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Cardinals beat Mets after controversial call in ninth inning

Sep 3, 2012, 6:09 PM EDT

Andres Torres

Andres Torres had a leadoff double erased on appeal to start the top of the ninth Monday as the Cardinals edged the Mets 5-4.

First-base umpire David Rackley ruled that that Torres did not touch the bag as he rounded it on his way to second base, giving the Cardinals a big out in a one-run game. Replays weren’t conclusive, but it did appear as though Torres caught the corner on the way by. Torres didn’t argue the call afterwards, but he said after the game that he “definitely” touched the bag.

Here’s the video.

After the call, Cardinals closer Jason Motte struck out Ronny Cedeno, walked Ruben Tejada and got Daniel Murphy to fly out to end the game.  The win ensured that the Cardinals would stay ahead of the Dodgers in the wild card standings. They’re one game ahead of Los Angeles for the second wild card, with the Dodgers hosting the Padres tonight.

As for Rackley’s call, he must have been awfully sure in his mind, even though it’s hard to see how he could have been. Umpires have to make most of their tough calls an instant after the play happens. However, in this case, Rackley had plenty of time to think about it, given that the out was only called after the play was over and the Cardinals made the appeal to first.

  1. okwhitefalcon - Sep 3, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    I think the NY Daily News should use an asterisk* for their game story.

    That would be hilarious.

    • okwhitefalcon - Sep 3, 2012 at 6:23 PM

      And who was it that called attention to the alleged bag miss?

      Carlos Beltran.

      Oh the irony.

  2. sdelmonte - Sep 3, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Could be worse. Ask Marv Throneberry.

  3. drmonkeyarmy - Sep 3, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    I thought he clipped the bag with his back heel. My problem is this, after Torres rounds first the umpire moves closer to the base and seemingly checked out the mark in the dirt left by his cleat. Does that not indicate a degree of uncertainty about what he saw? In my opinion, one has to be 100% certain that Torres didn’t touch the base in order to make that call. If he had to readjust his view and check out foot marks, how could he have trusted his eyes 100%?

    • paperlions - Sep 3, 2012 at 6:46 PM

      I guess it depends on what the ump saw when he looked in the dirt, if he saw what he thought was conclusive evidence that Torres missed the bag, then he should have bee quite certain.

      I didn’t see the game and haven’t watched the replay…..but lets be honest, if he missed the bag, I’m glad the ump got the call right….if he clipped the bag, I’m glad the ump missed the call.

  4. 49ersgiants4life - Sep 3, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    No accountability umps can do whatever they want and if their wrong it doesn’t matter

  5. salvomania - Sep 3, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    I’m a Cardinal fan, and I thought the Birds caught a huge break on a terrible call. As Torres approached first, he seemed to adjust his step to perfectly cut the inside corner of the bag. The replay from the outfield made it look as if he stepped completely in front of the bag, but that image above (also shown in the replays) makes it clear that he perfectly cut the bag with his heel—textbook baserunning.

    The rookie ump blew the call.

    No telling what would have happened afterwards had Torres been on second with nobody out, but with the way the Cardinals have blown close games in 2012…

    • ajcardsfan - Sep 4, 2012 at 8:52 AM

      I agree with you, I think we got lucky on that call. From the replays it looked like his back heel just catches the corner, but the replay isn’t that clear either, so I can’t say that he did touch it 100%, but I’d say he likely did.

  6. eshine76 - Sep 3, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    So let me get this straight, its ok for a 2B/SS to be in the area code when “touching” 2nd on a double play, but a runner better be damn sure he touches the entire base when rounding for 3rd?

    • natslady - Sep 3, 2012 at 6:59 PM

      Actually saw a runner called safe yesterday on the “neighborhood” play. Have to say, Espinosa was at least 3 feet away from 2nd base, so maybe that’s the boundary line…

  7. elmaquino - Sep 3, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Dusty Baker later criticized the Cardinals for being so whiny and pointing out the play.

    • okwhitefalcon - Sep 3, 2012 at 7:08 PM

      Being a Cardinal story, I’m surprised blogger of story didn’t work “dipwad” into the headline.

