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Thursday, October 24, 2013

GIF: Umpires overturn blown call at second base in World Series Game 1

With men on first and second and one out in the bottom of the first inning, David Ortiz hit a weak grounder to second base that looked like a potential double play ball. Matt Carpenter flipped to Pete Kozma for the first out ... then this happened:

Second base umpire Dana Demuth called Dustin Pedroia out at second base, saying Kozma bobbled the transfer. Obviously that was not the case. Kozma just flat out missed the ball.

It looked like the Cardinals got a big break, but the umpiring crew got together and talked the play over after an argument by Red Sox manager John Farrell. After a minute or two, the call was overturned and Pedroia was awarded second base. Everyone was safe, as they should have been. It took a few minutes, but bravo for the umpires getting the call right.

Thanks to Doug.

Repoz Posted: October 24, 2013 at 05:31 AM | 62 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: world series

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 24, 2013 at 09:28 AM (#4582077)
#### Pete Kozma.
   2. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 24, 2013 at 09:46 AM (#4582096)
#### Pete Kozma.


I dunno, he seems like a nice chap to me.
   3. BDC Posted: October 24, 2013 at 09:52 AM (#4582099)
It's odd that Demuth could have blown the call, given how near he was and what a good angle he had. It's like he couldn't fathom somebody dropping a baseball. Of course, people make mistakes; I reckon Kozma couldn't fathom dropping the baseball, either.
   4. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: October 24, 2013 at 09:54 AM (#4582102)
Demuth said after the game he was watching Kozma's feet and didn't get a full view of the non-catch.
   5. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: October 24, 2013 at 09:55 AM (#4582103)
He was looking directly at the base. Because nothing is more important on a double play turn than whether the fielder's foot is on the bag when he receives the ball.

A complete guess as to whether he caught the ball.
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: October 24, 2013 at 09:59 AM (#4582109)
He was looking directly at the base. Because nothing is more important on a double play turn than whether the fielder's foot is on the bag when he receives the ball.



I found that odd as well, but it was obvious from the camera angle that he was clearly focused on the base. He probably looked up to see Kozma pulling his hand back as if the ball had slipped out on the transfer.

   7. BDC Posted: October 24, 2013 at 10:01 AM (#4582110)
Interesting. In effect both shortstop and umpire made errors because they were anticipating a smooth double play.
   8. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 24, 2013 at 10:11 AM (#4582130)
Interesting. In effect both shortstop and umpire made errors because they were anticipating a smooth double play.

The irony is that for one of the first times in history the SS had his foot on the bag when he received the throw from second.
   9. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: October 24, 2013 at 10:12 AM (#4582132)
Here's Demuth's actual quote:

"My vision was on the foot. And when I was coming up, all I could see was a hand coming out and the ball on the ground. All right? So I was assuming...It's an awful feeling, especially when I'm sure that I had the right call."


I'll certainly give the umps credit, they got the call right and weren't afraid to overturn Demuth.
   10. winnipegwhip Posted: October 24, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4582153)
I'll certainly give the umps credit, they got the call right and weren't afraid to overturn Demuth.


My question is would they have done this if instant replay was around the corner?
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: October 24, 2013 at 10:27 AM (#4582160)
His out symbol was weird too. It looked like he was strangling a baby squirrel.
   12. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 24, 2013 at 10:40 AM (#4582185)
Demuth said after the game he was watching Kozma's feet and didn't get a full view of the non-catch.


Yeah, let's watch only his feet. Forget about whether he actually catches the ball.

The hilarious part is that they never call the runner safe when the pivot man doesn't get his foot on the bag anyway. So why watch that instead of the thing you actually might call -- that he never had possession?

This is incompetence. And if he's too close from that angle then he should back up so he can get a full view.
   13. Davo Dozier Posted: October 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM (#4582202)
Watching the play live (from home, of course), I made the same "out" call as the umpire.
   14. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 24, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4582221)
His out symbol was weird too. It looked like he was strangling a baby squirrel.


He started to signal "out", and then transitioned into the "dropped in transfer" signal (mimicking a player pulling the ball out of his glove).
   15. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: October 24, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4582222)
I don't understand: what's the point of looking at the feet if you do not know when the ball is caught? At 1B umps listen for the catch, so wouldn't the non-catch have sounded bad to Demuth. Just bizarre from any interpretation.
   16. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: October 24, 2013 at 11:03 AM (#4582231)
"So I was assuming...It's an awful feeling, especially when I'm sure that I had the right call."

