Home > Uncategorized > Another Up-And-Down Night For Baseball’s Men In Blue

Another Up-And-Down Night For Baseball’s Men In Blue

A laughably bad call took place in the majors Thursday night. It didn’t steal away a perfect game or prove to be the difference between a win or a loss. More surprisingly, it didn’t screw over the Detroit Tigers. That’s progress, kids!

No, this bad call took place in Minnesota and actually victimized the team the Tigers are chasing in the standings, the Twins.

Here’s the situation: The game is tied 4-4 in the top of the tenth. Willy Aybar at the plate with none out. There are runners at first and second, but just remember that Kelly Shoppach is at first, Michael Cuddyer is playing third base, and third base ump Alfonso Marquez, is about to make himself a lot more popular on Google.

Aybar flares a fastball into left for a base hit. Left fielder Delmon Young — damn, he’s actually having a nice season! — throws to Cuddyer at third as the run scores easily. Shoppach, who must have taken baserunning lessons from Russell Branyan, is at least 15 feet from the bag by the time Cuddyer grabs the ball. He runs toward Shoppach, tags him out.

Problem: There is still nobody out.

Thanks in part to some absolutely wonderful acting from Shoppach, Marquez rules him safe at third, saying Cuddyer never tagged him.  And you know what is worse than that call? The fact that Shoppach’s incorrect advance leaves Cuddyer with a most unlucky error to his name.

Anyway, Ron Gardenhire comes out to argue. He’s no stranger to getting ejected and Marquez has a bit of a quick trigger, so you know where this is headed. Luckily for Marquez, the call has no real effect on the game. Even with runners at second and third and none out, the Rays don’t push another run across and go on to win, 5-4.

I just can’t believe that the same umpire who made this kind of call could blow such an easy one on Thursday.

But I’ll give credit where it’s due, and Bruce Dreckman should get a few extra pats on the back tonight. He made a call late in the Rangers-Angels game that looked like another obvious miss to the naked eye.

It’s top of the eighth with the Rangers trailing, 2-1, but they have runners on first and second with the red-hot Vladimir Guerrero up. Vlad hits a bouncer to third that looks like your typical 5-4-3, inning-ending double play. But hold everything! Ian Kinsler is called safe at second! Even the Angels broadcasters were questioning aloud how the runner could be called safe! This inning should be over! I demand an explanation!

But Dreckman was right. He disallowed Howie Kendrick’s attempt at the “neighborhood” play, as his foot was clearly off of second base before he received the ball. While it’s not in the audio of that clip, Angels color analyst Mark Gubicza would go on to say that you usually don’t see those kinds of calls made, “especially against the home team.

Again, there is no great consequence to this call. Fernando Rodney had to throw a few more pitches to get out of the jam, but he did that and the Angels won, 2-1.

So what does all this mean? Well, it was just another interesting night to be wearing the blue. Major league umpires have a tough job and they make mistakes just like everyone else at their job. We should accept that and stop doing what I just did: Turning one of their messes into a perceived big deal.

But really, if you’re the best baseball has to offer, shouldn’t you be able to point out a simple tag 10,000 times out of 10,000? I mean, really?!

OK, I’ll stop now.

"Why you got to be right, huh? You're not helping me over here!"

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  1. Padrick
    July 6, 2010 at 9:49 am

    I don’t know who the Texas Randgers are, but I want their jersey.

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