Is it easy to be an umpire? I doubt it. I once sprained an ankle and had to sit out a baseball scrimmage. Instead of playing, they sent me over to officiate at first base. I totally spaced out and was brought back to the moment by a bang-bang play happening right in front of me. I made no call until I realized that everyone on the field was standing there waiting for me to say something. Finally, I just called the guy out. I had no idea. It wasn’t a popular call with the team at the plate. I’d like to think though, if I was umpiring for my livelihood, I’d at least pay attention to the play. Of course then there are plays like last night’s Pirates/Braves game where the umpire is looking right at the action and still blows it, swallows the proverbial whistle. Here you go:
He’s standing right there. Not sure how he missed that one. The consolation prize is that the Braves added an extra game’s worth of innings onto an already taxed bullpen. Also, Brian McCann is hitting the DL, but we don’t take any consolation in injuries around here.
Of course, sometimes the umps get it all right. There was a close play at the plate in the Phillies game last night, but it had no impact on the outcome. It just had an impact on how jolly Phillies fans feel this morning. Chase Utley was almost thrown out on his inside-the-park home run attempt. Several things could have gone wrong there. Juan Samuel could be in witness protection this morning, but since he made it, we’ve all got a, “did you see that,” moment to talk about this morning. There was no reason to send him. None. But, the fans wanted it, and Utley wanted it, and thankfully we had the right umpire on hand to make the correct call. Take a look:
I’m just having a bit of fun here. Obviously, umpires miss calls all the time. It’s part of Americana, but those Braves did get fortunate last night. Luckily, they’re still six back. Who’s got a magic number calculation?