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The Worst call in the history of baseball
July 27, 2011 9:05 AM   Subscribe

Nineteen innings. Nearly seven hours of play. The "Worst call in the history of baseball" ends Pirates/Braves game.

Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle declares, "The game deserves better than that."

Unsurprisingly, the Braves feel, "He got the call right."

Of course, Twitter weighs in on the controversy.

But what about instant replay?

Lessons learned. Oh, and they play again tonight.
posted by misha (158 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
That truly was an atrocious call.
posted by scottymac at 9:07 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's 2011, time for major league baseball to adopt instant replay. Can you imagine the uproar if this occurred in the postseason?
posted by Renoroc at 9:13 AM on July 27, 2011


They still don't use instant reply in MLB? Ridiculous.
posted by asnider at 9:13 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I stayed up for that whole game. I am still livid.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:13 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Umpires really do seem to be missing more and more calls, or letting the perceived quality of the team dictate which side the call goes to on "close" ones. In the past I've been more on the "bad calls are part of baseball" camp, but lately I've been inching towards the "more instant replay" side.

Of course, I'm also a Nationals fan.
posted by tittergrrl at 9:14 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, I hate baseball with a passion, and even I am outraged by that call.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:14 AM on July 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


Wait, worse than the one from last year (or was it the year before?) that cost that guy the no-hitter (or was it a perfect game)?
posted by Eideteker at 9:14 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is there anything more to this story than yet another boring instant replay debate? It's not like it's the first time an ump has ever ended a game with a bad call in a relatively meaningless mid-July game.
posted by RogerB at 9:14 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The best game. With the worst officiating. I have to break with baseball traditionalists and say that the self-righteous, self-centered, near-whimsical officiating in baseball adds 'the human element' to the game like I add the 'human element' to my septic tank once or twice a day.
posted by umberto at 9:15 AM on July 27, 2011 [40 favorites]


A bad call. But bad calls are part of baseball. You win some, you lose some.

As a new-this-year Pirates fan, this is irritating, but given how well they're doing this season compared to I-don't-know-how-long, I'll save my outrage. Maybe an incident like this will stoke the fires even more.

Keep up the good work, Bucs!
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:15 AM on July 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow. Epically terrible call.

However, I still am against instant replay in baseball. For every "worst call in the history of baseball," there are dozens of negligible judgement calls that are part of the texture of the sport. Baseball games are a series of transactions between the players, the field, the umpires and the fans. I like that there are multiple versions of truth in those transactions.
posted by elmer benson at 9:15 AM on July 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


Dang, I'm getting a "stream not found" on the clip, and youtube is blocked at work.
posted by Eideteker at 9:16 AM on July 27, 2011


Wait, worse than the one from last year (or was it the year before?) that cost that guy the no-hitter (or was it a perfect game)?

Perfect game.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:16 AM on July 27, 2011


I am neither a Pirates nor Braves fan. Go Red Sox!

The call, by far, wasn't the worst in the history of baseball. That's just emotion giving way to excessive hyperbole. From the angle behind the umpire I can see it looking like Hurdle (the catcher) swung his glove between the arm and leg of Julio Lugo. From other angles, especially slowed down, it's more convincing that Hurdle made the tag.

The ump definitely earns some of the blame, but not all of it. Hurdle deserves to take some of the blame as well. If Hurdle just got the tag down farther to make it a more obvious tag then the ump would have been able to make the right call. Hurdle also assumed Lugo was out and didn't make the effort to put a definitive tag on Lugo like other catchers would do in such a situation.

Chalk the whole thing up to exhaustion on both the players and the umps brought upon by the extreme length of the game.

But it certainly is another example as to why MLB needs instant replay. Selig really needs to push the matter during the winter meetings.
posted by ruthsarian at 9:16 AM on July 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


It was 2am, he was tired.

Also, even baseball fans don't care about July baseball games.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:16 AM on July 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Holy wow. There are just so many hilarious things about that play.

One I didn't notice until I read the "lessons" link: the hitter, Scott Proctor, is attempting to slide into first base... from thirty feet away. I'll bet he's glad there were more interesting things to notice about the play than his embarrassing first hit in a professional game.
posted by koeselitz at 9:17 AM on July 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


Meals. Meals. Meals. Jerry Meals. Where do I know that name from?

Oh, yeah:
On May 4, 2009, the normally unflappable Derek Jeter and his manager Joe Girardi were ejected from a game at Yankee Stadium for arguing strikes and balls with home plate umpire Jerry Meals. In that 6-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox, Meals had drawn the ire of the Yankee dugout by calling—as confirmed by video replay—a wildly inconsistent strike zone to pitcher Phil Hughes and Yankee batters. The controversy came on a wet, raw night when people in the stands had sat through a rain delay that lasted over 2 ½ hours to see the first-ever game between the Yanks and Red Sox in the new Yankee Stadium.

Asked to comment on the incident after the game, Jeter said this: “You’re in a no-win situation. I mean, you can’t really talk about the umpires. I really can’t give you anything more than that, because I’m sure it’s not going to be the last time he’s umpiring.”

In Monday night’s Yankees-Blue Jays game, Meals, a 13-year veteran with a reputation among players and managers alike as one of the worst umpires in Major League Baseball, was at it again.

posted by zarq at 9:18 AM on July 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


ruthsarian: “From the angle behind the umpire I can see it looking like Hurdle (the catcher) swung his glove between the arm and leg of Julio Lugo.”

Clint Hurdle's pretty old to be playing pro again.

He's the manager, not the catcher. The catcher is Michael McKenry.
posted by koeselitz at 9:19 AM on July 27, 2011


Hmm... honestly on replay the call isn't as egregious at it first seems. I think the runner probably was actually out, but the catcher didn't make a great tag.
posted by kmz at 9:19 AM on July 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


T.D. Strange: "Also, even baseball fans don't care about July baseball games."

What a clearly false statement.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:21 AM on July 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why is this on MeFi? It's not like long baseball games are all that rare.
posted by IvoShandor at 9:22 AM on July 27, 2011


Jeter has no right to complain, given that he was the beneficiary of the actual worst call in the history of baseball.
posted by escabeche at 9:22 AM on July 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


honestly on replay the call isn't as egregious at it first seems

Yeah, lousy tag, but worse call. If he'd held it on him instead of sweeping, even Meals couldn't have gotten the call wrong.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:25 AM on July 27, 2011


Meals was awful all night. His strike zone moved around more than a... thing that moves around a lot.

