Look: MLB umpires somehow miss blatant foul ball, call hitter out
Sometimes, MLB umpires will so blatantly miss a call that fans are left wondering why they still even have a job.
Perhaps the most egregious example of this came a little more than eight years ago. Tigers starter Armando Galarraga was one out away from a perfect game, and he would have made history if not for first-base umpire Jim Joyce.
The Indians’ 27th batter of the game, Jason Donald, hit a ground ball that should have been the last out of the game, but Joyce incorrectly said he was safe at first.
Back in 2010, MLB had yet to implement replay reviews for safe/out calls, so Joyce’s call was final.
Fast-forward to 2018, and despite the ability of managers to challenge plays on the field and ask for a video review, calls are still getting missed.
In large part, this is due to the fact that some things (like balls and strikes) are not reviewable.
Baseball “traditionalists” would say this is a good thing, as it ensures that the “human” aspect of the game doesn’t disappear.
Be that as it may, it also means that when an umpire misses one of those unreviewable calls, there’s nothing that can be done.
On Tuesday, for instance, in the eighth inning of a game against the White Sox, Twins hitter Max Kepler very clearly foul-tipped a ball off both of his legs. The ball then ricocheted off his body and landed in front of the plate.
The umpires, however, said it was a fair ball, and Kepler was thrown out at first to end the inning.
Take a look at the play below:
From the slow-motion replay, it’s obvious that the ball hit both of Kepler’s thighs after grazing his bat.
Obvious to everyone, that is, except the umpires.
“That’s terrible, that none of the four umpires have seen that,” the Twins’ TV announcer said. “Kepler fouled the ball off both legs! That’s terrible!”
The announcer had a point, as it’s incredible to think that four umpires missed what should have been an easy call.
The Twins still won the game 4-2, but that doesn’t let the umpires off the hook. This was a call they should have been able to make, even without video replay.
But will MLB do anything to address this? Well, that’s anyone’s guess, I suppose.
One thing is for sure: For the good of the game, MLB umpires need to be held accountable.
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