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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Schoenfield: We have a new worst call ever

Last night’s Meals on Weals game that will forever leave a mark on Pirate fans…

Did I stay up until 2 a.m. watching the Pirates-Braves game that ended on the most controversial call since Jim Joyce ruined Armando Galarraga’s perfect game?

Yes, I did.

And it was something.

Twitter exploded immediately, with sympathy coming from across the country for America’s team. A Pirates fan who has lived in Italy for 19 years was watching the game and tweeted me in horror. Other Pirates fans called it the worst Pirates loss since the “Sid Bream Game” in 1992. Page 2 writer and Pirates fan DJ Gallo wondered just exactly where home plate umpire Jerry Meals had to go at 2 a.m. Joe Sheehan wrote that baseball is a wonderful game that deserves better than its umpires.

I simply said the call made me sad.

You can watch the video of the play in the bottom of the 19th inning that gave the Braves the 4-3 win. You can see a photo here. And a better one here. People tweeted that they saw a replay that was 100 percent conclusive that catcher Michael McKenry tagged out Julio Lugo (yes, Julio Lugo is still in the majors)

Repoz Posted: July 27, 2011 at 11:44 AM | 276 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, game recaps, pirates

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   201. Dan Evensen Posted: July 27, 2011 at 11:37 PM (#3887109)
I say that he tagged him, though the two replay angles shown on both broadcasts were pretty inconclusive. The problem is that it was a sweep tag -- he didn't block the plate Posey style.

Honestly, though, I can't remember the last time I saw a throw beat the runner by that much without the runner being called out.

By the way, this is great for baseball in general. There's nothing like a controversial call at the end of a long extra inning game to get people talking about the sport again. I'm hoping the Pirates overcome this and start winning again.
   202. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 27, 2011 at 11:41 PM (#3887118)
I find it disturbing that people really seem to think that what a 19 inning, six hour game really needed, most of all, at 2:00 in the damned morning of the day after the game started, was a 30 minute umpire huddle around a replay monitor having this discussion over and over again.


It would have been far preferable to the travesty that occurred.

You may make the case that the runner seemed to be out.

You may not make the case that the video/replay evidence is conclusive. It's simply not.


Yes, it is. One look at Lugo's reaction alone will tell you that. He didn't even freaking touch the plate until after he was called safe. He then rushed to do so.

Moreover, umpires call him out there 999 times out of 1000. They see that the ball beats the runner and that it looks like the tag was made, and that's that.
   203. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 27, 2011 at 11:45 PM (#3887124)
The Pirates have filed a protest over the game, to what end I cannot fathom. But interestingly enough, both Joe Torre and Jerry Meals have acknowledged that the call was wrong.


That's what makes the fact that the Pirates will lose the protest interesting. "We blew the call, but we are overruling your protest."

If the Pirates need to make a rules-based argument, perhaps they should argue that Meals didn't understand the rule that if the runner is tagged out before he reaches the plate, he is out and does not get to score. Because Meals didn't seem to understand this.

Also the rule that even though it's 2am, you still have to bother to do your bleeping job. Meals seems to have been confused about this as well.
   204. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:00 AM (#3887139)
interestingly enough, both Joe Torre and Jerry Meals have acknowledged that the call was wrong.

Torre said Meals said he got it wrong, but the only time I saw Meals quoted on this, he didn't say anything close to "I got it wrong." Did he add something more recently?

I thought Lugo touched the plate after he popped up from his slide, then touched it again after Meals made the call.
   205. BWV 1129 Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:05 AM (#3887146)
I don't have time to read this whole thread, but Jerry Meals is a terrible umpire, he has been a terrible umpire for years, and the only reason I believe this guy was out was because Meals said he was safe.

What bothers me more than these bad calls (and how bad this one is is debatable) is that we keep seeing umpires who routinely make bad calls on the bases and have lousy confusing strike zones and get confrontational in arguments and so on and so forth, and there seems to be no accountability, and no way of making things right.