But there were some good moments, like the girl yelling "Let's go Pirates!" the whole game, and the giant stack of cups.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:25 AM on July 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


Of course, I'm also a Nationals fan.

I still see more Expos jerseys around than I do Nationals stuff.
posted by Hoopo at 9:25 AM on July 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


The "Worst call in the history of baseball"

Andres Galarraga might disagree.
posted by googly at 9:27 AM on July 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


People from St Louis can imagine what it would be like in the playoffs. In the end, you just chill out and get philosophical -- after 25 years or so.
posted by cgk at 9:27 AM on July 27, 2011


Instant replays are not the solution. The major error in discovering team quality (or any athlete, really) is not individual bad calls. The major error is small sample size. You can't run a race one time where the outcome is under a tenth of a second and declare that the winner is better than the loser. You need to do it a lot more times and figure out who really is better.
posted by DU at 9:28 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's totally unclear to me, after the benefit of many replays, whether the catcher actually completed the tag.
posted by Kwine at 9:32 AM on July 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Honestly, the more replays and angles I saw, the less convinced I was that the tag was made, but I also feel as though the only two people who really know are Lugo and McKenry. Even Meals (who is the worst official in the history of sports, and yes, I'm including Danny Davis and both Hebners in that calculation) can't be too certain from his angle.

Instant replay wouldn't have solved this.
posted by Etrigan at 9:33 AM on July 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hey shit happens. Keep Instant Replay out of baseball!
posted by ReeMonster at 9:33 AM on July 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can see how he called it like he called it. The tag was there but just BARELY there, and I had to watch the replay several times to see it. The catcher tried to sell the tag by doing the "ole!"

But if I were this catcher, I would tell this ump that the next time this situation happens, with this ump behind the plate, the runner will come out of this play with a broken leg, the tag will be that unmissable. (Of course I would not DO that but I would surely tell this guy I was going to.)

Shitty way for the Pirates to lose, though. Get 'em tonight!
posted by Danf at 9:33 AM on July 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


The major error is small sample size. You can't run a race one time where the outcome is under a tenth of a second and declare that the winner is better than the loser. You need to do it a lot more times and figure out who really is better.

Baseball is not an attempt to scientifically establish the absolute merit of baseball players.
posted by cortex at 9:35 AM on July 27, 2011 [29 favorites]


Hey that's why they say upon further review: I would like the manager to get two video reviews per game hey tough plays are sometimes hard to see. Upon further review if the manager is wrong his team will be penalized an out.
posted by Upon Further Review at 9:36 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I still see more Expos jerseys around than I do Nationals stuff.

You know, it's easy to hate on the Nationals, but I feel like they're building a decent fan base in DC. I see Nationals hats a fair bit on the street, and attendance is below average, but still better than a lot of teams that no one would ever question the relevance of.

As for the play, yeah, it looks pretty bad, but it wasn't a great tag, as has been said. Also, the article framing this as an outrage for Mets fans delusional enough to think they're going to make the postseason is pretty amusing.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:36 AM on July 27, 2011


You need to do it a lot more times and figure out who really is better.

There's 162 games in a MLB regular season. Each post-season series is best out of 5 or best out of 7. What more do you want? (I actually would favor making the Divisional Series 7 games as well, but that's the only thing I can think of.)
posted by kmz at 9:36 AM on July 27, 2011


Hey shit happens. Keep Instant Replay out of baseball!

That's an interesting take. I do not agree.
posted by kbanas at 9:36 AM on July 27, 2011


Jerry Meals explains the call to a reporter. Says it looked like a phantom tag at the time, but admits he was probably wrong.
posted by auto-correct at 9:37 AM on July 27, 2011


If the throw beats the runner by THAT much though, he's generally going to get called out. It's hard to see on a little screen whether or not the tag was made. But it's too bad that the catcher was wrapped up in trying to sell the fact that he had the ball & missed that he could still have thrown to 1st.

Also, this isn't a totally insignificant July game -- if you read the link under "Worst call..", it goes into a bit of impact to the Mets (tiny) chances this year.
posted by statolith at 9:37 AM on July 27, 2011


I'm with Kwine. Throw beat him by a mile, but I'm not convinced the catcher didn't whiff the tag, at least watching a tiny video on my iPad.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:38 AM on July 27, 2011


Kelly Gruber also disagrees
posted by mannequito at 9:39 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mets (tiny) chances this year.

Oh man, I'm in stitches, tell me another one.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:40 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


the hitter, Scott Proctor, is attempting to slide into first base... from thirty feet away.

It's also hilarious that he's trying to slide into first base at all. You can overrun the bag, guy.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:41 AM on July 27, 2011


"Hey shit happens. Keep Instant Replay out of baseball!"

Let's make a deal. You can keep the Instant Replay out of baseball when I can keep baseball out of my MetaFilter, my social media, and my nearby workplace conversations. Because I don't want to hear calls debated over and over again.
posted by Eideteker at 9:41 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Andres Galarraga might disagree.

Speaking of Expos...

(I think you mean Armando Galarraga, Andres is 50)

You know, it's easy to hate on the Nationals, but I feel like they're building a decent fan base in DC


Yeah I think Expos gear is currently on a retro-cool trend or something, and I mostly just miss them because it means the only Canadian team to cheer for now is in Toronto. I don't hate the Nationals.
posted by Hoopo at 9:41 AM on July 27, 2011


statolith: "Also, this isn't a totally insignificant July game"

Exactly. The Pirates are in a super tight pennant race. This game actually could be a big deal.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:42 AM on July 27, 2011


the hitter, Scott Proctor, is attempting to slide into first base... from thirty feet away.

To be fair, I think he just slipped. Still something embarrassing for a major league player, but not quite as head-desky.
posted by kmz at 9:44 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've watched the replay a few times myself and from the plate ump's angle, I see room for doubt that the tag actually touched the runner.