The hell is that supposed to mean? How, sir, were you sure that you had the right call when you were assuming something because you didn't see it?
   17. Morty Causa Posted: October 24, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4582240)
The Curse of '85. As a result the Cardinals suffer a meltdown and blame their World Series loss on this?
   18. JL Posted: October 24, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4582254)
The Curse of '85. As a result the Cardinals suffer a meltdown and blame their World Series loss on this?


For a group that allegedly plays the game the right way, they sure seem to fold up like a cheap suit the moment something bad happens.
   19. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: October 24, 2013 at 11:26 AM (#4582263)
FWIW, Joe Buck originally said "Out at second!"

I'm not trying to blame him. I would probably have as well.
   20. tfbg9 Posted: October 24, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4582266)
I was momentarily fooled as well.
   21. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: October 24, 2013 at 11:32 AM (#4582270)
I don't see why we're getting on the ump about this. He made a bad call, but it was overruled by the other umps and he was professional enough to admit that he blew it because he was expecting a completely routine play by Kozma in catching the ball and instead doing part of his job by making sure that the out at second wasn't a neighborhood play. I mean, I was shocked when watching the replay that it never went inside Kozma's glove, I thought it had bounced in and out before Kozma had possession- and I was watching the ball in real time, not watching to see if Kozma had his foot on the bag.

It was a good job by the ump crew, good for Demuth to admit he blew the call and accept being overruled, and next season we'll have the added benefit of instant replay being instituted for calls like this.
   22. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: October 24, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4582277)
We're getting on him because the call was so badly missed. The ump is 3 feet from the action and he thought Kozma caught the ball and lost it on the transfer, which frankly was blatantly not true upon watching it in real time.

The call wasn't even close.
   23. Davo Dozier Posted: October 24, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4582279)
Carpenter's toss over to Kozma was so odd on that play--he just kind of shoveled/lobbed it, despite the fact that they were far enough away that he really should have just done a normal throw (I'm assuming he thought he was a lot closer than he actually was, probably confused by the infield shift they employed against Ortiz--the Cardinals don't shift very much).

Odd play. I wonder if Carpenter's lousy throw there contributed to the umpire's error, too--he assumed it'd be an easy double play off the bat, then, upon seeing the lousy throw, shifted his focus to Kozma's feet to see if he'd stay on the bag long enough before getting out of the way of the runner.
   24. Spahn Insane Posted: October 24, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4582286)
FWIW, Joe Buck originally said "Out at second!"

I wasn't watching, but your description makes it sound like Buck actually expressed emotion during a baseball telecast. I find that hard to believe.

Then again, it's the Cardinals, so perhaps I shouldn't.
   25. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: October 24, 2013 at 11:48 AM (#4582289)
Honestly, Buck's been OK in that regard. He expressed quite a bit of emotion on both Ortiz' tying slam in Game 2 and Victorino's go-ahead slam in Game 6 of the ALCS.
   26. Nasty Nate Posted: October 24, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4582293)
The play reminded me of one in the '99 ALCS and gave me a bad feeling (until reversed).
   27. Spahn Insane Posted: October 24, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4582295)
Honestly, Buck's been OK in that regard. He expressed quite a bit of emotion on both Ortiz' tying slam in Game 2 and Victorino's go-ahead slam in Game 6 of the ALCS.

Yeah, I rag on him mostly out of habit. (Of the plays mentioned, I only saw/heard Ortiz's slam.) But he's still a nepotista who's not in the top half of his profession skill-wise, at least on the baseball side of things.
   28. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 24, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4582300)
Honestly, Buck's been OK in that regard. He expressed quite a bit of emotion on both Ortiz' tying slam in Game 2 and Victorino's go-ahead slam in Game 6 of the ALCS.


And on the Beltran catch.
   29. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 24, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4582304)
And if he's too close from that angle then he should back up so he can get a full view.


Yeah. If DeMuth is positioned five or ten feet back, he can see the player's entire body, both the process of catching the ball and the process of putting his foot on the bag. If you can't see one or the other, you've put yourself in position to blow the call.
   30. Curse of the Graffanino (dfan) Posted: October 24, 2013 at 12:02 PM (#4582305)
We're getting on him because the call was so badly missed. The ump is 3 feet from the action and he thought Kozma caught the ball and lost it on the transfer, which frankly was blatantly not true upon watching it in real time.

Being 3 feet from the action probably made it harder to get the call right. Back up 10 feet and at least the ball and glove are in your peripheral vision and you can see that the ball never stops.
   31. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 24, 2013 at 12:10 PM (#4582309)
I don't see why we're getting on the ump about this.