Meals, Eddings, West, Angel Hernandez, CB Bucknor ... why are these men employed to do this? If you suck as a player, you wash out, unless you are Jeff Mathis. Keeping these guys on as umps is like giving Mathis a lifetime contract. It makes no sense. And as a consequence the game is harmed.
   206. BWV 1129 Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:12 AM (#3887152)
Also Larry Young. Is he still around? It says here he's a supervisor now. Why would you make Larry Young an umpiring supervisor? That's like putting Paz de la Huerta in charge of people wearing clothes.
   207. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:19 AM (#3887161)
I thought Lugo touched the plate after he popped up from his slide, then touched it again after Meals made the call.


He does. Apparently Ray can't be bothered with actually watching the play and ascertaining the facts before running off in his high moral dudgeon of stupidity.
   208. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:24 AM (#3887162)
If you suck as a player, you wash out, unless you are Jeff Mathis.


Corey Patterson just got promoted to starting CF for the Cards.
   209. McCoy Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:31 AM (#3887172)
Meals, Eddings, West, Angel Hernandez, CB Bucknor ... why are these men employed to do this?

Union.
   210. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:43 AM (#3887182)
I thought Lugo touched the plate after he popped up from his slide, then touched it again after Meals made the call.


To be clear, what the video shows:

1. The ball beats Lugo to the plate by a lot.
2. Lugo goes into his slide early.
3. McKenry swipes a tag attempt at Lugo.
4. Meals makes no call. (He later says the tag missed the runner, which is consistent with his actions here.)
5. Lugo's pop-up slide brings him to a standing position ON THE PLATE.
6. Meals signals him safe.
7. Lugo, unsure of the call, makes a second tag of home while Meals is signalling "safe."

Anyone who pays attention to the video wouldn't be unclear on this.
   211. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:49 AM (#3887199)
Torre said Meals said he got it wrong, but the only time I saw Meals quoted on this, he didn't say anything close to "I got it wrong."


I assume Torre spoke to Meals about it.
   212. haven Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:10 AM (#3887228)
I watch probably a game a week. And I disagree. In this case, barring another angle I haven't seen yet, *no matter which call Meals made* that call would have been allowed to stand. You simply can't conclude one way or the other based only on the video, especially once you separate out the irrelevant (for replay purposes) fact that the ball beat him by plenty and he definitely "should" have been out.

What are you watching? The contrarians at this site often piss me off. But in this case it is ridiculous. Lugo was so clearly out it is ridiculous. Anyone that watches any angle of the replay and can't figure that out is quite frankly either an idiot or an @sshole. Sorry. But it is true.
   213. McCoy Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:14 AM (#3887233)
AP

ATLANTA (AP)—Major League Baseball and umpire Jerry Meals agree Meals made the wrong call in Atlanta’s 4-3, 19-inning win over Pittsburgh early Wednesday morning.

Meals ruled Pittsburgh catcher Mike McKenry failed to tag Atlanta’s Julio Lugo(notes) in the bottom of the 19th, allowing Lugo to score the winning run. Replays showed McKenry clearly tagging Lugo before Lugo reached the plate.

The Pirates filed a formal complaint hours after the longest game in team history, and MLB executive vice president for baseball operations Joe Torre said it appeared Meals missed the call.

Later Wednesday, Meals said he saw in his review of the play that Lugo’s pants moved slightly when tagged. Meals said that showed him he missed the call.

“After coming into the locker room, I reviewed the incident through our videos that we have in here and after seeing a few of them, on one particular replay, I was able to see that Lugo’s pant leg moved ever so slightly when the swipe tag was attempted by McKenry,” Meals said.

“That’s telling me that I was incorrect in my decision and that he should have been ruled out and not safe.”

Meals’ statement on Wednesday was stronger than his comment following the game that he “might” have missed the call.

