I think the guy who was called safe on first base should just walk to the dugout. Take himself off the field and out of the game.
My son Ducky called me from that detroit game last nite after witnessing that blown call! .....he was steamin and I told him I'd get back after consulting with some of my fellow officiato wizards...like you guys.
I assured Duck that the umpire has to feel like dogcrap - the pressure obviously got to him and he probably made the classic mistake of envisioning the outcome because the play was unfolding too slow (the double pump from the firstbaseman probably threw him off). The Ump jumped to the conclusion that he thought would happen rather than what he saw...lesson one for all umpires - never think - thinking allows you to confuse your imagination with your information - it is not your job to even know the score much less care about the outcome.
Unfortunately we probably won't ever get umpire judgment calls reviewable via instant replay mainly because there is no whistle to end that kind of play like in football. What if that Tiger pitcher had tossed the ball up in the air thinking he had the out and the runner sped home in the confusion? Although, as a former youth leagues umpire, I will argue that a pitcher should be able to go to the rubber, step off and appeal just like they do when a runner leaves a base too soon on a tag-up. The other umpire/s should also have a chance to pipe in - esp the plate ump or umpire-crew-chief...and review footage and GET IT RIGHT!
Maybe there should be a third call an umpire could make in this kind of situation...instead of only the "safe" or "out" - how about just a shoulder shrug meaning "don't know?" That should wreak some interesting havoc...
A parting tale: I was once umpiring a championship game in the steel community of Sparrows Point in balto full of roudy, tailgating fans (this was way back in the day when drinking at kids games was not at all taboo) and the last play of the day was my worst nightmare - a winning run collision at home where a runner dove horizontally over a lunging catcher with the ball. Being a former catcher myself, I figured no way that runner's prone body never was at least grazed by that catchers outstretched mit's rawhide strings, so I righteously throw my thumb up in the air...but then to my horror, no-one noticed my call from all the noise and the judas catcher bounced up and tried to tag the runner as both kicked up a dust storm scrambling to the plate. The runner won that race and everybody was celebrating and then all eyes were suddenly on me and my premature thumb still stuck up in the air instead of where the sun don't shine....A cop had to escort me (on my motorcycle getting pelted) outta town...kinda like that ump last nite...
what say you brilliant and murky minds?
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Call from Detroit