Because he blew a routine call, and then we hear him say that he wasn't even looking at the ball.
   32. dave h Posted: October 24, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4582315)
Completely disagree with #23. That was a perfect feed from the 2B. It's possible he could have gotten the ball there a little quicker if he turns his hips and goes overhand, but as it was he got it there fast and in perfect position to turn what should have been a DP with Ortiz running.
   33. Nasty Nate Posted: October 24, 2013 at 12:13 PM (#4582316)
Does anyone think the umps were given a memo before the series to watch out for the pivot man's foot coming off of the keystone? I think the Sox got away with a blatant "neighborhood" play or 2 in the ALCS.
   34. Lassus Posted: October 24, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4582320)
While I grasp that the Raytronic JLord model 50 would be an exemplary umpire in all respects, I'm less likely to accept the whole thing is as easy as is being put forward here.
   35. spycake Posted: October 24, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4582322)
Does anyone think the umps were given a memo before the series to watch out for the pivot man's foot coming off of the keystone? I think the Sox got away with a blatant "neighborhood" play or 2 in the ALCS.


That's what I thought. If not a memo, at least the umps were aware of it?
   36. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 24, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4582332)
Frankly if more games were umpired like last night we wouldn't be subject to the evils of instant replay next year. Demuth blew the call, they got together and told him "you missed it" and they reversed it. No harm, no foul. I wish umps would be more willing to get together on this sort of thing.
   37. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: October 24, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4582336)
I was surprised that some people seemed to put a lot of the blame for the inning on Kozma. Wainwright gave up a walk, a line drive out, a line drive single, a weak grounder, and a line drive double. He wasn't exactly sharp.
   38. Perry Posted: October 24, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4582339)
As #29 says, I learned in Umpiring 101 not to get too close on a force play, for precisely that reason -- you want the ball AND the fielder's foot in your line of vision. You can't really focus on both at once, even from some distance, but you can shift focus from feet to ball and back quicker and you definitely get a better overall view of everything that happens. On a tag play, it's good to get your nose in there. On a force play, stay back.
   39. spycake Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:04 PM (#4582355)
Didn't see the video -- could the ump's justification just be a cover for bad judgement? Sounds like some excuse I would come up -- I got it wrong, but only because I was doing something else that seemed reasonable...

In any case, the Cardinals were doomed anyway, and I too would love to see the umps "self-correct" as a group more often. Maybe just keeping the looming prospect of replay hanging over them was enough to do that? Without actually needing to implement/expand replay?
   40. SoSH U at work Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:06 PM (#4582357)
Didn't see the video -- could the ump's justification just be a cover for bad judgement?


From the angle over the pitcher's head, it was clear his attention was fixed on the base.
   41. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4582358)
Demuth blew the call, they got together and told him "you missed it" and they reversed it. No harm, no foul. I wish umps would be more willing to get together on this sort of thing.


Exactly. I feel like the outcome was good, and the process was good. The mistake was Demuth putting himself in a bad position to see the whole play, but that mistake was quickly rectified with a minimum of fuss. Yeah he blew the call, but the umpiring staff got it right.
   42. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4582369)
Professionally handled, glad they got the call right. Great to see the umpiring staff work as a unit.
   43. OsunaSakata Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4582380)
Demuth seemed to be about 7-8 feet away, rather than 3-4 feet away as others have said. If he were really that close, wouldn't the umpire be in the way? On the radio Dan Schulman's initial call was an error.
   44. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: October 24, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4582383)
McCarver had it right, too, from the start.
   45. BDC Posted: October 24, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4582473)
That was a perfect feed from the 2B

I thought so too: hit the SS in the glove, after all.

McCarver, again to his credit, pointed out that Kozma wasn't coming straight across second base as he would in a normal configuration, but rather circling back to it from his position on the shift. Shouldn't matter if the ball hits the glove, but it's one more factor: it wasn't an utterly routine play.
   46. SoSH U at work Posted: October 24, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4582475)
That was a perfect feed from the 2B


I thought so too: hit the SS in the glove, after all.

I wouldn't call it perfect. It should be on the outfield side of the bag (Kozma's glove side), rather than directly at it, which puts him further into the runner's path than you'd like. And it was slightly too far for an underhand/backhand flip. Still good enough that the DP should have been turned (considering the runner), but it could have been better.

   47. Davo Dozier Posted: October 24, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4582490)
I just realized I wrote "the Cardinals rarely shift" without checking to see if that was true--is it?

