July 27, 2011

Ah, The Human Element

Jerry Meals, home plate umpire, calls Julio Lugo SAFE at home plate in the bottom of the 19th inning Tuesday night, giving Atlanta a 4-3 win.
I saw the tag, but he looked like he ol├ęd him and I called him safe for that. I looked at the replays and it appeared he might have got him on the shin area. I'm guessing he might have got him, but when I was out there when it happened, I didn't see a tag. I just saw the glove sweep up. I didn't see the glove hit his leg.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle:
He said he never tagged him. I saw him tag him three feet in front of the plate and that's what it looked like when I went back and looked at it.
Pirates starter Jeff Karstens:
There's always controversial calls that are really, really close. But I've never seen anything that bad.
Within an hour of the end of the game, at about 2:30 AM, the Pirates filed a formal complaint with the Commissioner's Office. However, MLB does not have the authority to overturn judgment calls made by its umpires.

That blown call reminded me of this one - SAFE! - made by C.B. Bucknor against the Red Sox in the 2009 ALDS.


FenFan said...

I wondered when you were going to post something about this!

This was a really BAD call. Most telling to me is that Lugo stands up looking dejected, then quickly tags the plate as Meals appears to rule that the tag was not applied.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports posted a great article this morning on the subject of replay, nothing that hasn't already been said here over the years.

How much longer is Selig going to sit idle and allow blown calls to stand before one has a significant impact on a playoff race or a post-season game? In this case, both teams in the NL wild card hunt and it would be very interesting to see where the final standings put them.

allan said...

You can thank Tim for his comment in the G101 thread. I saw the linescore, but did not read about it until after his comment this afternoon.

How much longer is Selig going to sit idle and allow blown calls to stand before one has a significant impact on a playoff race or a post-season game?

How long have you got?

allan said...

GREAT article! Thank you! The whole damn thing is quote-worthy.


"Baseball applies no logic to replay, no whit of rationale. Selig and his anti-replay brigade muddle the argument by saying how replay would slow the game down, ignoring the fact that baseball is slower than ever because under his watch the sport instituted longer breaks in between innings to sell more commercials. ...

The idea that a person's capability to miss a call supersedes the ability to use technology and ensure accuracy is so insulting, so wildly backward that it could come only from the offices of Major League Baseball. ...

Baseball, the sport that refuses to do right ... too stubborn and arrogant to know any better."


allan said...

Another good shot of the obvious tag here.

allan said...


johngoldfine said...

Poz also (unsurprisingly) has good and sensible things to say about the play and about instant replay.


Gregory Lynn said...

Two things always tend to bother me about these kinds of missed calls.

First and most simplest, I want my human element from the players. One could argue that the human element from players is the only reason to watch the games at all.

Secondly, this is not a judgment call. A judgment call is determining whether a runner from first gets to come home on a fan interference double or on an obstruction interference call. On a judgment call there must be something to judge, a weighing of the evidence. This isn't a judgment call it's a recognition call. It's a simple question of fact and the only thing at issue is whether the umpire sees reality correctly.

tim said...

Bruuuuutal call, as I said before. Thanks for the Passan link, fenfan, he usually has decent columns.

Patrick said...

I watched all the extra innings of that game. An entire game in extra innings! Real exciting.

Was very, very disturbed when Meals put up the 'safe' sign. What a horrible way to lose in 19 innings for the Pirates.

Clint Hurdle was screaming into Meals' face for his whole walk off the field. I wasn't trying to mouth read but "Are you fucking kidding me?!" was obviously said.