I'm watching the Mets game tonight - they are playing the San Francisco Giants. Benji Molina just hit a ball that bounced off the top of the wall, and back into the playing field. Carlos Beltran managed to chase the ball down and hold Molina and the runner in front of him to 2nd and 3rd, that is... until the 3rd base umpire waved his little finger around in a circle to signal a home run. Willie Randolf immediately jogged slowly out on to the field - went to Bruce Froemming, the crew chief, who was the 2nd base umpire to state his case. Froemming didn't waste anytime and did the right thing by getting the crew together. After about 10 seconds of asking each other what they had for dinner tonight, Froemming turned and wagged the little finger again. How could any of them from the infield tell if it really hit the top of the fence or hit off the chest of the gentleman in the front row? The umps clearly made the wrong call, but it would have been hard for them to make the right call. This is the 2nd "non home run ball" that the Mets have had called against them in the last 3 games. On Saturday night Endy Chavez had a ball go in and out of his glove and fall back onto the field. Replays showed that Endy clearly robbed the D-Backs of a home run, but umpires in that game decided that a fan knocked it out of his glove and ruled it a home run. Mets radio announcers compared it to a Jeffrey Maier moment. Earlier tonight in the Cardinals / Rockies game with the score tied 2 - 2 and one out in the bottom the 9th, The following took place:
Troy Tulowitzki unloaded a shot to left field that hit off the metal fence atop the wall, but second base umpire Bob Davidson call the ball in play, leaving Tulowitzki with a double and manager Clint Hurdle so frustrated that he was given his first ejection of the season.
To the relief of fans in Denver, the Rockies ended up winning the game later in the inning anyway. Imagine, however, if these close calls were in the playoffs, or worse yet - the World Series. All 3 calls appeared to be the wrong calls, but in all honesty can you blame the umps? I realize that in the playoffs there are extra umps on hand up and down the left and right field lines, but only with a replay system in place do you ensure complete accuracy. I think baseball and its "old school" mentality could perhaps create more ugly moments in the postseason that replay could prevent.
Rockies beat Cards despite questionable call [Rocky Mtn. News]
Jeffrey Maier Wikipedia Page [Wikipedia]