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Strange Call By Umpires In Royals/Astros Game

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BigSlick 

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 11:27 AM

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With Mike Aviles on second and one out, Yuniesky Betancourt hit a soft liner that shortstop Geoff Blum appeared to trap. Second-base umpire Mike Everitt missed the call, ruling the ball had been caught in the air, and Blum stepped on second to double off Aviles for what appeared to be the final out.

Not so fast.

Yost came trotting out of the dugout to argue, but the umpires were already gathering before he got there. After deliberating for several minutes, they overturned the call and brought both teams back out to the field. Aviles was placed on third, and Betancourt was ruled out even though Blum never threw to first, as the umpires ruled that it was assumed that Betancourt would have been thrown out.


I guess this was the best thing the umps could do in the situation, but it's still a mess. I've been trying to figure out a better way they could have handled it and I can't figure one out. Any ideas?

http://sports.espn.g...ameId=300617107
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Mike LansWho 

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 12:18 PM

View PostBigSlick, on 18 June 2010 - 11:27 AM, said:

I guess this was the best thing the umps could do in the situation, but it's still a mess. I've been trying to figure out a better way they could have handled it and I can't figure one out. Any ideas?

http://sports.espn.g...ameId=300617107


Seems like a rare case where deliberating actually makes it worse. They should have either let the play stand as it was called or allow both runners to be safe. Assuming that the runner to first would have been out is a terrible precedent to set. I haven't seen that play in question yet, but seems to me like they should have let the call stand. Botched calls are just a part of baseball. Ask Armando Galaragga.
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Posted 18 June 2010 - 12:25 PM

View PostMike LansWho, on 18 June 2010 - 12:18 PM, said:

Seems like a rare case where deliberating actually makes it worse. They should have either let the play stand as it was called or allow both runners to be safe. Assuming that the runner to first would have been out is a terrible precedent to set. I haven't seen that play in question yet, but seems to me like they should have let the call stand. Botched calls are just a part of baseball. Ask Armando Galaragga.


I agree that making assumpions is a terrible precedent, but having the umps get together and then having them say "we know we blew the call, but since we blew it we are going to let it stand" doesn't work for me either.

Imagine if they had huddled up in game 6 and said "Yeah, ARod slapped the ball away, but we didn't call it immediately so Jeter scores and ARod stays at 2nd base."
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Posted 18 June 2010 - 12:49 PM

View PostBigSlick, on 18 June 2010 - 12:25 PM, said:

I agree that making assumpions is a terrible precedent, but having the umps get together and then having them say "we know we blew the call, but since we blew it we are going to let it stand" doesn't work for me either.

Imagine if they had huddled up in game 6 and said "Yeah, ARod slapped the ball away, but we didn't call it immediately so Jeter scores and ARod stays at 2nd base."

Except that umpires are already allowed to umpire based on assumptions, for example, in the case of a ground-rule double. The umps can rule that the runner on first would have scored. They choose to never do this, but they can. So umpiring based on assumptions is not really "setting a precedent" in and of itself.

Personally, I think they did as close to the right thing as they could have under the circumstances. You can't penalize the defensive team for not making the throw to first, as the initial ruling on the field eliminated the necessity for the throw. So you need to call Betancourt out as if the catch was made. But you can make assumptions about where Aviles would have ended up had the play initially been called correctly and the out was made on a throw to first. The Astros gets the presumptive out, the Royals get the presumptive advancement of the runner, and nobody really loses. I like how they handled it, aside from botching the initial call, obviously.
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Posted 18 June 2010 - 12:59 PM

View Postroidrage, on 18 June 2010 - 12:49 PM, said:

Except that umpires are already allowed to umpire based on assumptions, for example, in the case of a ground-rule double. The umps can rule that the runner on first would have scored. They choose to never do this, but they can. So umpiring based on assumptions is not really "setting a precedent" in and of itself.


I don't have the rule book in front of me, but I'm calling BS on this. I thought that rule was always clear-cut... each runner advances 2 bases.

View PostBigSlick, on 18 June 2010 - 12:25 PM, said:

Imagine if they had huddled up in game 6 and said "Yeah, ARod slapped the ball away, but we didn't call it immediately so Jeter scores and ARod stays at 2nd base."


I don't disagree, but again, how about the Galaragga situation? Seems like a much easier call to overturn than the other two examples.
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Posted 18 June 2010 - 01:04 PM

View PostMike LansWho, on 18 June 2010 - 12:57 PM, said:

I don't have the rule book in front of me, but I'm calling BS on this. I thought that rule was always clear-cut... each runner advances 2 bases.

Why did you call on me to settle it? Do you think I'm the best arbitrator on the board? [/sarcasm]

Even though you didn't mean me when you said you were calling BS, I looked it up anyway...

From baseball reference:

Quote

A ground rule double in either the technical or common sense allows all runners to advance exactly two bases. A runner from first base is thus required to stop at third, even if he obviously could have scored had the ball not gone out of play. This rigidness of awarding bases distinguishes ground rule doubles from fan interference, in which the umpire is free to award as many bases to each player as he deems appropriate.



Edit: For what it's worth, I thought Roidrage was right and the umps had the option to award 3 bases to a runner on a ground rule double, not just on fan interference.

This post has been edited by BigSlick: 18 June 2010 - 01:09 PM

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 01:14 PM

View PostBigSlick, on 18 June 2010 - 01:04 PM, said:

Why did you call on me to settle it? Do you think I'm the best arbitrator on the board? [/sarcasm]


This is why you're not worthy of SoSH membership.
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