   214. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:20 AM (#3887241)
Later Wednesday, Meals said he saw in his review of the play that Lugo’s pants moved slightly when tagged. Meals said that showed him he missed the call.

WELL JESUS HOW COULD ANYBODY MISS THAT????!?!????!!!!?
   215. haven Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:26 AM (#3887251)
WELL JESUS HOW COULD ANYBODY MISS THAT????!?!????!!!!?

The throw beat the runner by 8 feet and by aproximately 3 seconds and the tag was clearly made. How could anyone miss that???? Are you that big an idiot? No one should have missed that.....
   216. Mash Wilson Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:33 AM (#3887262)
You may not make the case that the video/replay evidence is conclusive. It's simply not.


You're welcome to your opinion, even if it is wrong.
   217. Sam M. Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:38 AM (#3887265)
Of all the things said on this thread, the thing I like best is the consensus that I'm the good Sam. The thing I'm going to take the longest forgiving is Lassus -- LASSUS!!! -- calling Louisville "godforsaken." Ahem . . . .
   218. haven Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:48 AM (#3887279)
You may not make the case that the video/replay evidence is conclusive. It's simply not.

Generally I think people are welcome to their opinion.... But when it is so conclusively, irrevocably wrong..... Well..... What can you say....... The replay evidence was conclusive. Only someone with their head in the sand (or up their ###) thinks otherwise. Lugo was out.
   219. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:48 AM (#3887280)
Of all the things said on this thread, the thing I like best is the consensus that I'm the good Sam.


Seeing as how happy you are, I probably shouldn't mention that I was just working in reverse. It could have been any other Sam - Adams, Houston, the Butcher, the Bam Cunningham, the Son of - and he would have qualified as the "good one" in comparison to Mr. Hutcheson.
   220. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:53 AM (#3887289)
What are you watching? The contrarians at this site often piss me off. But in this case it is ridiculous. Lugo was so clearly out it is ridiculous. Anyone that watches any angle of the replay and can't figure that out is quite frankly either an idiot or an @sshole. Sorry. But it is true.
Two things:

1) I'm watching what many other people on this thread are watching, and concluding the same thing that many (but not all) are.

2) #### off back to the ESPN boards or whatever rock you crawled out from under.
   221. haven Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:06 AM (#3887296)
Two things:

1) I'm watching what many other people on this thread are watching, and concluding the same thing that many (but not all) are.

2) #### off back to the ESPN boards or whatever rock you crawled out from under.

Yes, you are watching what some on this board that want to be contrarians want to see.....

But everyone else in the world including Meals and Torre see the truth. A blown call.

One thing: I didn't crawl out from a rock. You are the one that need to crawl under a rock in this dicsussion.

No one that isn't an idiot doesn't think this was a blown call. Alas, if you are sticking to this view you must be an idiot.
   222. Sam M. Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:07 AM (#3887298)
I probably shouldn't mention that I was just working in reverse. It could have been any other Sam - Adams, Houston, the Butcher, the Bam Cunningham, the Son of - and he would have qualified as the "good one" in comparison to Mr. Hutcheson.


Well, there's that . . . .

What are you watching? The contrarians at this site often piss me off. But in this case it is ridiculous. Lugo was so clearly out it is ridiculous. Anyone that watches any angle of the replay and can't figure that out is quite frankly either an idiot or an @sshole. Sorry. But it is true.


The contrarian nature of the conversation around here doesn't usually piss me off; indeed, it is often the thing that keeps it interesting. But I will say that the fact that both MLB and the umpire have confessed error should surely put the debate to bed, and anyone who still maintains that Lugo wasn't out (or, in language that might make Hutcheson less whiny, that Lugo shouldn't have been called out) has me shaking me head. Since the guy who made the call has given up the ghost, his defenders should probably stand down, too.
   223. McCoy Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:13 AM (#3887303)
Since when do we let facts get in the way of arguing with each other?
   224. Dale Sams Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:19 AM (#3887309)
I don't think anyone said he was safe.