I was relying solely on stereotypes when I wrote it...
   48. Davo Dozier Posted: October 24, 2013 at 03:48 PM (#4582491)
#28--He showed more emotion than Beltran did!
   49. Dale Sams Posted: October 24, 2013 at 04:24 PM (#4582508)
Frankly if more games were umpired like last night we wouldn't be subject to the evils of instant replay next year. Demuth blew the call, they got together and told him "you missed it" and they reversed it. No harm, no foul. I wish umps would be more willing to get together on this sort of thing.


Exactly. I don't WANT games stopped and reviewed for bang-bang plays. Would Farrell have thrown a flag on the near force-out from RF? Probably not...ohh...I don't want to get into the permutations of abuse when the simplest thing to do is have an ump with an earpiece and a review ump signal him when a really bad eff up happens exactly like last night. OR, the umps themselves can request a review in an important spot. Sort of like the Jim Joyce blown call on the perfect game. I'd bet if given the power to review Jim might have taken it upon himself to do so.

edit: Speaking of umps, I thought the strike zone was well called last night except for a couple. And I really wish Shane would tone it down, when your own player is starting to annoy you, something is wrong.
   50. cardsfanboy Posted: October 24, 2013 at 04:29 PM (#4582512)
For a group that allegedly plays the game the right way, they sure seem to fold up like a cheap suit the moment something bad happens.


Yep, just ask the Braves, Nationals and Rangers about that..... Seriously one series 30 years ago, in which you had a manager who historically likes to quit on the team, that is no longer affiliated with the team, is not evidence of their "folding like a cheap suit."
   51. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 24, 2013 at 04:36 PM (#4582514)
Was Wainwright rattled last night? The Sox knocked him around a bit (particularly in the first) and the pop up was UG-lee but he also seemed completely unhittable after the second inning and if the defense wasn't such a shitshow his night would have looked very very different.
   52. Davo Dozier Posted: October 24, 2013 at 05:11 PM (#4582533)
51--Not sure, but I dug through Wainwright's numbers this year, and it looks like this was a trend.

* Batters facing Adam Wainwright in the 1st inning this year: .326/.358/.518.

* Batters facing Adam Wainwright in every other inning this year: .233/.261/.325.

(Numbers do not include the post-season.)
   53. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 24, 2013 at 05:12 PM (#4582534)
I just realized I wrote "the Cardinals rarely shift" without checking to see if that was true--is it?

Best thing I can find is:

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs/2013/story/_/id/9809884/st-louis-cardinals-hidden-nlcs-edge-game-shifting-mlb

In 2013, 23 teams reached at least 100 shifts on balls in play, and 16 of them shifted more than the 242 times that led the league just two years ago. In total, the league shifted more than 8,000 times this season after being below 2,500 in 2010.

Of course, not every team has embraced the shift, and the two playoff teams with the fewest shifts in the regular season, the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers, are matched up in the NLCS. In fact, only the Washington Nationals (37) and Philadelphia Phillies shifted less in all of baseball than the Dodgers (51). The Cardinals were a bit more aggressive with their shifts, doing it 107 times.
   54. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 24, 2013 at 05:13 PM (#4582535)
.
   55. esseff Posted: October 24, 2013 at 05:15 PM (#4582536)
Was Wainwright rattled last night? The Sox knocked him around a bit (particularly in the first) and the pop up was UG-lee but he also seemed completely unhittable after the second inning and if the defense wasn't such a shitshow his night would have looked very very different.


He had a bunch of games this year where he was knocked around in the first and then settled in. His first-inning ERA was over 6 this season and is around 4 for his career. One popular explanation is that it sometimes takes him a while to get a feel for all of his pitches.
   56. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 24, 2013 at 05:19 PM (#4582538)
#### Pete Kozma.


As a Sox fan, I read that as LOVE Pete Kozma. More please.
I am also finding this whole "Cardinal Way" thing to be most enjoyable thus far..

It was a good job by the ump crew, good for Demuth to admit he blew the call and accept being overruled, and next season we'll have the added benefit of instant replay being instituted for calls like this.


I question your use of the term benefit here. This play was a perfect demonstration as to why you don't necessarily require instant replay. Something happened, a manager came out to further query, the experienced crew discussed it and came to the correct conclusion.
   57. Jeltzandini Posted: October 24, 2013 at 05:40 PM (#4582549)
In fact, only the Washington Nationals (37) and Philadelphia Phillies shifted less in all of baseball than the Dodgers (51).


