the league. are you craaaaaaazy dazzleman?

  7. Bill@TDS - Jul 2, 2010 at 9:56 AM

    Errors happen. Punto is a terribly underrated player, especially when he’s hitting a little bit, as he is so far this year. Gardy can’t fool FanGraphs’ WAR, which has Punto at 1.5 wins above replacement already (2.0 for a whole season is an average starting position player). His defense is phenomenal and he puts up an above-average OBP.
    I think Gladden’s absolutely right (for probably the first time in his life–good lord is that guy terrible at calling a game), he could start for most teams in the league. I’d definitely keep him in the lineup, slide him back over to third when Hardy is ready. He might be best suited as a supersub, but it’s not an ideal world, and he’s the best-suited full-time 3B the team has right now too.

  8. isu1648 - Jul 2, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    craig, youre completely wrong in your assessment of twins fans not wanting cuddy at third. he has yet to make an error, and a terrible call by an ignorant dumbass umpire doesnt change that. and even if he made 2 errors a week, it is well worth the offensive upgrade from plouffe or valencia to cuddyer. i guarantee cuddyer is on par defensively with at least 50% of MLB starting 3B’s. the assessment isnt cuddy vs punto, the assessment is cuddy vs. whichever prospect they have to play short.
    even when hardy comes back, putting cuddyer at third instead of punto wouldnt be so bad either. can you imagine that lineup? span, hudson, mauer, mornaeu, kubel, thome, cuddyer, young, hardy. That is a lineup to be reckoned with. add cliff lee on the mound and you’ll be seeing us in late october.

  9. Anon - Jul 2, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    Errors or no errors, Cuddy is a terrible 3B. He has no range and seems afraid of hard-hit line drives. He has some instincts and he’s a good enough athlete to play the position temporarily. I’d keep him at 3B with Hardy out because I’m willing to sacrafise the D for some O.
    But the Twins need: 1) Hardy to come back healthy and start hitting (lost story this year: JJ Hardy has pretty much stunk); and 2) Cuddy to start hitting once returned to his preferred position.

  10. Jason @ IIATMS - Jul 2, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    Forget that call or Cuddyer or whatever…. HOW AWESOME ARE THE STRIPED STIRRUPS?
    Baseball needs more of these. Schumaker on the Cards wears them, but who else?

  11. adam - Jul 2, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    Just watch. Next time a runner’s coming into 3rd and Cuddyer has the ball he’s going to smack the runner with the ball, turn to the umpire and make sure he gets the out call just to prove a point.
    The only thing I can think is that Cuddyer’s tag was pretty weak. I mean, he tagged him, but it wasn’t a very impressive tag.

  12. avg joe - Jul 2, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    Cuddy at 3B… I see why Gardenhire’s doing it: trying to get all of our bats in the lineup and starting Thome regularly. That being said, his defense is poor, so the potential offense comes at a cost. I wish Valencia or Plouffe would have gotten some more starts (if not now, when?), but I’m not one to argue. If this keeps up after Hardy comes back, then I’ll start complaining.
    I also agree with Mr. Fiorentino: the ump seemed to make that call based solely on the influence of the player. It wasn’t close at all, and he shouldn’t have called him safe without glaring evidence to the contrary.

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