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Yankees fielder drops ball, fan picks it up in the stands, ump calls Indians batter out anyway

Jun 27, 2012, 8:20 AM EDT

Check out this screen capture from the YES Network’s broadcast of last night’s Indians-Yankees game:

source:

See the big fella holding his hand up? He’s got the ball that Indians third baseman Jack Hannahan fouled into the stands in the seventh inning. It came to him after bouncing out of left fielder DeWayne Wise‘s glove and rolled down the front row. Wise is about ten feet to the right there. You can see all of that play out in the video here. Third base umpire Mike DiMuro, however, missed it:

source:

He’s out, DiMuro said, despite the fact that Wise didn’t have the ball and despite the fact that DiMuro was right on top of the play. He never asked to see the ball. He just assumed Wise had it. Heck, Wise didn’t even really try to deke the ump or anything and looked just as surprised as anyone when the out was called, and said as much after the game.

Replay now. Or, short of that, umpires actually making sure the outfielder has the ball before calling an out.

  1. savocabol1 - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    Wow. No wonder people think the Yanks get all the favorable calls….

    • sictransitchris - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:32 AM

      One blown call does not justify stupid assumptions.

      • goskinsvt - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:26 AM

        You’re right, but hundreds of calls over the last few decades does. Just add it to the pile.

      • bigharold - Jun 27, 2012 at 11:37 AM

        “..but hundreds of calls over the last few decades ..”

        Really? I’ve watched thousands of Yankee games over the last few decades and these things pretty much equal out. While this call was a fairly egregious example the suggestion that the Yankees get more of these blown calls in their favor merely because they are the Yankees is inaccurate and a wee bit paranoid.

        Umpiring is neither better nor worse than it’s ever been but the technology to prove the umpires wrong is significantly, light years, better than ever. Perhaps it is time for a fifth umpire in the booth that could use video replay to immediately review calls under specific conditions is a way to go. Whatever MLB does, and despite the assertions of some here, umpiring is part of the human element of the game. That doesn’t call for it to be celebrated merely recognized and accounted for without impeding the flow of the game.

        We all make mistakes except when most of us do it there aren’t a half a dozen slo-mo cameras capturing it so that our co-workers and bosses can watch it over and over. If you asked Yogi Berra today he’s still insist that Jackie Robertson was out stealing home plate in the 55 WS and the ump got it wrong. That was a pivotal play that cost the Yankees the WS that year. The world didn’t end, .. civilization didn’t collapse, … and baseball managed to stick around for another 55+ years, (despite the stupidity of any number of owners, players and MLB and MLBPA apparatchiks ). The guy screwed up, .. admitted it so lets move on.

      • daisycutter1 - Jun 27, 2012 at 11:38 AM

        Out of the “hundreds of calls”, name 20 and make them ones that weren’t balanced out by equally bad calls for the opponent.

        I’ll even take 10.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 27, 2012 at 11:48 AM

        I can’t name hundreds, it might take a while to think of 10 since I don’t like watching the Yankees, but the missed call in the ALDS a few years ago that robbed Mauer of a double in extras comes to mind.

      • daisycutter1 - Jun 27, 2012 at 12:20 PM

        That foul call on Mauer’s hit was laughably bad, but that had nothing to do with favoring the Yankees. Phil Cuzzi is simply a terrible umpire, and that was neither the first nor the last call he’s gotten wrong.

        But you knew that.

      • rockthered1286 - Jun 27, 2012 at 1:40 PM

        Jeffrey Maier. 1996. Orioles ROBBED with no fan interference call. There’s a HUGE one buddy.

      • daisycutter1 - Jun 27, 2012 at 1:49 PM

        That was a bad call in Game 1 of a division series.

        It’s fair you raise that, though, because no other team – THE ROYALS – have – THE ROYALS – had a bad call impact a playoff or even a World Series game – THE ROYALS.

        It’s just the Yankees, and they always benefit.

      • daisycutter1 - Jun 27, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        ALCS, my bad.

