There’s nothing wrong with admitting you might need some help. We’ve all been down that road once or twice, in our lifetime. In fact it just might make you a better person for admitting it. Which is exactly what MLB needs to be doing at the moment. Since they have a major problem concerning their umpiring crews. Or more specifically certain members of the crews. As it been the performance of a select few umpires in the last few days, that’s decided the outcome of games.
The first and most obvious would be the game between the Red Sox and Angels, in Game 1 of the ALDS series. As home plate umpire Joe West and CB Bucknor, who was calling the plays at first. Both had horrible nights and played a huge part in the outcome of the game. With West if was his lack of consistency in calling the balls and strikes all night. Since it seems and if you paid attention to the TBS Pitch Zone, he had a different strike zone for either team. Which was great for the Angels, but killed the Sox and their hitters the entire game.
Case in point being that Jon Lester and the Sox were being squeezed all night when it came to the strike zone. While John Lackey and the Angels seemed to have the calls going their way all evening. Which is down right horrible and wrong if you ask me, no matter who you root for. Now I will add that it’s one thing if an umpire is consistently horrible and calls it the same for both teams. But that’s not what West did, since he was obviously showing “bias” towards the Sox, with those calls.
Then it was the despicable night that Bucknor had at first base. Which MLB should be ashamed for and doing something about it. Like removing him from the rest of the series, would be a nice start. As he was clearly against the Sox. Sorry people there’s just no denying that. Since anyone who watched the game knows it for a fact. He blew two separate calls within the games first 5 innings. They were both calls that hurt the Sox and quite possibly effected the games outcome.
Now I do need to mention that the Angels did not “directly” score runs due to those calls. Because they didn’t. What it did do for the Angels was help them face Lester. Especially as his arm became tired, from having to toss more pitches. As the calls by West and Bucknor forced Lester to throw about 15 more pitches (early on) than was necessary. Which changed things as the game moved later into it, since by throwing those extra pitches. Lester became tired quicker and his pitches weren’t as smooth as they normally are.
Which is exactly what the Angels needed as they struck for 3 runs off the bat of Torii Hunter in the bottom of the fifth. With Lester’s pitch count getting up there (due to the umpires) Hunter used it for his advantage and took a pitch deep from the tiring Lester. Sending it deep into the rock quarry in center-field. Giving the Angels a much needed 3-0 lead at the time, while providing the only runs they needed on that night. Like I said Bucknor’s bad performance at first didn’t directly cost the Sox, but it did indirectly in the long run.
Then let’s flashback a few days to the 12th inning of the game between the Tigers and Twins. Brandon Inge of the Tigers, is at the plate with the bases loaded and one out. The first pitch from Twins reliever Bob Keppel, actually hits Inge on the uniform, but it’s called a ball. So instead of Inge going to first, the Tigers scoring a run while still having the bases loaded. Home plate umpire Randy Marsh made the wrong call (as replay would show you) which cost the Tigers at least one run.
If not more, since no one knows what might have happened the rest of that inning, if the right call was made. Not only did the call by Marsh “screw” the Tigers at the moment, it cost them the game. He was also a key part in them losing the AL Central and ending their season. All Marsh needed to do was ask for help (from another umpire) and they might been able to make the correct call.
Something even better would have been the ability to use instant replay in these matters. Since MLB is all ready using replay when it comes to home-run calls. Why not expand the measures of the replay so it can be utilized in other key areas of the game. Especially when they involve game changing moment, like in this case. Plus we all know that if MLB had the chance to use replay,these calls would have been overturned. Hell we all know that MLB and their umpires could have used it back in 2007 when the Rockies Troy Tulowitzki made that “phantom” tag of home.
They didn’t learn their lesson back in 2007, which makes me wonder why I’m wasting my time talking about now. It’s not MLB ever owns up and admits (steroids) that they have a problem. What makes me think they’ll actually start taking responsibility now. Besides it just might be there way to ensure that THEIR favorite team, the Yankees return to the World Series. By screwing teams that might derail them, like the Tigers and Red Sox!
Tags: 2009 ALDS Series 2009 American League Wild Card 2009 MLB Postseason AL AL Central AL East American League Bob Keppel Brandon Inge CB Bucknor Detroit Tigers Instant Replay In MLB Joe West John Lackey Jon Lester LA Angels Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim Los Angeles Angles Minnesota Twins MLB MLB Instant Replay MLB Umpires N.Y. Yankees New York Yankees Randy Marsh Red Sox Nation Steroids In Baseball TBS TBS Hot Corner TBS Pitch Zone TBS Post-Season Baseball TBS's Hot Corner Torii Hunter