And frankly when you have John Kruk AND Michael Kay in your camp, you might want to reassess your choices too.

After coming into the locker room, I reviewed the incident through our videos that we have in here and after seeing a few of them, on one particular replay, I was able to see that Lugo's pant leg moved ever so slightly when the swipe tag was attempted by McKenry," Meals said.



That's a far fukking cry from "Every angle shows this was the worst blown call in the history of MLB" It's not contrarian. It's wanting to arrive at the truth and strip away the hyperbole...which I kinda thought was the point of this site....well, that and posting comic book covers.

oh, and another thing...all this "If the Pirates miss the post-season by one game..!!" The Pirates were not assured of winning that game if the correct call is made.
   225. Guapo Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:19 AM (#3887310)
My pants moved slightly just reading this thread.
   226. McCoy Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:26 AM (#3887315)
And the Pirates dropped another game to the Braves in extra innings.
   227. haven Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:29 AM (#3887319)
Look, I was 10 in '71 and 18 in '79 when the Pirates won the Series. Maybe the last 18 years have pissed me off beyond repair. Maybe I should just be happy with the Steelers, Penguins and the 70's. But for some reason last night's call and the idea that it wasn't an abomination perpetuated by some on this site deapite the opinion of everyone else in the known world including Meals and Torre has sent me over the edge, The Pirates losing 2-1 in 10 tonight just pisses me off more of course.....
   228. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:33 AM (#3887320)
But I will say that the fact that both MLB and the umpire have confessed error should surely put the debate to bed, and anyone who still maintains that Lugo wasn't out (or, in language that might make Hutcheson less whiny, that Lugo shouldn't have been called out) has me shaking me head. Since the guy who made the call has given up the ghost, his defenders should probably stand down, too.

I don't think Meals made the right call. But I do think it was the kind of call that you simply can't expect the umpire to get right 100% of the time (even with instant replay). Sure, many umpires would have called Lugo out simply because the throw beat him by such a wide margin, but that would be the *wrong* way to make the call. The only right way to make that call is to watch for the actual tag. Meals did that, and what resulted was a judgment call that nobody gets right 100% of the time.
   229. Dale Sams Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:33 AM (#3887321)
And congrats to Hurdle and his masterful bullpen work in now going some 18 bullpen innings without using his best reliever. But maybe that save opportunity will come tomorrow Clint!
   230. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:59 AM (#3887334)
The throw beat the runner by 8 feet and by aproximately 3 seconds

It took Lugo three seconds to travel eight feet? No wonder he was out!

And though I can't quite match Misirlou's worst call ever, I did see the infield fly rule called on a 275 foot fly ball in a HS game last season. The ball was hit VERY high, but I still don't think the SS could have made the play with ordinary effort. Fortunately for the ump, the LFer did.

EDIT -- also, I did not realize that Scott Proctor's right arm was still attached to his body; good for him.
   231. pkb33 Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:16 AM (#3887338)
Bad, but certainly not "Knoblauch phantom tag" in the 1999 ALCS bad. This one you at least could imagine that he missed the tag---on the Knoblauch play there was absolutely no way you could even do that there was so much air on the play. That call was not only a lot more important, but significantly harder to defend.
   232. Mash Wilson Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:34 AM (#3887346)
Look, I was 10 in '71 and 18 in '79 when the Pirates won the Series. Maybe the last 18 years have pissed me off beyond repair. Maybe I should just be happy with the Steelers, Penguins and the 70's. But for some reason last night's call and the idea that it wasn't an abomination perpetuated by some on this site deapite the opinion of everyone else in the known world including Meals and Torre has sent me over the edge, The Pirates losing 2-1 in 10 tonight just pisses me off more of course.....