        Edit function blah blah blah

      • handsofsweed - Jun 27, 2012 at 2:09 PM

        No , but the phantom “double play” the Yanks executed to get out of a jam and likely win in the bottom of the 8th of game 5 of the 1998 ALCS vs the Indians still pisses me off. It’d have been grudgingly acceptable if it was remotely close, but missing the bag on the DP turn by more than a yard is BS. The kind of BS the Yanks always seem to get away with.

      • rooney24 - Jun 27, 2012 at 4:06 PM

        Daisy – Why should someone list the bad calls if you are just going argue them all anyway? The ones listed weren’t (Mauer, Maier) weren’t even close calls, and were in the playoffs. Mr Magoo would have gotten those calls right. Since they Yankees can already buy the most talent, they shouldn’t need help from the umps, but seem to get it more than most.

    • bbil2012 - Jun 27, 2012 at 10:16 AM

      The Yankees are the Michael Jordans of baseball.
      Accept it. It’s human nature.

      • govtminion - Jun 27, 2012 at 1:59 PM

        Talented jackasses?

    • bigleagues - Jun 27, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      We wee this sort of call in the NBA everyday and while dis-satisfaction with refereeing is well documented when it happens in a baseball game it’s somehow more offensive.

      But still . . . how is it possible that DiMuro missed that call?

      More to the point . . . how is it possible that 11 days ago Dana DeMuth could initiate the reversal of a called Triple-Play – and yet – Jim Joyce couldn’t/wouldn’t do the same in this instance?

      Mike DiMuro gets an automatic @sshat of the week award for this (lack of) effort.

      But MLB wants to continue to pretend there isn’t a problem with the way umpires conduct their business.

      Such a tough job isn’t it?

    • jedita - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:05 PM

      If you read the rules of the MLB this was a dead ball and no out should be recorded.

      Rule 6.05(a) Comment: A fielder may reach into, but not step into, a dugout to make a catch,
      and if he holds the ball, the catch shall be allowed. A fielder, in order to make a catch on a foul ball
      nearing a dugout or other out-of-play area (such as the stands), must have one or both feet on or over
      the playing surface (including the lip of the dugout) and neither foot on the ground inside the dugout
      or in any other out-of-play area. Ball is in play, unless the fielder, after making a legal catch, falls
      into a dugout or other out-of-play area, in which case the ball is dead. Status of runners shall be as
      described in Rule 7.04(c) Comment.

      • doc - May 28, 2014 at 6:48 PM

        The ball being dead doesn’t mean no out is recorded. It means runners cannot advance, and nothing else that happens after that point is valid (i.e. a runner tagged) until play is resumed.

        Dimuro’s mistake, a huge glaring one, is not asking to see the ball. That failure is the more incredible since the Wise completely left the playing field and momentarily disappeared from view.

      • doc - May 30, 2014 at 5:18 PM

        Correction to/clarification of my previous comment:

        Both of Wise’s feet were “on or over playing surface” at the point where the ball hit his glove and the ump thought he caught it. In fact, at least 80% of his body was on or over the playing surface at this point. So that part of the rule is met.

        The dead ball ruling you cite only applies when there are fewer than two outs at the time of the catch. “Status of runners” is irrelevant since runners can never advance on a caught third out.

        If there are fewer than two outs when a player makes a catch (or so the umpire rules), then leaves the playing field by falling or jumping into an out-of-play area (stands, dugout, etc.) all runners advance one base, according to rule 7.04 (c). See http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/official_rules/runner_7.jsp.

  2. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    Give DiMuro credit, he admitted that he screwed up after the game.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:30 AM

      relevant quote:
      “I went out on the ball and saw the ball into his glove in the stands. He disappeared into the stands and I believed that the ball was in his glove,” DiMuro said. “In hindsight, I should have asked him to show me the ball since he fell into the stands and out of my line of vision.”

      • strategery - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:38 AM

        Except that he didn’t see it into his glove into the stands since at no point did he actually have the ball in his glove. Eyewitness testimony is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO unreliable.

