Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Give the Ump a Break

Brian Knight appears to have made a
good call, but  was criticized anyway.
I haven't been reticent to criticize the state of umpiring, especially as practiced by Joe West, Angel Hernandez and Phil Cuzzi (and boy does this trio need practice). But even when umpires make a seemingly good call they get bashed sometimes.

Such is the case with the final out in last night's game between the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays. C. Trent Rosecrans at used his space this morning to write about how a blown call ended the game.

The play in question happened with runners and first and second and two out in the ninth and the Jays trailing by a run. A base hit to short left was scooped up by Sox left-fielder Darnell McDonald who fired a strike to catcher Jason Varitek. Varitek had the plate blocked perfectly. Edwin Encarnacion slid in hard and was tagged and then called out by Brian Knight, the home-plate arbiter.

You'd think that would end the discussion. But on replays, Encarnacion's right leg sneaks past Varitek's shin guard. The problem is that no replay angle shows for sure whether his foot touched the plate or passed over it.

I understand the Blue Jays arguing about it. But media, and even bloggers, should try to be objective when calling out umps or players. Most who commented on Rosecrans' post said they couldn't tell if the runner was safe.

Sometimes even the men in blue need a break. Or at least a fair shake.

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