That said, I think consultation with the ump on the 3rd base line might've helped prevent this.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:46 AM on July 27, 2011


First, I'll be honest, I only skimmed the comments above. But....from every angle on the Root video, it looked to me like the glove never touched the guy. Now, Meals is dead smack in front of the play, so.... he should have been able to make the right call. But until I see a better angle, I do not believe he was out beyond a doubt. Beyond a REASONABLE doubt, yes.
posted by spicynuts at 9:47 AM on July 27, 2011


Also, I'm a Mets fan, so I have no reason to be dishonest.
posted by spicynuts at 9:47 AM on July 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Honestly, the more replays and angles I saw, the less convinced I was that the tag was made

I disagree. I thought he'd missed until about the 2nd time through slow, his glove clearly bends as he brushes the leg, and from the outfield camera, it's clear as day that the tag was made.

If I didn't have convincing evidence of a miss -- saw the glove clear the entire way, or ball leaving the glove -- I would have said out based on the evidence I did have -- the ball was there in time, the glove was in a position to have tagged, even if the actual tag was blocked from view, the player was far enough from the plate that having to worry about if he's already home isn't in play, and the ball still in the glove after the apparent tag.

There's far more evidence available to the home plate ump that the tag did happen, even though he wasn't in place to see it*, than evidence of a miss. The most damning is the way the runner pulls up -- he *knows* he's tagged.

There are many bad calls that can be forgiven as "you didn't have enough evidence either way, and you went the wrong way." This one had far more evidence that it was a tag, and to reverse it is just inane -- there is no way the ump could have seen a cleanly missed tag, and what he did see said out far more than it said safe. And, apparently, the ump in question has said he was probably wrong. Not as classy as Jim Joyce's "I was convinced he was out until I saw the replay. I was wrong. I cost that kid a perfect game."

To be fair -- umpires have to make a lot of decisions in a very short time, and they do get the vast majority of them right. Some are better than others, of course. The biggest problem with MLB umpires is the inconstant strike zone -- and technology to review that exists, and should be used, maybe not to overrule game-day calls, but to assist the in the selection of umpires. Keep calling a wild zone, and you'll find yourself out of a job.


*That's not his fault, he was covering the plate from the usual spot. No spot is perfect, and trying to get into the infield and turn around risks hitting an active player, or missing the event completely because you were moving, not watching. If runners weren't in play, the 2nd base ump would have been watching, but he was minding the runners near him, the 1st base ump is positioning for a call at first, and the third base ump is trying to watch the homebound runner and the inbound runner from 2nd -- and is just as blocked from seeing the tag by the runner as the home plate umpire was by the catcher.
posted by eriko at 9:48 AM on July 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


You know, it's easy to hate on the Nationals, but I feel like they're building a decent fan base in DC. I see Nationals hats a fair bit on the street, and attendance is below average, but still better than a lot of teams that no one would ever question the relevance of.

I was in DC recently and was looking to buy a hat for sun protection. You could buy Nats hats, but not Orioles hats at Union Station, which isn't how it used to be! (Since I'm not a Nats fan, I bought a Georgetown hat).
posted by Jahaza at 9:51 AM on July 27, 2011


I think the reaction of Lugo after he was tagged (and called safe) plus what Meals said after the game makes it pretty clear this was a blown call.

My hope is that a game like this really fires up my bloved Buccos for the rest of the year. People are still poo-pooing them, but they've gone toe to toe with the Braves for two games (and should have won both of them).

Do I think they'll make the playoffs? No. Finish above .500? Maybe.

But I'm absolutely confident that this team is filled with gamers and they should be proud of themselves for bringing pride in baseball back to the 'burgh.

That being said, what a great game up until the end, and I love the weirdness that came out at the game and on Twitter. Good times.
posted by Fister Roboto at 9:53 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's an olé tag? I tried googling, but all I can find are results with people complaining about them, not describing what they are. Is it just a flourish after a missed tag to try to sell it?
posted by amarynth at 9:54 AM on July 27, 2011


But it's too bad that the catcher was wrapped up in trying to sell the fact that he had the ball & missed that he could still have thrown to 1st.

The run scoring ended the game.
posted by ambient2 at 9:55 AM on July 27, 2011


Doubt? The runner practically had to wrestle the catcher to the damned ground on the way to touching home, after the catcher inarguably had posession of the ball. I understand that you actually are required to touch with the holding hand, but how could he help but do so, they practically danced an entire waltz on the baseline!
posted by BigLankyBastard at 9:55 AM on July 27, 2011


An ole tag is a play where the defender sweeps the glove past the opponent without touching him. I think it's meant to be a bullfighting reference.
posted by S'Tella Fabula at 9:56 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Didn't the fact they hugged each other before he stood on the plate/base whatever affect the outcome?
posted by fullerine at 9:57 AM on July 27, 2011


You know, it's easy to hate on the Nationals, but I feel like they're building a decent fan base in DC.

Y'know, me hating the team in DC has absolutely nothing to do with the size of the fanbase. It's because they are the undeserving recipients of my baseball team, nos amours, stolen from us by a league of greedhead owners, a used car salesman and a fat toad of an art dealer. I look forward to the day, not too far in the future, when some other bilious chunderhead will remove yet another failed baseball franchise from DC. Fuck that team.
posted by docgonzo at 9:57 AM on July 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


The catcher did a complete TSA pat down before the runner touched base.
posted by stbalbach at 9:57 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe he has been practicing the 30 foot speed slide and next time will actually pull it off. It'll be amazing. Maybe he can even slide around corners.
posted by neuromodulator at 10:00 AM on July 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Man, Meals.

I think reviews being available for close calls, to encourage the refs to not have to make snap decisions (Meals could have checked with the 3rd base Ump to buy time, but he didn't in part because he is not very good at his job). And as eriko pointed out, using the auto strike zone to review an Ump's ability to hold a consistent strike zone as part of their job performance criteria would also help the game as a whole.

This month has shown an increase of ejections from games as well, there is definitely tensions boiling from the Umps with the rest of the league (they have their own manager and union in a way). They may feel like their time is coming, but are digging in deeper than trying to change, so the result may be a universal backlash against them.
posted by mrzarquon at 10:01 AM on July 27, 2011


shakespeherian: " It's also hilarious that he's trying to slide into first base at all. You can overrun the bag, guy."