      • paperlions - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:42 AM

        Another reason to ask to see the ball is that he couldn’t have seen what he thought he saw because it didn’t happen (i.e. he couldn’t have seen the ball in the glove because it was never in it).

        Making sure the guy has the ball is umpiring 101, even little league umps yell “show me the ball” to make the kid hold up his glove to confirm the ball is in it before calling an out.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:44 AM

        Except that he didn’t see it into his glove into the stands since at no point did he actually have the ball in his glove. Eyewitness testimony is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO unreliable.

        No kidding, DiMuro is the umpire. The quote I provided is what he said after the game where he admitted he screwed up. Note the part where he says:
        In hindsight, I should have asked him to show me the ball since he fell into the stands and out of my line of vision.”

      • strategery - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:09 AM

        He admitted he screwed up (he could hardly do anything else). But he was still pushing an absolute falsehood: “I went out on the ball and saw the ball into his glove in the stands.” That simply didn’t happen.

        I don’t think that he’s lying to cover himself (that would be silly – the video is clear). I just think he missed it and thinks he saw something that he clearly did not see. As such, he is an unreliable eyewitness to the play.

        The prosecution rests.

      • Robert H. - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:28 AM

        strategery: you are incorrect. Watch the video. The ball clearly does go into his glove. It falls out right away, and never fully holds the ball. But he definitely gets glove on it. Watch the slow motion part at 0:34. In real time (from my terrible tv position) I thought he had made the catch, but wasn’t sure if he held onto it during the fall.

      • strategery - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:56 AM

        Sigh.

        But DiMuro didn’t say “I saw him get a glove on it!” That would be absurd.

        He said, “I went out on the ball and saw the ball into his glove in the stands. He disappeared into the stands and I believed that the ball was in his glove,” The clear implication of this is that DiMuro believes that he saw him catch the ball and fall into the stands, dropping it at some point after he went out of his line of sight.

        Again, the video belies his explanation.

      • Robert H. - Jun 27, 2012 at 10:02 AM

        “The clear implication of this is that DiMuro believes that he saw him catch the ball and fall into the stands, dropping it at some point after he went out of his line of sight.”

        Right, and I’m saying that’s exactly what I thought happened at the moment it occurred. And looking at the video in regular time, that’s not an unreasonable interpretation, at least from the perspective of the tv audience. Now, of course, DiMuro had a much better position than I did and should be held to a higher standard. But I don’t doubt that he truly believed the catch was made.

      • strategery - Jun 27, 2012 at 10:11 AM

        Read above – I don’t either. My original point was actually about how terrible eyewitness testimony is. He was looking right at it. He is paid to look right at it. He is trained to look right at it. And still he thought he saw something that he could not have actually seen.

        Eyewitness testimony is terrible.

      • Robert H. - Jun 27, 2012 at 10:28 AM

        “Eyewitness testimony is terrible.”
        On this point we certainly agree. :)

  3. koufaxmitzvah - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    I am not for robot umpires. I celebrate the human elements of this game. But I can’t believe how crass and lazy some of these umpires are. Calling outs when catches aren’t made? Calling outs when fielders aren’t within 5 feet of the bag? Taking runs off the board and tossing managers out of ball games when the manager turns out to be right?

    What a joke.

    • paperlions - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:43 AM

      The human element of the game is the players, not the umpires.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:04 AM

        Umpires are supposed to be human. Ergo, they’ve got those human elements.

      • paperlions - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:14 AM

        Yes, but it is silly to celebrate an error in officiating as a human element you celebrate/enjoy in baseball. You enjoy incorrect calls and celebrate them? You enjoy teams that should have won, losing because of bad calls? No, you probably don’t.

        The human element is the player performing under pressure. There is no aspect of bad officiating that should be celebrated….and application of “the human element” to fuck ups is nothing more than rationalization.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:23 AM

        So it’s not the human part you disagree it’s the part about celebrating being human you don’t like. Okay. I get that. You’re right in a sense. I didn’t necessarily celebrate Don Denkinger’s infamous call at 1st base. However, I did (and still do) believe that if the Cardinals were going to be World Series Champs of 1985, then they had to prove it with a Game 7 win rather than phone it in. That’s the aspect of human quality that I tend to praise in baseball, or celebrate, as some might say.

