Umpires continue to struggle in playoffsby Eric Schwartz
It has been well-documented how bad the umpires have been during this baseball postseason.
Thursday night just added to it.
The umpires blew two more calls last night, one going against the Yankees and another going against the Phillies.
In this case, two wrongs don’t make a right.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports has a great column on the bad calls in the game, as well as in the postseason, as a whole. It can be read here: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-umps103009&prov=yhoo&type=lgns
The two calls in question were the line-drive that Howard one-hopped and a double play call on Chase Utley. On the line-drive the umpire ruled that Howard had caught the ball before it bounced, and Howard soon turned it into a double play, killing a potential Yankees’ rally. Replays showed that the balled was caught by Howard only after it hit the ground. He later admitted so.
Then, in the bottom of the eighth with two on and one out, Chase Utley hit a grounder that was turned into a double play. Replays showed that Utley was safe, but instead the inning was over and Ryan Howard did not get to come to the plate with runners on the corners.
There is no way of knowing how the game would have ended if both calls were made correctly. In the end, it might not have made a difference, but that doesn’t excuse the first-base umpire for making two bad calls.
Baseball is too stubborn to expand the use of replays for anything more than home runs, but it really needs too. Listen, the umpires are right over 95 percent of the time. Let replay make up for the other five percent.
I know it will make games longer, but it also makes them more honest. As Passan explains, the call against Utley took us away from seeing great slugger Ryan Howard face great closer Mariano Rivera with runners on first and third. That is a dream matchup from both sides – and we missed it.
I don’t blame the ups. In real time those plays are just too close to call. I blame the Major league baseball for not helping correct this. Replay must be expanded.
The games are already going over three hours; what’s another 10 minutes?