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Umpire admits bad call, Joe Girardi calls for more replay

Oct 14, 2012, 10:31 PM EDT

Joe Girardi Getty Images

Umpire Jeff Nelson admitted after Sunday’s game that he botched the call at second base that aided the Tigers in a two-run eighth inning against the Yankees.

Omar Infante was attempting to return to the bag after rounding second on a single, but he was clearly tagged out by Robinson Cano on the play. Nelson called him safe.

“The hand did not get in before the tag, the call was incorrect,” he said. “I had the tag late and the hand going into the bag before the tag on the chest.”

It should have been the third out of the inning, but the Tigers went on to score two runs afterwards.

“Yeah, he was out by I would say five feet,” Cano said. “It is tough, because if it was the right call, it would be 1-0 instead of 3-0.”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who was ejected after arguing the call during a pitching change, dedicated a significant portion of his postgame press conference to stumping for replay.

“It’s frustrating,” he said. “I don’t have a problem with Jeff’s effort, I don’t, because he hustled to get to the play. But in this day and age when we have instant replay available to us, it’s got to change. These guys are under tremendous amounts of pressure.

“It is a tough call for him, because the tag is underneath and it’s hard for him to see. And it takes more time to argue and get upset than you get the call right. Too much is at stake. We play 235 days to get to this point, and two calls go against us. We lose it by one run last night.”

Girardi was referring to another poor call on a ball that Robinson Cano beat out in the Game 1 loss. Whether it would have made a difference or not, it definitely stings with the Yankees down two games to none as they head to Detroit for Tuesday’s Game 3.

  1. goskinsvt - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    ended up not mattering anyway. Gotta score more than zero runs to win.

    • protius - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:40 PM

      Dude, are you kidding?

      Do you really need an in-depth explanation of why the extra two runs are meaningful, in terms of pressure on the Detroit pitching staff?

      • greymares - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:22 PM

        so when we go to replay will we have an electronic strike zone because there is a lot more pressure on a pitcher when the count is 3-1 instead of 2-2.

      • baseballisboring - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:34 PM

        Don’t be stupid. The Yanks for shut out for the first seven innings too.

      • polegojim - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:00 AM

        @protius… Dude are YOU kidding?

        Do you really need an in-depth explanation of why the extra two runs… didn’t freaking matter?

        So… there was no pressure on Coke with 3 runs?

        Remind me… didn’t the Yanks score 4 the night before in the 9th??? Um… yep.

        U don’t think THAT added pressure to Detroit? Um… Yep again… thought so.

        Give it a rest. The Yankee’s will win one soon.

      • protius - Oct 15, 2012 at 3:51 PM


        Without the two extra runs at that point in time, Detroit has to pitch differently to Yankee batters. When the runs are scored is as important as how many runs are scored.

        You wrote: “So… there was no pressure on Coke with 3 runs?” There was less pressure on Coke in the eighth and ninth knowing that New York is struggling to score runs. It changes his pitch selection and his attitude with a two run cushion. In fact, Coke may not have been pitching in the ninth with the scored tied at one.

        The two runs changes the the Yankee batters attitude at the plate, because the runs scored on a bogus call in the seventh inning, so they’re pissed off, and they are also aware they’re struggling to score runs. It changes the way they approach hitting, when they’re down two runs, as opposed to when the score is tied.

        You wrote: “Remind me… didn’t the Yanks score 4 the night before in the 9th??? Um… yep.” Are you for real? Do you believe in Unicorns and the Easter Bunny too?
        How many consecutive times do you think that that kind of phenomena can happen? All the stars need to be perfectly aligned two nights in a row. I mean, how silly are you?

        FYI: There are no such things as flying carpets either. Get over yourself.

      • protius - Oct 15, 2012 at 3:53 PM

        Baseball is boring:

        The score was tied one to one until the seventh inning. What game were you watching?

      • protius - Oct 15, 2012 at 3:58 PM


        You beg the question. You assume that MLB will go to a total replay system that will include an electronic strike zone.

        My argument was not about strike zones being the cause of pressure on a pitcher.

        There is a lot less pressure on a pitcher in the eighth and ninth innings with a two run cushion, then there is with a tie score. Yes or no?

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:43 PM

      Games are played differently when a team is down by 1 vs. down by 2. The Yankees have plenty of blame on themselves, but this was just a botch that does not need to happen in baseball in 2012.