Is very bad to steal Jobu's rum. Is very bad.
posted by zarq at 10:01 AM on July 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


He wasn't trying to slide into first, he tripped about three paces off the home plate. I have no idea which is most embarrassing: trying to slide into first, tripping while running, or playing for the Braves.
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:02 AM on July 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


Am I alone in suspecting the ump accidentally on purpose blew the call so he could end the game and go to bed?
posted by ardgedee at 10:02 AM on July 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


However, I still am against instant replay in baseball. For every "worst call in the history of baseball," there are dozens of negligible judgement calls that are part of the texture of the sport. Baseball games are a series of transactions between the players, the field, the umpires and the fans. I like that there are multiple versions of truth in those transactions.

Please help me understand why "the texture of the sport" and "multiple versions of truth" are more valuable than fair play.
posted by LogicalDash at 10:03 AM on July 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why is this on MeFi? It's not like long baseball games are all that rare.

It was the longest game in Atlanta's history, so yeah, they kind of are.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:07 AM on July 27, 2011


Whenever I see bad calls like this I always get the most irritated with the lack of sportsmanship of the guy that gets the call in their favor. Julio Lugo should have been a fucking man and told the ump "He got me." Not jumping around like some happy little turd in a shit pool.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:09 AM on July 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


Please help me understand why "the texture of the sport" and "multiple versions of truth" are more valuable than fair play.

Because it would change the game in a very big way to solve a very small problem. Baseball can handle a few bad calls a year and doesn't have to turn into football to catch them.
posted by octothorpe at 10:10 AM on July 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


I truly think that a lot of the reason that this is getting the press that it is, is that Pittsburgh is finally having a "Major League" season with a turn around. The Pirates haven't been in the playoffs since the early 90s, nor won a championship since the 70s. It's tough being the losing team in the "City of Champions." I may be biased as a local, but even as a baseball fan I'm surprised this is as big as it is. Any other Buccos season and this would just be another 'bad call' that no one really cared about. But then again, any other season and I don't know that they'd have held their own for 19 innings.

So one game might not matter to other teams, but right now to Pittsburgh? It matters a whole hell of a lot.
posted by librarianamy at 10:10 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't really buy the purity argument against replay myself, but as a Red Sox fan, I don't really want anything that's going to slow the game down even more.

One of the nice aspects of baseball is that everything "important" is contested over large numbers of games, either the 162 game season when it comes to getting into the playoffs, or best-of-seven series once you're there. I think the purity angle embodies the idea that it all evens out in the wash more than anything else, but like I said, I don't really buy it.

Personally, I have no problem with the review of scoring plays, but that's about it. Anything that leads towards making stuff like the KZone a real arbiter of the sport is anathema, and the fear of that is probably a big part of the push-back.
posted by feloniousmonk at 10:12 AM on July 27, 2011


I have no idea which is most embarrassing: trying to slide into first, tripping while running, or playing for the Braves.

Playing for the Braves isn't embarrassing, it's shameful. A longer, slower burn.
posted by gompa at 10:13 AM on July 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


The major error is small sample size. You can't run a race one time where the outcome is under a tenth of a second and declare that the winner is better than the loser. You need to do it a lot more times and figure out who really is better.

Please tell me this is a joke.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:16 AM on July 27, 2011


I truly think that a lot of the reason that this is getting the press that it is, is that Pittsburgh is finally having a "Major League" season with a turn around. The Pirates haven't been in the playoffs since the early 90s, nor won a championship since the 70s. It's tough being the losing team in the "City of Champions."

I like the Pirates, I want them to do well. Please don't make that harder for me by reminding me that they come from the a city where people do things like say "City of Champions" with a straight face or root for the Steelers.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:16 AM on July 27, 2011


Because it would change the game in a very big way to solve a very small problem. Baseball can handle a few bad calls a year and doesn't have to turn into football to catch them.

OK, so your argument hinges on two premises: I'm not much of a sports fan, so maybe this is my lack of perspective talking, but to me, these premises are not obvious, and I would not grant either of them as reasonable assumptions.
posted by LogicalDash at 10:24 AM on July 27, 2011


So, Bulgaroktonos, you don't want me to get you one of these, then?
posted by Chrysostom at 10:25 AM on July 27, 2011


Please don't make that harder for me by reminding me that they come from the a city where people do things like say "City of Champions" with a straight face or root for the Steelers.

Not all of us, I swear. There's a fairly loyal fanbase for the Bucs, regardless of how they're doing. But you'd be surprised at how often you see things like this.
posted by librarianamy at 10:28 AM on July 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


Upon further deliberation, I think the ideal solution to this is to resolve regular season tie games with a quick home run derby.
posted by feloniousmonk at 10:44 AM on July 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


As a Red Sox fan, I'm glad Julio Lugo is playing for the Braves.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:52 AM on July 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


At least part of the reason we still don't have instant replay in baseball is that Bud Selig has been doing everything in his power for the last 20 years to speed up the game.
posted by CRM114 at 10:52 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Upon further deliberation, I think the ideal solution to this is to resolve regular season tie games with a quick home run derby.

That is every bit as logical as ending level soccer matches with penalty shoot-outs. Which is to say - not logical.

But I'm all for it. :D
posted by CRM114 at 10:53 AM on July 27, 2011


I dunno...seems this one was equally bad, and had a much worse result.
posted by VicNebulous at 10:54 AM on July 27, 2011


Yeah I think Expos gear is currently on a retro-cool trend or something

That's definitely it. There weren't that many of us watching in the Big Owe back then, and we still have our original gear, still smelling of stale Labatt Cinquante, thank you.

Get off my astroturf.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:02 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it would have been funny, when the Pirates were wearing the pillbox caps, if their catcher and batters wore similarly-shaped helmets. That's my two cents.
posted by not_on_display at 11:10 AM on July 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Please help me understand why "the texture of the sport" and "multiple versions of truth" are more valuable than fair play.

Because all games are metaphors for life, and baseball is a particularly good one, and the concept of 'fair play' in baseball, as in life, comes down to a lack of objective truth and that is a core given of reality. In this case (worst call in history) many (but not all!) impartial viewers will agree that Julio 'I suck and make everything around me suck*' Lugo was in fact out, but many, perhaps even most of the calls aren't that clear cut.

Take the most basic building block of the game, balls and strikes. The strike zone is defined as
(...)that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.
So, essentially, an area the shape of home plate that extends from just below the players' knees (when standing straight up? When in stance? But wait, many players bounce a bit in the box, where do you define the beginning?) to their sternum (but if I pull up my pants, WAY up does that change the strike zone? What if I stand up straighter, or less straight? What if, again, my stance changes from moment to moment, pitch to pitch?). The situation is effectively impossible if you are looking to find an objective truth.