      • paperlions - Jun 27, 2012 at 10:05 AM

        Celebrating being human (whatever the hell that means) shouldn’t have anything to do with mistakes.

        Should we celebrate being human by using medical diagnostic procedures from the 1800’s?

        Should we celebrate it by walking everywhere instead of using motorized conveyances?

        Should we celebrate it by ignoring scientific understanding and reverting to a time of greater superstition?

        It would seem to me that if we are going to “celebrate” being human, the greatest way to honor human achievement would be to use the best technology available to address a problem.

        One thing that shouldn’t be celebrated is the throwing up of arms as if nothing can be done and using an 19th century approach when 21st century solutions are available.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jun 27, 2012 at 4:31 PM

        Throw robots into the mix and you end up with a real crappy ballgame.

        And, yeah, some of us do celebrate our human ability to take a walk to the diner rather than hop in some speedy car where we show the world what we got to make us feel good.

  4. Old Gator - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    Obi-DeWayne: this is the ball you’re looking for.

    Stormtrooper DiMuro: this is the ball I’m looking for.

    Obi-DeWayne: you can call him out now.

    Stormtrooper DiMuro: I can call him out now.:

    Hahahahahahaaaaaaa…OOOooooooheheheheheheeeeeehawhawhawhaw….Hoooooheeeeeheheheheehahaha…..

    Chalk one up for the evil empire. Dear Buddha, how I love this game.

    • bigharold - Jun 27, 2012 at 11:02 AM

      “Chalk one up for the evil empire.”

      That’s right! And, we here on the bridge of the Death Star will take it!

  5. stex52 - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    Replay not really an issue here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against it. But this was Umpiring 101, like other guys said. A little league ump would have gotten that one right.

    • Old Gator - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      Yeah, he would have, but then Wise’s daddy would’ve beaten the shit out of him.

  6. homelanddefense - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    the best part was Hannahan got tossed from the game for arguing it the next inning.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 27, 2012 at 11:51 AM

      …and the ump seemingly took offense to being told he totally botched a call. He was in Hannahan’s face more than Hannahan was in his.

  7. troy10 - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    Obi-Gator: I am a lower that loves Star Wars

    Stormtrooper: That’s OK… lot’s of people love Star Wars, very popular movie

    Obi-Gator: No.. you don’t understand.. I’m such a lose I turn everyday things that have NOTHING to do with the movie into my own little Star Wars fantasy

    Stormtrooper: Wow, you’re right… you are a loser!

    Hahahahahahaaaaaaa…OOOooooooheheheheheheeeeeehawhawhawhaw….Hoooooheeeeeheheheheehahah

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:51 AM

      Thanks for this insightful and hilarious commentary. Please let us all know when your next comedy special is…

      • troy10 - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:57 AM

        No.. thank you for your gracious comments. I can tell that it’s genuine and not at all thinly veiled sarcasm.
        Next comedy special would probably be right after you post your next comment.
        Thank you for coming… drive home safely.

    • troy10 - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:53 AM

      “lower” = loser damn phone! :)

      • Old Gator - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:06 AM

        That’s what happens when you text and drive. You blow the opening line, and then you miss all the rich and subtle ironies of the post upon which you are commenting. But I have better things to do than hang around here and jawa with you.

      • cur68 - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:06 AM

        Right phone for you then.

      • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:31 AM

        Maybe you should also try and figure out a way to blame the phone for a shitty concept.

      • Old Gator - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:50 AM

        Well, as mamas everywhere used to say, mimicry – even bad mimicry – is the sincerest form of flattery. Even so, I once had a squirrel monkey who could have done a better job of it.

        Monkeys make horrible pets, by the way. Moroccan chefs have the right idea about what to do with those things.