      • baseballisboring - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:37 PM

        Not really…you might play a little more small ball if you’re only playing for 1. But the Yankees were offensively hapless all night.

        I do agree that this type of stuff doesn’t need to happen at all, though. And my guess is it’s going to take several egregious mistakes in important games before it gets fixed.

      • daisycutter1 - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:52 PM

        I thought that too a little while back, but the thing is there have been more than several egregious mistakes in important games over a few years. And it’s piss-poor planning to wait until a team gets screwed out of a World Series victory to implement such an easy fix.

        Of course, all we’ve seen from MLB is review of home run calls along with Bud Selig mysteriously determining that because attendance is up at MLB parks there’s no demand for instant replay.

    • bigharold - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:19 AM

      goskinsvt, ..Two words;

      “Insurance runs”. Yes the Yankees didn’t score much, .. again. But, it.’s a completely different mind set try to get back to a one run versus three.

      Nobody can say for sure that the Yankees overcome a one run lead but EVERYBODY can say for sure that overcoming a three run lead versus a one run lead is exponentially harder, .. if one knows anything about baseball that is.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Oct 15, 2012 at 9:18 AM

        Two words: hit the ball. Okay, that was 3 words

        But hey, as long as we are comign up with hypotheticals of what would have happened, how do you know that a 1-0 game after 8 would not have gone extra innings, and another Yankee would get injured?

        Replay is needed. Yankees lost because they can’t hit water if they fell out of a boat

    • mrdry14 - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:57 PM

      The Yanks have had more than their share of missed calls in the playoffs, last year comes to mind. Girardi wasn’t calling for instant reply then. Stop crying, Joe.

  2. jimwexler - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    no crying in baseball!

    • polegojim - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:01 AM


    • tuffnstuff - Oct 15, 2012 at 11:00 AM

      Oh yeah? Remember Freddie Patek of the KC Royals? He cried almost every year.

  3. darkwingxxx - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Since its the Yankees, they will get what they want. Just like the Lakers, Pats. They always do.

    • chill1184 - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:12 PM

      Doesnt hurt that Torre is in the league offices now adays.

      • daisycutter1 - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:19 PM

        You may have missed it, but Joe Torre and the Yankees had a rather ugly separation. They have since somewhat reconciled, but it still appears to be a dicey relationship.

    • kitshky - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:21 PM

      How are they “going to get what they want” here … Yanks got money but I’m pretty sure they don’t have a time machine under contract pal.

      Go ahead an hate the Yanks, but try and come up for air once in awhile. The real story is NY’s inability to hit the f***’n ball, but that was one of the worst calls in a long long time. You don’t have to be a fan to recognize that.

      • bravojawja - Oct 15, 2012 at 9:23 AM

        I would think that the Yankees at least have a hot tub somewhere in that stadium, and if John Cusak has taught us nothing else, it’s that holding up a boom box playing Peter Gabriel will get the girl, hit men have a good dental plan, and hot tubs make good time machines.

      • mysterytramp1960 - Oct 15, 2012 at 8:09 PM

        No worse than Rich Garcia’s crap call that stole the post season from the Orioles in 97. No Yankee whined about replays then.

    • bigharold - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:22 AM

      “Since its the Yankees, they will get what they want.”

      You mean like bringing the game back to the point where the call was blown, .. to see how it might have really turned out?

      I don’t see that happening. Perhaps you exaggerate??

  4. sabatimus - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    I want to see every one of Cano’s last 26 AB in instant replay.

  5. ireportyoudecide - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    Yes replay would be nice to look at close plays on base, but why not include it for balls and strikes. Balls and strikes are not judgement calls, the computer can call it correct 100% of the time, one bad strike call can impact the game just as much as a play at 2nd base. I’m not saying instant replay for balls and strikes I am saying get rid of the home plate ump and have a computer get every single call correct behind the plate.

    • tomtravis76 - Oct 15, 2012 at 1:01 AM

      Using the computer is a good idea, but don’t get rid of the umps. You add a head umpire kind of like a director, who sits in the booth with access to the balls and strikes and instant replay, each ump on the field wears an earpiece and the head ump can directly speak to them to assist in getting the correct call and tell the ump behind the plate with a very minimal delay if a pitch was a ball or strike for him to signal.

