Sunday, July 3, 2011

Umpire Out for the Count

We have a new entry in the race for the title of worst umpire in baseball. Phil Cuzzi, who was already under consideration, added to his credentials on Saturday night when he allowed a batter a walk on just three balls.

This is the same ump who called a Joe Mauer double foul during a 2009 playoff game between the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees. That call was so bad it led to the addition of instant replay, which had long been kept out of the game because of the objections of purists.

Purists don't mind grievous errors by umpires because that's the way it was always done. That's just not a good enough reason to allow poor calls to stand.

Now, back to Saturday night. Cuzzi lost track of the count during a seven-pitch at bat. Cameron Maybin of the San Diego Padres took his base and came around to score the only run of the game. No one on the Seattle Mariners' bench protested. The Mariners' catcher didn't seem to notice. The fans didn't howl.

It reminds of me of the "Fifth Down" game when Colorado defeated Missouri in a key 1990 Big 8 (yes, it was long ago). The Buffaloes used the extra snap to score the wining touchdown.

Padres' Manager Bud Black says he knew what had happened, but wasn't going to argue about it for obvious reasons. Cuzzi's crew chief, Tom Hallion, was quoted as saying Cuzzi thought it was only ball three, but since the scoreboard had it as ball four, he figured he was wrong.

Say what? Cuzzi ceded his job to the scoreboard operator. It's past time for Major League Baseball to get rid of umpires who can't do the job. Joe West and Phil Cuzzi should be handed pink slips.

1 comment:

  1. Joe West gets my vote. And the Buffs cheated!

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