The same sort of thing applies to many tag plays - this one is fairly clear, but not all are, and many of them occur while the ball is still live, and where the call affects what is happening on the field right then - if a play at first is disputed with people on base, or trying to score, or whatever, what happens to the rest of the play as it unfolds? Impossible. You have to call them like you see them and let the chips fall. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.

So, to bring it back to the actual replay question: it would not be worth the cumbersomeness of implementing instant replay for the handful of times that instant replay would actually help. Any more than they already have: fair/foul, in/out of play, fan interference.

* I'm a Red Sox fan too.
posted by dirtdirt at 11:27 AM on July 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


The thing that I like about the Nationals is that it looks like people who wear their caps are advertising for Wegmans' W-Up soda (their 7*Up knockoff). Or Walgreens.

<Norm MacDonald>Oh hey 'ere, you a big Walgreens fan, are ya? What's that? Oh, you root for a different corporation? Well, arighty then.</Norm>
posted by Eideteker at 11:29 AM on July 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


As an occasional umpire, I can tell you that there is a common saying among umpires, "Strikes and outs get you home."

After 18 innings of any game, I'd probably err on the side of getting me home. That shouldn't happen in the bigs, but in this case, I suspect it did.

Jerry Meals is pretty widely known as a bad umpire - whether he blew the call or just wanted to go home doesn't matter - he lived up to his reputation.
posted by grajohnt at 11:57 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Because all games are metaphors for life, and baseball is a particularly good one, and the concept of 'fair play' in baseball, as in life, comes down to a lack of objective truth and that is a core given of reality. In this case (worst call in history) many (but not all!) impartial viewers will agree that Julio 'I suck and make everything around me suck*' Lugo was in fact out, but many, perhaps even most of the calls aren't that clear cut.

If only there were an easy way to revisit the situation, to examine it closely through an apparatus specifically designed to give objective reporting of exactly what happened, so those close calls could become inarguably clear.
posted by kafziel at 12:03 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


If only there were an easy way to revisit the situation, to examine it closely through an apparatus specifically designed to give objective reporting of exactly what happened, so those close calls could become inarguably clear.

I think replay might help in certain instances, but to imagine that it will render all calls "inarguably clear" is fantasy, and to assert that implementing replay would be easy is a little glib. I think baseball wouldn't be all that harmed by it so long as uses of replay were limited, much like challenge flags, since baseball is already slow and plodding with intermittent action as its primary feature. It wouldn't be like implementing replay in soccer, for example. But replay isn't going to remove controversy or render games 100% clear; it hasn't done so anywhere else it's been inserted.
posted by Errant at 12:13 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The call, by far, wasn't the worst in the history of baseball.

Show me a worse call. There are some with more significance (Galarraga's perfect game, Kevin Gregg's ridiculous strike zone for Livan Hernandez), but I honestly don't think I have ever seen a worse call in major league baseball.

This call is so bad that he should have been overruled by one of the outfield umps.

Instant replay wouldn't have solved this.

I also think this is true. If instant replay is installed (it already is for home runs, right?), this won't be the sort of call that is reviewable.

it wasn't a great tag, as has been said

What more do you want from McKenry? Should he punch the runner in the face after he tags him?

That said, I think consultation with the ump on the 3rd base line might've helped prevent this.

That is really what should happen, and occasionally does, when umpires are acting properly. If he had any confusion, he should have asked for help. (Yeah, right.)

You know, it's easy to hate on the Nationals, but I feel like they're building a decent fan base in DC.

...

Fuck that team

Seriously, fuck the Washington Nationals and the stolen Quebecois horse they rode in on with whatever is the most unpleasant fucking material available.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:20 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think replay might help in certain instances, but to imagine that it will render all calls "inarguably clear" is fantasy

Seriously. For anyone who thinks instant replay prevents sports travesties, ask the Oakland Raiders (or the 2002 NFL champion New England Patriots).
posted by mrgrimm at 12:23 PM on July 27, 2011


You know the last time a Braves player slid into home to win a tight game against the Pirates? That's right, game 7 of the 1992 NLCS. Ok, probably not...but possibly.

Anyway, I was a 9 year old Bucs fan in 92, and had lovingly collected the entire roster in that year's TOPPS baseball cards. How do you think the next 10 years felt?

So then I find myself living in DC, and we're about to get a local team. I still "follow" the Pirates at that point, as much as anyone can follow a team that hasn't broken .500 in 12 years. I still wore Pirates caps!

So it was with great pains, and feeling a bit the traitor, that I bought a Nats cap and went to some games. Hey, they played .500 ball that year! This feels good! Sorry, Pirates, there's a new game in town!

Oh wait. .500 would prove to be high water mark for the Nats. But now the Pirates are threatening to have a .500 season! It's back to the black and yellow, baby!

(Bonus: Next year I'll be living near Boston. Get ready for an epic collapse, Sox Nation)
posted by jermsplan at 12:28 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eric Santana pitched a no-hitter today. Strangely, it was not against the Rays.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:37 PM on July 27, 2011


Another sign that being a Bucs fan is guaranteed to cause a person pain, one way or another. It's either a season where they are mathematically eliminated from major league baseball or a shit call in favor of Atlanta - ATLANTA, of all teams. It is always, always something.

Sigh. I'm not a baseball fan of any significant sort, but I've got a soft spot for all the Pittsburgh teams, including the Pirates. I remember the days of cheap tickets and cheap beers and easy bus trips down to Three Rivers Stadium from CMU - hell, I remember even driving down for double-headers when we were kids, with coolers full of lunch and snacks and drinks, and having a hell of a good time. Maybe that's why I'm not really a MLB fan anymore.

Get off my lawn.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 12:37 PM on July 27, 2011


Ervin Santana. Where'd I get Eric from?
posted by dirigibleman at 12:38 PM on July 27, 2011


This isn't in any way the catcher's fault. Holding the tag longer on the runner increases the chance of losing control of the ball. The proper way to make that play is precisely what McKenry did: make the tag and then hold up your glove to show the ump that you have control.
posted by rocket88 at 12:39 PM on July 27, 2011


And the Pirates have filed a formal complaint.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:40 PM on July 27, 2011


This isn't in any way the catcher's fault.