They're going to be swept by Philadelphia, at which point they'll be 53-52, 4 games out and riding a five game losing streak (and 5-9 since the break.) On July 31. Lose a few more games and we're right back to 7,000 fans a night. If there was ever a perfect storm for a panic trade, right there it is, fellas.
   233. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:37 AM (#3887347)
Lose a few more games and we're right back to 7,000 fans a night.


Sad to say that this is probably going to happen. But they were never expected to contend this year anyway.
   234. Howie Menckel Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:59 AM (#3887350)
"They're going to be swept by Philadelphia"

Is wagering permitted on BBTF?

I'll play the contrarian here..
   235. McCoy Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:02 AM (#3887352)
Sad to say that this is probably going to happen. But they were never expected to contend this year anyway.

Obviously it is a bit of a hyperbole but even if they lose a few or more their attendance from here on out will still be high. Now whether or not they all show up will be a different story.


They're going to be swept by Philadelphia, at which point they'll be 53-52, 4 games out and riding a five game losing streak


You're missing one more game against the Braves.


I see no reason to believe that the Brewers or the Cardinals are going to win all of their games as well as the Pirates getting swept by the Phillies. Granted they are playing the Astros and the Cubs so it is quite possible.

I would guess that after the Phillies series the Pirates are two to three games out of first. At which point they get to play 4 games against the Cubs and then three against the Padres.

After that comes the make or break part of their schedule and for the most part the rest of the division as well. The Pirates have 3 against the Giants and then have 7 games against the Brewers, 7 games against the Cardinals, and 3 games against the Reds. They finish August with 3 games against the Astros.

I'm thinking August is the month where the Pirates finish about 7 games back by the end of it.
   236. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:04 AM (#3887353)
But they were never expected to contend this year anyway.


If Jerry Meals had his Colonel Jessup Moment, I believe that's exactly what he'd say.

"You're godddamn right I saw he was out!! But it was 2am and these are the ####### Pirates, and they were never expected to contend this year anyway. I did my job and I'd do it again! This is funny! I'm going to get on a plane and go ump my next series!"
   237. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:11 AM (#3887357)
You know, it is possible for a fielder to screw up a tag so badly that he misses the runner even if he has the ball ten minutes before the runner gets there. So I'm unwilling to say that the ball beating the runner by a lot is proof that he's out.
   238. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:49 AM (#3887375)
It only took one day for there to be a worse call than this one.
   239. bjhanke Posted: July 28, 2011 at 08:23 AM (#3887394)
Man. I apologize for getting the catcher's TEAM wrong. Wow. I'd seen ESPN video of McCann getting hurt, and then there was this thread with its video clip, and I put 2 and 2 together and got about 6. My fault.

On the other hand, I AM the designated driver. I don't drink, and I drove professionally (taxis and busses) for 7 years without accident. My eyesight is good. On the other hand, there is no way I would have noticed Lugo's pants leg moving on that replay video. The umpire must have been really obsessing over his call.

Oh, and one big thing about the Denkinger call that is never mentioned is that it was partially the result of having the wrong first baseman in there. All year long, Whitey had replaced Jack Clark with Mike Jorgensen in late games with a lead, because Mike was a much better defensive first baseman. That would happen at the same time that he put Tom Nieto (I think it was Nieto) out there to catch. But in that particular game, Whitey has said that he was just afraid of losing Jack's bat, so he didn't put Mike in when he put Tom in. Jack made a clumsy play, although everyone I know of (including Denkinger) agrees that Orta was out by at least half a step. But Jorgensen probably makes a better play, impossible to miss. If I remember right, there's also a foul popup in that inning (Balboni?) that Jack failed to catch that Mike very likely would have (I remember Jack looking like he was worried about stepping on the tarp or something). So that one is partially Whitey's fault, for not "dancing with the one who brought him." - Brock
   240. Poster Nutbag Posted: July 28, 2011 at 08:44 AM (#3887397)

2) #### off back to the ESPN boards or whatever rock you crawled out from under.