  8. danaking - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    Replay isn’t the issue; umpire accountability is. MLB needs to find a realistic way to grade umpires and use that to not only make postseason assignments, but to cull the herd. Players work as a meritocracy; so should umpires. If the bottom ten per cent were sent back to AAA each year, umpiring would improve. (Especially since some of the older, intransigent umpires–yes, I’m talking about you, Joe West and Bob Davidson–would surely retire rather than go back to the minors.)

  9. sdelmonte - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    By the standards of pro baseball, Wise did nothing wrong by not admitting he didn’t catch the ball. It’s not his job to do that. And he is only the latest of thousands of athletes who didn’t catch a ball in this sport and football to act otherwise.

    But there is a part of me that wants to say “hey, Wise should have fessed up!” The unspoken – and sometimes spoken – assumption that you are encouraged to at best play dumb and at worse lie is one of those things that bothers me about sports in general. It’s why I wonder if I would want any kids I have to be sports fans. And it’s probably one of those things that I love about golf: you are expected to fess up.

    Don’t mind me. I tend to be moral and ethical to the point of being moralistic and a real stick in the mud.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:20 AM

      assumption that you are encouraged to at best play dumb and at worse lie is one of those things that bothers me about sports in general

      It’s there, you just have to look harder though. A bunch of sports have different elements of sportsmanship. You mentioned golf, but there’s also the interplay in baseball between the ump/catcher if one of them gets hit with a foul tip. In soccer, while the diving/fake injuries suck, you’ll routinely see one team give up a man advantage by kicking the ball out of bounds to stop play for an injury. Or give up goal scoring opportunities on a mistake like this clip:

    • sparky1002 - Jun 27, 2012 at 12:47 PM

      I am sympathetic to your viewpoint..unfortunately we live in conservative times where putting one over on people is lauded to the point of hero-worship. Maybe in a few thousand years humanity will better understand the value of truth over lies…but only if we can save ourselves from ourselves.

    • seeinred87 - Jun 27, 2012 at 3:37 PM

      It would probably be different if golf had umpires stationed all over the course. If baseball players had to officiate themselves, I’m as certain as one can be about something that one couldn’t possibly know that Wise would’ve gone back to left field and the inning would’ve continued.

  10. mattintoledo - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    This was the first I had heard of this story. Before I started reading I saw the two screen caps and thought – let’s be honest, hoped – that the ball in play had bounced away and a savvy Yankee fan had crammed another ball into Wise’s glove while he was out of sight. I don’t mean hoped like that’s a good thing to happen, but hoped as in it would’ve been a much better story than another terrible call by an umpire.

  11. schuckme - Jun 27, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    troy10 you sir are a definitive LOSER since u cant spell a word right not once but twice.. sure blame the phone for ur stupidity

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 27, 2012 at 1:20 PM

      troy10[SIC] you sir[SIC] are a definitive LOSER[SIC] since u[SIC] cant[SIC] spell a word right not once[SIC] but twice..[SIC] sure[SIC] blame the phone for ur[SIC] stupidity[SIC]

      ftfy

  12. bklynrd - Jun 27, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    At least Bob Davidson had nothing to do with this one!

  13. Brian Donohue - Jun 27, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    Damn, Mr. Maier sure has put on a few pounds over the years; Jeter’s aged better than that…

  14. Kevin S. - Jun 27, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    While I agree with the sentiment that there shouldn’t have been a need for replay on this call – there’s no excuse for the ump not checking for the ball – having it as a fail-safe sure would have fixed this issue pretty quickly.

  15. rooney24 - Jun 27, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Maybe umpire crews should be 5 people. Every non-Cal Ripken player gets days off. Maybe the umps should have 5 person crews, so that every ump gets off on the 5th day. I understand they are only working a few hours a day, but it is a high stress job, and they don’t get many days off. Or, if they add instant replay with a 5th guy in the booth, they could rotate through the booth on the 5th day.

    Another idea would be to shake up the ump crews a little. While I understand it is likely easier to work together with the same guys, it could also lead to umps backing up the other umps on their crew, even when they know they were wrong. If I recall correctly, they pick and choose umps for the playoffs and don’t use full regular crews, so why not shake them up a little?

  16. drewsylvania - Jun 27, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Better umps. Period.

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