As a former umpire, I took special interest in this story this week. In the wee hours of the morning, in the bottom of the 19th inning, an MLB umpire blew a play at the plate. I mean, he flat out missed it:
Was this a worse call than last year’s blown call that resulted in ruining a perfect game? Maybe, since that call didn’t effect the outcome of a game — an important game in a pennant race, no less. Last year’s call only affected a personal record.
But, it has to be remembered that Jerry Meals, the home plate ump in this week’s game, had umpired the equivalent of a doubleheader behind the plate with no break. He’d called about 600 pitches. Unlike the base umpires, he had to be acutely aware on every pitch of the marathon game. Finally, at 1:50am, surely exhausted, he missed the call that decided the game.
Big deal. There are 161 other games. The length of the season is the main reason that MLB doesn’t need video replay — everything will even out over the long season, including bad calls.
HT: Kenton Self