Sorry to say, this thread is a reminder to me of why I left Athletics Nation after being over there for it's first few years. Some of the personal and absurd comments some of you folks make because people don't agree with you is just....shocking. Am I wrong? Didn't BBTF used to be more civil, more open-minded, more philosphical and fun-dickheaded (as opposed to flat-out mean-dickheaded)? Snark is fun, attacks and insults aren't. Discussion and differing viewpoints are beuatiful things. It's how we open communication and understanding and plain learn and have fun. Some of you are sucking all the entertainment out of it by being borderline sociopathic and resorting to insults and petty semantic arguements when people don't agree with you and want to sincerely dicsuss baseball. Just in the last few months I've also been told to "go back to the ESPN boards", which is funny as I've never been there. Been told my opinion isn't much and I should STFU because I'm new around here (although I've been around for YEARS....way before it was BBTF) by, what I used to think, were pretty level-headed and respected members of this community. Don't fall in the fashion of AN and all that garbage. Encourage differing viewpoints. Encourage discussion. Quit taking yourselves so ####### seriously that you resort to pettiness and go back to enjoying conversation more than arguing. If it isn't up to "your" level, then forgive those beneath you, ignore them, and move on. Sorry to interrupt. Carry on. ####.
   241. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 09:24 AM (#3887399)
The Pirates have filed a protest over the game, to what end I cannot fathom.


if the umpires are going to routinely #### the Pirates on calls (and they do), the least we can do is force them to fill out some paperwork and look embarrassed in front of a camera once in a while.
   242. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 09:28 AM (#3887400)
Sure, many umpires would have called Lugo out simply because the throw beat him by such a wide margin, but that would be the *wrong* way to make the call.


I would rather have the ump make the right call the wrong way than whatever the #### it is Meals did yesterday.
   243. Ron J Posted: July 28, 2011 at 11:49 AM (#3887407)
But the ump has to make the call immediately


Nope. He's trained to make the call confidently and in a timely fashion. It's not quite the same thing as immediately. You have very little time for reflection, but you do have a little.

As I know I've mentioned before I reffed a lot of high level touch football which features an endless succession of the plays. Player body language is very reliable when it goes against the player. That is to say that if Lugo acts as tough he wag tagged, it's an extremely good bet he was.

And that's as good as you're going to get without a frame by frame review (with multiple angles to choose from). Catcher's reaction on the play tells you nothing.

I have to say though that this undermines my position on replay. I really do want them to take the time to get right a game ending play. And the monent the 20 minute review comes into the game for any reason, it's only a matter of time before it becomes the norm.
   244. Ron J Posted: July 28, 2011 at 11:57 AM (#3887409)
Doesn't the evidence have to show that he MADE the tag?


Depends on the context you're talking about. The critics of the call should be able to give conclusive evidence of a tag. But in the game situation the umpire isn't likely to ever be cerain when it comes to tag plays. So very frequently there's just no good way to position yourself so that you can see everything. You take your best shot. Default is not "safe unless I see a tage though.
   245. Lassus Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:51 PM (#3887423)
Of all the things said on this thread, the thing I like best is the consensus that I'm the good Sam. The thing I'm going to take the longest forgiving is Lassus -- LASSUS!!! -- calling Louisville "godforsaken." Ahem . . . .

I was just being all rural. But in that group, maybe it's the least so of the three. Congratulations.
   246. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:27 PM (#3887440)
Sorry to say, this thread is a reminder to me of why I left Athletics Nation after being over there for it's first few years. Some of the personal and absurd comments some of you folks make because people don't agree with you is just....shocking. Am I wrong?
I think you're wrong. Two things, v. 2.0:

1) I regret the \"#### off" part of my previous post.

2) That said, I was responding to someone who had jumped into the thread, combatively said "Anyone that watches any angle of the replay and can't figure that out is quite frankly either an idiot or an @sshole." (And has since admitted (#227) that he's probably not very objective.)