No, it's not. But he could have made a more convincing tag. That was as close to missing the runner as possible. Rarely do you need this many angles to try and see if a tag is made when a runner is out by that much.

I can see how the umpire might think he possibly, just might have missed the tag. But in that situation, with the runner out by that distance, with the angle the umpire had, I don't see how he makes that call. Terrible.

They still don't use instant reply in MLB? Ridiculous.
posted by asnider


If you're unaware if MLB uses replay or not, you may not be qualified to know if it's ridiculous or not. I know nothing about quantum physics, but I can give you my thoughts on it if you'd like.

Let's make a deal. You can keep the Instant Replay out of baseball when I can keep baseball out of my MetaFilter, my social media, and my nearby workplace conversations. Because I don't want to hear calls debated over and over again.
posted by Eideteker at 11:41 AM


Yet you just couldn't. stay. away. from this thread. Sounds like a problem of your own creation.
posted by justgary at 12:51 PM on July 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just goes to reinforce what Clevelander's already know: don't piss off Pittsburgh sports fans.
posted by Slackermagee at 12:55 PM on July 27, 2011


dirigibleman: "And the Pirates have filed a formal complaint."

Is the complaint just a gesture? Can it make any real difference?
posted by zarq at 1:01 PM on July 27, 2011


ardgedee: Am I alone in suspecting the ump accidentally on purpose blew the call so he could end the game and go to bed?
Yes, I think you are alone. Jerry Meals is a shitty ump (many are, and there's no accountability), but I don't for a second think an umpire would do that. Besides, the umpiring crew is led by the homeplate umpire, and they have the latitude to call the game when it gets late enough, to be resumed tomorrow/at a later date. If he felt he was too tired to umpire, or it was too late to play, he had the latitude to postpone the game after that inning anyway. Not like he had to be up at work early the next morning for his day job...


I do believe baseball should have an NFL style instant replay; each team/manager gets 2-3 "replays" a game, for anything- even balls and strikes I'd argue (there was a game last year where a lousy call on what was ball 4, and would have walked home the tying run, was instead called a strike and ended the game- I think it was Johnny Damon/the Tigers involved in that one).

It wouldn't add much time to a game (and who are these people thinking games are too long? They are just as long as they need to be- that's part of the beauty of baseball), and it would allow for a review of questionable plays like this. In some cases, the play wouldn't be any clearer from multiple angles, but like NFL the only question is whether the replay has overwhelming cause to overrule the call. Really the biggest complicating factor would be in games where changing an out call to safe would have ripple effects, such as runners advancing/not-advancing, or double plays nullified, etc. Actually, there was a Red Sox game I think early this year where the umps basically blew a call and it had a weird ripple effect on the field; can't recall the details, but they tried to sort it out after the fact and the Sox got screwed.
posted by hincandenza at 1:03 PM on July 27, 2011


As a new-this-year Pirates fan

FRONT RUNNER!!!

Kidding! Just never thought I'd get to say that to a Pirates fan, so I'm seizing the opportunity.
posted by inigo2 at 1:08 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


> and who are these people thinking games are too long?

I can't speak for whoever you were addressing that to, but in my case, it's less that I think they are too long and more that I don't want to see them get any longer.

I also don't really want to give the networks an opportunity to start introducing mid-inning ads. I feel like once they get a taste for it we might eventually be looking at NFL style nonsense, which in my experience has totally ruined the experience of attending a game in person.
posted by feloniousmonk at 1:09 PM on July 27, 2011


You shouldn't swipe when you tag unless you have to. Plant the glove on the runner. It's fine to second guess umps after watching 10 replays in slow motion, but I can see how he thought the tag missed (plus it was 19 innings, he probably wanted to go home.)
posted by notmydesk at 1:10 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


To clarify, I am not against introducing replay for plays at the plate. I don't like the idea of there being that many opportunities for review, or having review initiated by the teams themselves vs. some sort of "booth review" approach.
posted by feloniousmonk at 1:13 PM on July 27, 2011


Lugo knew he was out. He was totally surprised by hearing that call. He wasn't even close to the bag and it looked to me like a picture perfect tag. It'll take a little time to be able to let that call rest comfortably in the archives. Lugo is a lucky player.
posted by Anitanola at 1:14 PM on July 27, 2011


You shouldn't swipe when you tag unless you have to. Plant the glove on the runner.

A million times this. The continuous motion gives the illusion of no tag. Just stick the glove on the guy and leave it there.
posted by schoolgirl report at 1:19 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I also don't really want to give the networks an opportunity to start introducing mid-inning ads.

Thanks for that. Now, let's look at the Geico box score brought to you by Pepsi Blue!
posted by hijinx at 1:19 PM on July 27, 2011


By ads I meant commercials.
posted by feloniousmonk at 1:21 PM on July 27, 2011


Kidding! Just never thought I'd get to say that to a Pirates fan, so I'm seizing the opportunity.

Six years I spent without a team, after the theft of my beloved Expos. SIX YEARS of just following 'the game', which is no way to follow the game AT ALL. And I eventually settled on the Pirates, and so far, I'm happy. Je ne regrette rien!

posted by Capt. Renault at 1:27 PM on July 27, 2011


Let's make a deal. You can keep the Instant Replay out of baseball when I can keep baseball out of my MetaFilter, my social media, and my nearby workplace conversations. Because I don't want to hear calls debated over and over again.
posted by Eideteker at 11:41 AM


You know, it's interesting to me that you say that.

Because I'm not a baseball fan. I like soccer and football and find baseball interminably slow going. I groan out loud when my husband turns on his team (Rays), and try to convince him that none of the games early in really matter anyway because they play so damned many of them in a year. He well knows that baseball is surpassed only by golf on my list of Most Boring Sports To Watch In Real Time.*

But when players are on the field for almost seven hours and then the night ends on such a controversial call, even I am interested. I felt it made a good post: the record time of the game, the annoying little girl yelling "Go, Pirates!" all night, how much the Pirates have riding on this, the umpire's bad reputation going in.

I wonder how these guys, on both teams, are going to suck it up and come back and play tonight, when they are utterly exhausted and tempers are sure to be frayed going into the game.

And, even though I'm not a fan, I find myself charmed by the passion of the stalwart Pirates fans. So I might just watch a little bit of baseball tonight, and cheer on their team, too.

