Jim Leyland of the Detroit Tigers reacts after being thrown out of the game by second base umpire Chris Guccione as third base umpire Tim Tschida steps between them in the second inning at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Umpires blew a call in Boston on Monday that could have cost the Tigers a game. Even one of the umpires involved admitted the call was wrong. Wake up, Bud.
Last week, Commissioner-for-Life Bud Selig told a Wisconsin audience he doesn't think there's any call for more replay review in baseball:
"I've had very, very little pressure from people who want to do more," Selig said.
This is likely going to sound like the proverbial broken record, but in this case, Selig must not be listening to anyone in baseball. If you haven't seen this play from Monday's Tigers/Red Sox game, have a look:
Mike Aviles struck out. The ball was caught. It should have ended the Red Sox' second inning. Instead, Aviles' at-bat was allowed to continue by first-base (!) umpire Bill Welke. Aviles singled, driving in a run, and two more hits later, the Red Sox had a three-run inning to which they should not have been entitled. That was the difference in a 7-4 Boston win. After the game, Detroit manager Jim Leyland blamed the media:
"There should not have been a second-inning rally," Leyland said. "There were three outs. I've been in the game a long time. When a catcher catches the ball and it is strike three, you call the guy out.
"It's that simple, isn't it? I mean you guys need to write something and hold people accountable. You know what, we're all accountable in this business, and when I say, 'all of us,' I mean everyone who's involved in the game needs to be held accountable.
"There should not have been a rally in that inning. Have the nerve to write what you saw and say it — because I'm not going to sit here and rip the umpires. Write it and say something once in a while. Have the nerve to say something. Next question."
I guess Leyland isn't reading Baseball Nation, because I have written about this issue over and over and over and over and over and over and over until you all are probably sick of it, but it was time to do this two years ago, and Bud says he hasn't heard anything about it? Nonsense. Now, even his umpires are calling for it:
For record, umpires agree they got the call wrong. Bill Welke: "What looks crystal clear [on video] didn't look crystal clear from 1B line."— DKnobler (@DKnobler) May 28, 2012
The arguments against review just don't wash. Set up a replay system now at MLB Network headquarters and connect it to ballparks by cellphone. It wouldn't slow the game down any more than the ridiculous umpire/manager arguments do now.
I know, I keep repeating myself in these articles. But Bud Selig keeps repeating himself, too, with something that simply isn't true. All sorts of people are calling for additional replay review in baseball. It's time for Bud to listen, before losing a game in this way costs a team a postseason spot, or worse, a postseason series.