3) I find it interesting that Nutbag chose to hold my post up for opprobrium (which it deserved), and not the one I was responding to (which also deserved it) -- especially when if memory serves Nutbag jumped headfirst into a thread in the same bomb-throwing manner as haven not all that long ago.

EDIT: two/three, whatever. :)
   247. Dale Sams Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:40 PM (#3887447)
It only took one day for there to be a worse call than this one.


SI has on its list of 11 worst blown calls: The Pappas near-perfect game.

/facepalm.
   248. Barnaby Jones Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:51 PM (#3887453)
My pants moved slightly just reading this thread.


Bravo.

I don't think Meals made the right call. But I do think it was the kind of call that you simply can't expect the umpire to get right 100% of the time (even with instant replay). Sure, many umpires would have called Lugo out simply because the throw beat him by such a wide margin, but that would be the *wrong* way to make the call. The only right way to make that call is to watch for the actual tag. Meals did that, and what resulted was a judgment call that nobody gets right 100% of the time.


Exactly; Meals probably got the play wrong, but he actually did a pretty dang good job of TRYING to get the call right, in that he was waiting on the actual tag, rather that just saying "throw beat him: out."

If you have to freeze frame a replay and zoom in to try and get to a definitive point of contact, you are almost certainly wrong that a call is egregiously bad. Wrong, yes. Egregious, no.

EDIT: To quote Pos: "You will almost certainly see a more obviously missed call at some point today."
   249. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:11 PM (#3887463)
The problem is that it was a sweep tag -- he didn't block the plate Posey style.


That's another problem- you really do not want catchers blocking the plate and mugging runners like they did in the 70s/80s- and yet you may get that if a couple visible blown call like this one get made
   250. calhounite Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:20 PM (#3887471)
Was a brilliant call. When the runner doesn't make an elusive slide, the catcher with a foot on the path to the plate, and the ball beating the runner so badly the swipe tag is attempted in plenty of time, the auto call is out. The problem with MLB umpiring is the tag is NOT accurately accessed as the critical component in making such calls. Ball beats runner, some motion of a tag - OUT. Doesn't matter if the tag came within a micrometer. Swipe tag swished in front of the runner. Just my assessment. Judging micrometers who knows. No bent glove for sure. But what helps the miss case is the catcher trying to sell it. Maybe the guy's a bad ump and uses the WAG method on close plays, but bumped into one.
   251. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:21 PM (#3887473)
Meals doesn't "hesitate" to make the call at all - the runner touches home, and then Meals calls him safe.
You see this sometimes on plays where the catcher misses the tag and the runner misses home: the ump just stands there, because there's no call to make yet.
   252. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:25 PM (#3887477)
If you have to freeze frame a replay and zoom in to try and get to a definitive point of contact, you are almost certainly wrong that a call is egregiously bad. Wrong, yes. Egregious, no.


And contrary to the angry chorus here, this is all anyone has ever argued. Hell, even I never said he got the call *right.* The strongest point made by anyone on the non-Pirates fan* side of the aisle is that the play wasn't nearly as cut and dried as people were making it out to be. Meals and MLB, after reviewing video for gods know how long, finally decided that they saw a pant leg slightly move on one angle.

That's not "THE WORST CALL EVAR!!!" and that's not the sort of thing you want to drop into a game scenario; the pitcher just sort of playing long toss with the catcher for half an hour while the umps debate whether or not the leg of a pant is moving from a tag or from the momentum of the runner.

This is a good case *against* instant replay.