*Incredibly bad taste, sure, but I have to admit South Park's version of 'EA Sports Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11" makes golf a lot more interesting.
posted by misha at 1:27 PM on July 27, 2011


Apparently Meals is on 3rd base tonight, right in front of the Buccos' dugout. That should be interesting.
posted by Fister Roboto at 1:31 PM on July 27, 2011


Oh, it made a good post, but with Instant Replay, it wouldn't have even happened. =)
posted by Eideteker at 1:35 PM on July 27, 2011


The run scoring ended the game.

Ah, sorry -- I thought there were two outs.
posted by statolith at 1:36 PM on July 27, 2011


zarq: "Is the complaint just a gesture? Can it make any real difference?"

Nah.

posted by Chrysostom at 1:41 PM on July 27, 2011


If the ball is jarred out in the planting of a tag, however, you're screwed. I used to catch and got roped into a co-ed softball game where, to avoid a sweep tag on a girl's head, breasts or lady area I ended up essentially punching her in the bread basket. With two hands. An ole tag would have been a better option in this scenario also yes.
posted by tigrefacile at 1:43 PM on July 27, 2011


As stated before, I think things such as instant replay and KZone tech should be used, at minimum, to hold Ump's accountable for their calls. Might not change the outcome of a game, but it would ideally, make the Ump's take a few breaths before making a close call.

Too many solo bad calls (assuming that if it was a close call, you brought in other umps to confer with, it would minimize the damage)? Strike Zone drifting too much over the course of the game (one of the big complains against Meals)? Sorry, you don't have a job anymore, or you get to go back to Ump camp or minor league games, or you go to 3rd base.

Do I see the Umpire's group implementing those changes? Probably not, because it questions their job security. But those guys need something to encourage them to make the right call and not be lazy about it, which I feel like someone like Meals has shown himself to be in those situations.
posted by mrzarquon at 1:44 PM on July 27, 2011


And I eventually settled on the Pirates

Wait...the Expos left for DC and you eventually settled on the Pirates, while I finally gave up on the Pirates to root for the Nats?

Capt. Renault, why can't we love good teams?
posted by jermsplan at 1:46 PM on July 27, 2011


Say, Earl Weaver, what do you have to say about this? (NSFW language)
posted by evilcolonel at 1:59 PM on July 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


MLB says "We're real sorry" to the Pirates.
posted by octothorpe at 2:12 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


A million times this. The continuous motion gives the illusion of no tag. Just stick the glove on the guy and leave it there.

FTA:

"Not only was Lugo a dead duck, the batter, Scott Proctor, fell on his way to first, so the Bucos could've turned two to end the inning."

Not that the catcher was doing that, but that's one reason to make a quick tag.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:35 PM on July 27, 2011


MLB: "We know that this is not a product of a lack of effort."

Questionable. Or depends how you define effort. It was definitely a loss of focus. It seems like he made the decision before the play happened.

As a referee and umpire, I can understand the mistake. But I obviously never made it on such a stage (nor made it my career ... though I did get $8/hr for umpiring).

I'd rather the MLB just said "yeah, it was a mistake" and then explain the system for disciplining umpires who make lots of mistakes and/or rewarding umpires who don't make mistakes.

but that would be asking too much.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:40 PM on July 27, 2011


I groan out loud when my husband turns on his team (Rays)

I think I've found your problem.
posted by docgonzo at 3:08 PM on July 27, 2011


"Jerry, who is a hard-working, respected umpire..."

And that's where I stopped believing anything he said.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:22 PM on July 27, 2011


As usual, Joe Posnanski's take on the call is well worth a read.
posted by TedW at 3:34 PM on July 27, 2011


I don't know, they have video replay in the NHL now and people still bitch about the calls. It can be even worse because then it heads into conspiracy theory territory.
posted by mannequito at 3:43 PM on July 27, 2011


Let me try that Joe Posnanski link again.
posted by TedW at 3:53 PM on July 27, 2011


Video is down. Anybody got a mirror link?
posted by meadowlark lime at 4:00 PM on July 27, 2011


Hating the Nationals is for people who don't have the balls to hate an established team, much less one whose fanbase isn't comprised primarily of policy wonks who ride recumbent bicycles.
posted by exogenous at 4:09 PM on July 27, 2011


So then I find myself living in DC.... I still wore Pirates caps!

Tell me it was the old painter's cap style. Those things were hilarious. Oh, you poor Pirates fans.
posted by Hoopo at 4:45 PM on July 27, 2011


if THAT'S the worst call in the history of baseball...you've got some amazingly adept umpires.

(not that I would care...baseball to me is like cricket -- a snooze waiting to happen.)
posted by ecourbanist at 4:54 PM on July 27, 2011


Video has been taken down by "BLB Advanced Media". Congratulations baseball dudes, you almost got an un-interested Australian to watch some of your sport, potentially gaining some mindshare and growing your market. Good thing you stopped that form happening.
posted by markr at 5:21 PM on July 27, 2011


This should be the proper video (hosted at mlb.com, so it's not going anywhere).
posted by mrzarquon at 5:27 PM on July 27, 2011


You do have to admit that the Washington Natinals so make themselves an incredibly easy target for mockery.
posted by feloniousmonk at 5:28 PM on July 27, 2011


Watching today's game, there was a poster saying "Atleast Sid Bream was safe!"

Video of the play in question.
posted by mrzarquon at 5:29 PM on July 27, 2011


Replaced the link in the post.
posted by cortex at 5:32 PM on July 27, 2011


I just saw a replay of a play from today's game where there was a similar situation with a runner coming in to score and they called him out again (this time it was legit). They panned to the crowd for a few seconds before they cut back to the other game and it looked like they were about to riot.
posted by feloniousmonk at 5:33 PM on July 27, 2011


Baseball? A who to the what, now?

<Searches>

Oh. Rounders. Like school-children play. That.

And people not only get paid to play it, and get paid to referee it, but other people pay to watch it? So, like second-order fun? Fun once-removed? Only, for money?

I understand. But I don't comprehend.
posted by sourcequench at 5:51 PM on July 27, 2011


cortex: "Replaced the link in the post."