      There is no reason to get calls wrong especially with the fans at home having access to the proper game. MLB can’t just continue to says its sorry for blowing calls, changing outcomes because they refuse to use technology in helping get the correct outcome. You do start to lose fans and the idea of corruption filters in. Because now with technology allowing the game to be called fair ,if you say its our way or the highway, that only leads one to believe that some outcomes might be predetermined when calls are blown and the game refuses to get it right.

  6. Stiller43 - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    What about the (at least two) botched calls last night that led to yankee outs when they should have scored?

    (idc who wins, but they screwed them last night early on)

    • polegojim - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:04 AM

      @Stiller43.. Ok, I’ll play…

      And what about Valverde’s melt down that gave NY EVERY chance to be back in it and win?

      The Tigers maximized their opportunities and had the mental fortitude to overcome adversity.

      They Yankee’s DID NOT. They LOST. Pure and simple, no excuses.

  7. vincentbojackson - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Girardi should concentrate on correcting the pathetic effort his team has shown this postseason. When you only play the ninth inning it will eventually catch up to you.

    • gallyhatch - Oct 15, 2012 at 6:43 AM

      I completely agree vincentbojackson . . . .my favorite part of Girardi’s press conference was when a reporter pointed out that they had 4 hits the whole game.

      His team is batting .205 & he’s up there crying about bad calls. Take care of business & then you don’t leave the game in the umpire’s hands.

      This crying by the Yankees & their fans is sweet sweet music to my ears.

  8. drewnichols81 - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Joe coming off like a whiny baby here, no runs no win Joe. 4 hits, wowser!

  9. txnative61 - Oct 15, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Hey, enough with the human mistakes already! We have the technology to have radio or magnetic tags for bats, balls, and lines, so just eliminate the crooked umps entirely. In fact—the managers make some pretty illogical moves too, so computers crunching the numbers would undoubtedly do better. In fact——-since steroids harm players, but cyborg enhancements never hurt anybody, legalize machine enhancements to bring back the long ball we all love. Shit, why have humans at all, just have cyber teams play the games perfectly, with perfect umpiring, and everybody will be perfectly happy, in a perfect world!!!! :)

    • txnative61 - Oct 15, 2012 at 3:08 AM

      You there with the thumb down!!! RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!!!! :)

  10. denverdude7 - Oct 15, 2012 at 4:22 AM

    The cry baby Yankers have no room to whine.
    Consider this partial payback for the blown Jeffrey Mairer call.
    Here’s to hoping another bad call sends them home in 4 games.
    GO TIGERS !!!!!!!

  11. onbucky96 - Oct 15, 2012 at 6:11 AM

    Ah, the tradition of the “Human Element”. Buddy, Joey, tie for more replay. I think the morons in the umpire union would be for it as they are getting slaughtered for their FUBAR calls.

  12. jaybyrd99 - Oct 15, 2012 at 7:00 AM

    Why not limit replay , the NFL, to 3 challenges per game . If the call’s not overturned the offending team is punished by adding an extra ball or strike on the opposing teams bstter . I’m sure there are other ,better ideas out there, but the technology is there ,why not use it in some capacity t

  13. jaybyrd99 - Oct 15, 2012 at 7:02 AM

    *like the NFL* and all of my other grammar mistakes .

  14. longbino - Oct 15, 2012 at 7:14 AM

    I’m sure replay will solve everything for the whining, crying frontrunning NY fans. But what good is replay if they review plays and STILL can’t get calls right? Case in point game 5 vs Baltimore. how do 4 Umps not see that that ball hit the pole. This is payback for that call! karma!!

    • sparky1002 - Oct 15, 2012 at 11:27 AM

      I guess they have much better vision than yourself and or they don`t have the same kind of bias against the truth like yourself, bias based on a hatred for the Yankees and their fans that colors your vision.

  15. juanhughjazz - Oct 15, 2012 at 7:17 AM

    I don’t remember hearing Joe calling for replay before last night.

  16. gwest40 - Oct 15, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    I’m a Tigers fan, but I must admit that we do need instant replay. How do you implement instant replay without slowing down the game even more? Here’s how: The managers from each team are allowed to have any play reviewed (not including balls/strikes). If the umpire made a mistake, then the matter is corrected. If the umpire was indeed correct, the play stands as called and the team requesting the replay review is assessed 1 out. If the play resulted in the 3rd out of that inning, then 1 out is assessed at the beginning the next inning.

