Umpire Weekend

I was planning to write a humorous obituary on the 2013 New York Yankees, but it’s already been done to death (excuse the pun). And who wants to relive a season that was so painful to watch? Girardi lost more than $100 million of payroll due to injuries and used 56 different players this season. So let’s stop thinking about the bad baseball we saw this season and enjoy some good baseball known as the World Series. And last night’s game was an instant classic.

The Red Sox lose in the bottom of the ninth on an obstruction call on their third basemen, Will Middlebrooks. Say what?! If that would have happened at Fenway, the fans would have clambered over the Green Monster like the zombies in World War Z. Pedroia made an excellent play to the plate, proving that he is the best 4-ft. tall second baseman ever. But Sox catcher Saltalamacchia zinged a throw past Middlebrooks and chaos ensued.

Now, for the past few days, the Boston sports media has been singing the high praises of the umpires with the emphasis on “they got the call right” on the Wednesday night play at second base. It was unprecedented—a gathering of all the umpires to discuss and reverse a call made at second base. Yes, it was the right call, but Cardinal manager Mike Mathany said that it was a tough one to swallow. And ironically, that’s exactly what Middlebrooks, Farrell, and the Boston media said after last night’s game! Now, the umpires aren’t getting an invitation to the postgame party in Boston.

At the press conference after the game, it was nice to see our old friend Joe Torre make an appearance and clarify the obstruction rule. (And I swear I heard him whisper, “Aaron Booooooone” as he moved the microphone around on the table.) Torre even mentioned the play with Miguel Tejada in 2003 where the obstruction rule favored the Red Sox. What goes around comes around.

Joe Torre:  "I'm actually enjoying this."  (photo by Ed Medina,

Joe Torre: “I’m actually enjoying this.” (photo by Ed Medina,

And to add another level of irony to it, the New England Patriots last Sunday had an obscure penalty called on them that allowed their opponent to kick the winning field goal. However, the Patriots team took the high road by admitting that the call was right. They owned the loss even further by saying that they’d had plenty of earlier chances and plays to win that game. They just didn’t capitalize on it and they lost as a team.

The Sox are doing the opposite with whines like “What else is Middlbrooks supposed to do after ending up in the dirt after missing the throw?” I’ll tell you what you do—come off the bag and catch the throw. Better yet, don’t make the wild throw to begin with—it had no chance of getting the runner. Bottom line: don’t make any more throws to third base from home plate. It has cost the Red Sox two games now. But don’t listen to me—I’m just a Yankee fan who’s finally enjoying some good baseball.

It gets late early out there.


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