Thanks, cortex!
posted by misha at 5:53 PM on July 27, 2011


Awesome contribution there, keep up the good work.
posted by feloniousmonk at 5:53 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I work at a sports bar, usually rather late into the wee hours. We had a few stragglers in there that managed to stay until the end of the game, and even the hardcore Braves fans were dumbfounded, saying things like "Uh, well, it's nice to win after that, but I'm not sure I'm all that proud of this sort of win." A few of them tossed around the "worst call" crap, as well, and others quickly pointed out a few more in the history of baseball that shut those guys up. Nobody was especially happy at the end of the game.

Frankly, the consensus in our little crowd was one of disappointment mingled with a bit of pride in any win. It wasn't the worst call, but it certainly wasn't one of the better ones.
posted by neewom at 6:02 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's funny, no-one holds a gun to my head and forces me to comment on FPPs when the subject doesn't interest me.
posted by desuetude at 6:19 PM on July 27, 2011


Baseball? A who to the what, now?

It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who deliberately enter a thread solely to tell us all how little they care about the subject.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:20 PM on July 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Baseball? A who to the what, now?



Oh. Rounders. Like school-children play. That.


When I first read that I assumed you were just another Brit still grumpy over the fact we kicked your ass in the eighteenth century, and again in the nineteenth, then bailed you out a couple of times in the twentieth century. But then I saw you live in Houston, where baseball has always been a children's game; they didn't call them the Lastros for nothing!
posted by TedW at 6:21 PM on July 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who deliberately enter a thread solely to tell us all how little they care about the subject.

Pshh... I used to do that on vinyl.
posted by inigo2 at 6:32 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Frankly, the consensus in our little crowd was one of disappointment mingled with a bit of pride in any win. It wasn't the worst call, but it certainly wasn't one of the better ones.

Yeah, I got the sense (watching the game last night, and part of the game today), that the real consensus was "really? that is how you are going to end a 7 hour grueling game? with a questionable call?"

If it happened in the 7th, no one would have cared. In any sport, the last thing Umpires and fans want to see happen is a game decided by the officials, and not the players of the sport. Even the victor's don't want their wins to ring hallow, knowing that there will always be some sort of exception associated with their win.
posted by mrzarquon at 6:37 PM on July 27, 2011


It was a shitty tag. I still can’t tell what happened after watching all the replays. I don’t know how instant replay would have helped here, the ump was standing right there. If the ump is consistently that wrong, you need better umps, not instant replay.

If I was making the call I would have to err on the side of the throw getting there 3 feet in front of the bag and say he got him. Then I’d tell the catcher that was a shitty tag. I’m sure the ump knows this, and he was standing right there.

What if the ump was right, and then the instant replay reversed his decision? Should we change calls because they look wrong on camera?

The idea in baseball is that you play a lot of games. Even that night, the Pirates had many chances to change the game. To say it came down to that one play is wrong. There were 19 innings to get an extra hit.

>Whenever I see bad calls like this I always get the most irritated with the lack of sportsmanship of the guy that gets the call in their favor. Julio Lugo should have been a fucking man and told the ump "He got me." Not jumping around like some happy little turd in a shit pool.<

I used to think this, but it’s not up to the players to make the calls. What if Lugo was wrong? If everyone weighs in with their opinion (and that’s all anyone can have) we now have a debate about everything. I don’t think that sounds fun. We appoint one set of people to make the calls and live with their decision.

There can be no more reliable judge than an impartial umpire standing right on the field, not cameras, not the players themselves. There can be no perfect judge.
posted by bongo_x at 6:43 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a huge Braves fan (apparently the only one in all of Mefi-land) and I didn't think Lugo was safe. Stayed up for the whole game and obviously wanted them to win but not like that.

But there were some good moments, like the girl yelling "Let's go Pirates!" the whole game... That girl drove me batshit insane. I wanted nothing more than for her to STFU.
posted by Nathanial Hörnblowér at 6:49 PM on July 27, 2011


And now it's tied 1-1 at the top of the 9th. Are they just going to do this over again tonight?
posted by mrzarquon at 6:52 PM on July 27, 2011


mrzarquon: "And now it's tied 1-1 at the top of the 9th. Are they just going to do this over again tonight?"

And to the top of the tenth we go!
posted by Chrysostom at 7:04 PM on July 27, 2011


A bad call, and that ref needs to retire, like yesterday. Apparently he's had a history of bad calls and a shitty attitude. But having said that, a plausible defense: from his angle it might've looked like the catcher didn't touch the runner with his glove. It might've looked like he just swiped the air just above the leg.

...yeah, I don't buy that either. Kill the ump!
posted by zardoz at 7:04 PM on July 27, 2011


I'm a huge Braves fan (apparently the only one in all of Mefi-land)

I'm right there with you; I still think it was a mistake to get rid of Chief Nok-a-Homa.
posted by TedW at 7:14 PM on July 27, 2011


No bad call tonight, haters!
posted by TedW at 7:25 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a huge Braves fan (apparently the only one in all of Mefi-land)

Really? Seems there are at least a few of us here, discussing a pretty crappy situation. You can be a fan and still be disappointed in the way a win went down.

At least the umpire in question from last night's game did, in interviews, admit that he probably did get the call wrong, and in his defense reiterating that he didn't see the tag. If the ump at the plate didn't see the tag for whatever reason - the angles suck, sometimes - he's still expected to make the best call he can (which, given last season's record of bad umps, isn't always actually true). Yeah, everyone was probably pretty tired but if he'd made an intentional bad call, I can't see him admitting all this so readily.
posted by neewom at 7:59 PM on July 27, 2011


Here's the "tag", frame by frame (Facebook photo album, use left/right arrow keys to go through the frames). It makes a good case that McKenry never connected with the tag. Also, you can see that Meals had the perfect line of sight to see if the glove actually touched.
posted by zsazsa at 9:50 PM on July 27, 2011


I'm stunned by the fact that the Pirates are only 1.5 out of first place.
posted by bardic at 12:15 AM on July 28, 2011


Oh I'm definitely disappointed by the win. Just seems like a lot of Braves haters up thread.
posted by Nathanial Hörnblowér at 9:28 AM on July 28, 2011


Here's the "tag", frame by frame...

... from second base, or the complete opposite angle as Meals. That's probably the worst angle possible. (He also obviously tags him between here and here.)
posted by mrgrimm at 9:37 AM on July 28, 2011


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