Ruben Amaro bleeds away a few more runs.
   58. onehitwonder Posted: October 26, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4584009)
For you who think he's too close, and only three feet away from the play: that circular cut out in the turf that he is standing on the turf-side of is THIRTEEN feet from the bag! Look it up. Think, guys. You don't get to be a MLB umpire, let alone work post-season games, if you are not EXPERT at positioning yourself for call-making--and this is a routine situation. HE IS EXACTLY WHERE HE SHOULD BE. Umpires have to come up with explanations for public consumption to explain their enforcement of the "unspoken rules" of the game, one of which is that the 2B fielder is given wide latitude regarding touching the bag with his foot while holding the ball when attempting to turn a double-play with an incoming slider hell bent on taking his legs out from under him. The paying public wants to see some acrobatics, so the umpires relax the tag rule, and instead watch for malicious contact/interference during this little dance. This isn't small ball. The 2B umpire's job is not to focus on the catch, which might get muffed once in a couple hundred times at that level. One of the other umpires will have caught that in those rare instances, like they did, here. This is embarrassing, especially because explaining it to the public is made difficult due to the unspoken rules that can't be spoken of in public, but it is otherwise insignificant. All the parties that matter know it, even the pundits who know it won't speak it, because making it a spectacle spurs interest and viewership.
   59. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 26, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4584084)
that circular cut out in the turf that he is standing on the turf-side of is THIRTEEN feet from the bag!

In old pictures of Shibe Park (mid-1940's) there's an extra cutout, just to the right side on the infield grass.
Was this what that was? "Umpires: stand here"?
   60. onehitwonder Posted: October 27, 2013 at 03:59 AM (#4585219)
In old pictures of Shibe Park (mid-1940's) there's an extra cutout, just to the right side on the infield grass.
Was this what that was? "Umpires: stand here"?


I looked at a 1943 and a 1945 photo, and don't see anything in the infield like what you describe, to the right side or elsewhere in the infield. There are circular cutouts of the turf at each of the turf's four corners (at each bag), but that is standard and not "extra", so obviously not what you are referring to. I see rectangular cutouts in front of either base coach's box at first and third, which I consider odd/extra, but they are in foul territory, so they cannot be what you are referring to. Whatever you have seen, if it is specific to Shibe, then I cannot imagine it had anything to do with umpiring--it would exist in every park, if it did. As far as the reason for the standard 13-foot radial grass-free area around each bag, all I know is that it is considered a "slide area", and it appears that its origin stems from dirt being placed around the bags on fields that began as entirely grass, and has nothing to do with umpiring. I found no source for how 13 feet was determined to be the magic number for the slide area's circular radius.
   61. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 27, 2013 at 04:47 AM (#4585227)
The cutout at second base in Shibe Park can be seen in this photo.
   62. onehitwonder Posted: October 27, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4585466)
Ah, I had seen that image, but I'm quite certain that we are not looking at a cutout, there. However, the sparseness of grass at that spot was likely furthered by the base umpire, in what appears to have been a two-man system in those years, nesting there when a runner(s) was on. I would be interested to know whether there was something peculiar about Shibe at that time that caused base umpires to want to stand in that particular spot, such as direct sunlight or a reflection in their eyes during certain game times in the season, for example. Notice the condition of the entire field. There are similarly sparse patches around the true cutout at home, and elsewhere in some of the images taken this year. I used Google's image search to search for other internet instances of that particular image, and came across many interesting photos, including one of a football game where that exact spot was the center of the line of scrimmage (http://ballparks.phanfare.com/2414367# (at left are fourteen decks/albums to shuffle through, then shuffle through each individual deck's images over on the right side of the page)). It was clear that many other events went on in the park, including some honorary military stuff with vehicles--it was 1945, just after the conclusion of the war when these were taken. The 1943 image I saw of the park shows no sign of that sparse patch. I'm guessing that water was either in short supply circa these photos, or it was intentionally withheld to protect the field as best they could from the unusual and heavy activity it was having to support, in addition to being home to both the "A's" and the "Phillies". It appears that the mystery may have been perpetuated by the Boston Globe, which, in 1946, published a series of very elaborate cartoon-type drawings of 13 big-league parks, and the artist labeled this heavily worn area, "Unusual 2nd base cutout" (http://phillysportshistory.com/tag/shibe-park/). His line drawing has the effect of making it appear that the infield turf is otherwise in perfect shape, and that this sparse area near 2B has been cookie-cut from the turf.

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