    • jaybyrd99 - Oct 15, 2012 at 9:42 AM

      This is similar to my idea earlier. However i would limit each team to 3 challenges . I woudn’t want to see too many replays,thus bogging the game down .

      • mook1987 - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:51 PM

        So you would rather have arguing instead? That doesn’t bog the game down, huh? managers jogging out to question bad calls? that speeds the game up? I didn’t realize that.

    • mook1987 - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:53 PM


  17. mavajo - Oct 15, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    This is why baseball is a joke and has trouble getting new fans.

  18. Chipmaker - Oct 15, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    Girardi was a Yankee in the 1999 ALCS when there was bad call after bad call (most against the Red Sox, but the Yanx had to eat one or two as well). How’d he feel then?

    Yes, the technology is much better today. But those were some REALLY bad calls.

    • skids003 - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      Not as bad as the 1996 World Series versus the Braves. The AL umpires took that one away from the Braves. Numerous bad calls, all against the Braves, all by the AL umpires. I guess Joe forgot that too.

  19. gallyhatch - Oct 15, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Thank you Chipmaker, the Phantom Tag on Offerman was a gross missed call, but hey… That’s baseball!

  20. hgfrombc2 - Oct 15, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    “Yeah, he was out by I would say five feet,” Cano said.

    Infante is barely 5 ft tall, so he was out by the length of his body. Wow, Jeff Nelson is REALLY blind!

  21. tuffnstuff - Oct 15, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    There should be an umpire app.

  22. sparky1002 - Oct 15, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    If networks have the ability to show a graph of the strike zone with the position of the pitches thrown as they go thru that zone…then I have no problem at all with allowing such a system to call balls and strikes. One thing you can say for sure is that there would be a degree of consistency that has never existed before in calling strikes and balls when implemented. Umpires fearing a loss of jobs to automation can still have an umpire at home plate….they just don`t get to call balls and strikes. You would think people would learn by now that tradition is a damn poor excuse to allow greater incompetence in the world of sports.

  23. mook1987 - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Instant replay would help SPEED THE GAME UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Managers arguing calls that were missed takes way longer than simply using replay. It sickens me. I don’t like the Yankees or any of the remaining teams, but they should all get the benefit of calls that aren’t PATHETIC!!!!! That call was PATHETIC!!!! REPLAY MUST BE USED OR I AM NO LONGER WATCHING BASEBALL

  24. serbingood - Oct 15, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    If the game relied on ‘tradition’ in setting up rules and the way the game is played, it would still be an all white male sport, no free agency, no team west of St. Louis and played during the day. NBC would still be broadcasting the games, TBS would not exist and ticket prices would remain sane in 27 markets. Tradition does strange things to the memory.

    I am all in favor of using technology to call balls and strikes. A little consistency in the strike zone would benefit both the hitter and pitcher. Instant replay on demand for all plays except balls and strikes. There will be times when the camera angle will make a call inconclusive. That’s were the human element of the umpire can come in and have the final say.

    Bring on the computers, but please, no Windows 8! Bring on more cameras and standardize them in each park. 1 looking down each foul line, 1 looking overhead at home plate, 1 looking at home plate on the left and right and from center field. These camera are for instant replay only.

    Screw tradition. We have the technology developed to get the basics right. It’s time to start using it, and it’s time for Mr. Sellig to finally, once and for all retire and have no further contact or involvement with MLB. The problem starts and stops with him.

  25. richwizl - Oct 15, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    I believe all pro sports are crooked and influenced by money; why wouldn’t they be, everything else in the world is? They have given in to the screaming of ripped-off fans to a limited degree, to appease us, but they don’t really want to make it so visible to all that they can’t control the outcomes. Powerful people love that control stuff; it gives them wood. I know they’re all rigged, but I still love to watch great athletes do their thing, it’s beautiful. Sports are the opiate of the masses; I want my opium and I don’t care about anything else, so I watch and have something to talk about that is better than the depressing, horrific events that are covered by the news media every day. Baseball will introduce a little more replay, gradually, but nothing much will change. Baseball gods are about as real as the tooth fairy; it’s more about getting the edge any way you can.

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