  8. beast2727 - Sep 3, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Worst call ever

  9. sigep316 - Sep 3, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Yeah that call was so much worse then dinkengers call in 85 series and much worse then joyces call to ruin perfect game! Come on really?

    • plmathfoto - Sep 3, 2012 at 8:27 PM

      Absolutely knew a Cardinal fan would bring that call up, jeez get over it already!

      • salvomania - Sep 3, 2012 at 9:46 PM

        I’m not normally one to go to extremes, but the next Cardinal fan to complain about Denkinger’s call from 27 years ago should be banned from the internet.

  10. okwhitefalcon - Sep 3, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    At least the umpire David Rackley isn’t going the umpire Adrian Johnson “no comment” route after the um, er…Johan Santana “no hitter”.

    This quote from Rackley per Rob Rains:

    ‘After watching the replay after the game, Rackley was convinced he got the call right.’

    “It looked exactly like what I saw on the field,” Rackley said, “which was his foot went over the base. His toe hit the dirt and his heel never came down and it just kicked dirt up and he never touched the corner.”

  11. plmathfoto - Sep 3, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    I think the ump was watching the other foot that clearly missed, not the back foot that caught the bag.

    • salvomania - Sep 3, 2012 at 9:51 PM

      …or he was just commenting on the replay from the outfield, which seems to show what he describes.

      However, the replay from the 1b dugout pretty convincingly shows Torres’s heel on the corner of the bag.

      If he has seen that dugout camera replay, then he didn’t just blow a call, he also blew an opportunity to be gracious and accept responsibility for being a human being.

      • okwhitefalcon - Sep 3, 2012 at 11:06 PM

        Ya, just like Adrian Johnson “blew an opportunity to be gracious and accept responsibility for being a human being.”

        Oh, wait… comment.

        One call may have possibly influenced the outcome of a game, the other call absolutely influenced the history of an organization.

  12. steppy21 - Sep 3, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    Just wish the ump would have done a Jim Joyce and admitted his mistake! He looks worst now after everyone saw the reply and saw he blow the call. Come on ump man up!!!!!

  13. steppy21 - Sep 3, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Salvomania your last comment nailed it!!!!!

  14. saints97 - Sep 3, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    The Cardinals won the game just like Johan threw a no-hitter against them.

    You can’t have it both ways, dipwads.

    • fearlessleader - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:32 AM


      Even if we agree that both calls were wrong beyond any doubt (and I don’t), Beltran’s double-that-wasn’t would indisputably have broken up Johan’s no-no, while Torres’s double-that-wasn’t MIGHT have led to a tied game or a Mets lead in the top of the ninth. Not the same situation.

      Anyway, why the name-calling? Did the Cards and their fans do something wrong here that I’m missing?

      • saints97 - Sep 4, 2012 at 8:28 AM

        The name-calling was a shot at the author’s professionalism. If you don’t get it, you missed a fine piece of third grade journalism last week.

        But, as to the substance, Cards fans were called whiney when they complained about the call in the no-hitter. If you were a fan who thought Cards fans should just get over that, then the same rules apply to this call.

      • fearlessleader - Sep 4, 2012 at 12:29 PM

        Yeah, saints, I got all that. But your comment read as a slam, not finely honed satire. Sorry if I misunderstood you.

  15. db105 - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    Joe West type of call.

    • bbk1000 - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:49 AM

      man you nailed it, this is absolutely a Joe West call…

  16. bbk1000 - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:39 AM

    He touched the bag, typical home town cooking type of call.

    That’s baseball….

  17. whodeytn - Sep 4, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    Dusty Baker later criticized the Cardinals for being so whiny and pointing out the play.

    And Chris Carpenter asked for a new baseball. Then Tony LaRussa blacked out while driving…

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 4, 2012 at 9:42 AM

      Once again…you do yourself (and Redlegs fans everywhere)…ZERO favors.
      Keep Chumping….CHUMP.

  18. unlost1 - Sep 4, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    were the replacement officials in football or in baseball?

  19. sigep316 - Sep 4, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    The point about the dinkenger call was bad calls happen all the time. Umps are human and make mistakes. That’s part of the game. There is a reason that every joe blow isn’t an umpire. They get graded on performance just like every other profession, and are held accountable also. It just doesnt end up as front page news.

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