Sunday, October 27, 2013

Praise for the umpires

From where I sit it looks like the World Series is starring the umpires...

But this is for all the right reasons. For the 2nd time in 3 games the men in blue got a major call right. And it was communicated effectively during the play. As a former umpire my eyes not only followed the ball as it skipped past Middlebrooks, but I was watching Jim Joyce at 3rd base. He made the call quickly. Leaving the outcome already resolved long before there was a play at the plate. Further to that, Dana DeMuth at home saw Joyce's call down the line and called Craig safe. I am fully in favour of baseball expanding instant replay. It's about getting the call right. The plays in games 1 and 3 prove something too. When the best umpires are on their game replays are hardly needed. It's easy and almost obligatory to pile on the umpires when they blow a call. At the same time, there must also be praise where it's due. These six are calling a great World Series. Let's hope they keep it up...

Speaking of that play there's plenty of blame to go around for the Red Sox.  Saltalamacchia shouldn't have thrown the ball to third.  There were now 2 out with Kozma on deck.  He was 0-for-4 on the night and 5-for-33 in the post season.  There was no reason to risk throwing the ball away.  Hold the ball and get the next batter.  As for Middlebrooks, he may have gotten the benefit of the doubt if he had just stayed where he was.  But, instead he lifted his legs and made Joyce's call easy.  It was clearly obstruction.  Obviously the right matter what the Red Sox think.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

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