*And Ray, who has apparently decided to use this event as a release valve for some of his pent up paranoid delusional lunacy.
   253. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:20 PM (#3887528)
If you have to freeze frame a replay and zoom in to try and get to a definitive point of contact, you are almost certainly wrong that a call is egregiously bad. Wrong, yes. Egregious, no.
But of course you don't have to do that; you have to play it from several different angles in slow motion to try to find one where it isn't obvious that he tagged him. The only real question is how many times he tagged him.
   254. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:40 PM (#3887553)
I think this is the first call I've seen where half of us think it's obvious that he was out, and the other half think it's obvious that it's nowhere near conclusive. Normally we smart* types come to a majority.

*possibly apocryphal
   255. Barnaby Jones Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:40 PM (#3887554)
But of course you don't have to do that; you have to play it from several different angles in slow motion to try to find one where it isn't obvious that he tagged him.


Okay, well that's just wrong.
   256. PreservedFish Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:56 PM (#3887578)
I've seen the replays, and I haven't seen a definitive tag. I think that he probably did tag him, but I am not 100% sure. I would have called him out.
   257. zenbitz Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:08 PM (#3887597)
Statistically, if this play was close enough to be "just a missed" call then a _significant_ fraction of 3rd parties (i.e., us) should call him safe after reviewing the evidence. Not "there is some finite possibility he missed the tag". I would say 99% of us would call him out if we say that play irt.
   258. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:09 PM (#3887598)
But of course you don't have to do that; you have to play it from several different angles in slow motion to try to find one where it isn't obvious that he tagged him. The only real question is how many times he tagged him.


Never thought I would say this to Nieporent, but: Yes, exactly.
   259. Poster Nutbag Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:21 PM (#3887608)
#246 - Sorry if you feel I picked on you solely, yours was merely the closest to what I was talking about at the time, it was a blanket statement not intended for one particular poster. If my formatting was poor, my apologies. If you'll go ahead and bring that thread up, you'll notice I started with an opinion, and vehemently apologized if anyone took personal exception to my observation (bomb throwing? Really? I NEVER once told anyone to #### off that there material was for ESPN boards, etc. I showed more humility in that thread then most of you do in a year on this site). My 35 or so posts before that are mostly forgettable one-liners and observations as well, it's just that some folks have selective memory (which is why I'm sure I was pegged as a "newbie" before as well. As before, it's merely an observation. I think many would agree. There used to be a lot less ####-slinging in these discussions and more actual discussion. Now, it devolves into pettiness quickly and rolls along for a day or so. Differences of opinion should be tolerated (FROM ALL SIDES ;-)) for the sake of discussion is all I'm saying, not attacked, insulted and asked to #### off.
   260. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:27 PM (#3887619)
Statistically, if this play was close enough to be "just a missed" call then a _significant_ fraction of 3rd parties (i.e., us) should call him safe after reviewing the evidence. Not "there is some finite possibility he missed the tag". I would say 99% of us would call him out if we say that play irt.
I almost certainly would have called him out, and (I think) most of the other people talking about the replays being inconclusive would as well. We're making a separate assessment that the *replays themselves* are just that: inconclusive.
   261. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:30 PM (#3887623)
Never thought I would say this to Nieporent, but: Yes, exactly.


You should probably recognize your error, and the passion of your fandom taking you down untoward alleys of thinking, when you agree with David and Ray.
   262. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:34 PM (#3887634)
I almost certainly would have called him out, and (I think) most of the other people talking about the replays being inconclusive would as well. We're making a separate assessment that the *replays themselves* are just that: inconclusive.


In the 19th inning of a six hour game, yeah, I'd have definitely called him out. Ball beat the runner by a mile. I'd have half-assed that call. I'm sort of impressed that Meals was still engaged enough to make a judgement call on the swipe.
   263. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:34 PM (#3887636)
(bomb throwing? Really?
Yes, really. I understand you're unable to see your first post in that thread in that way, but it was.

I showed more humility in that thread then most of you do in a year on this site)
Quoted for irony.
   264. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:39 PM (#3887642)
You should probably recognize your error, and the passion of your fandom taking you down untoward alleys of thinking, when you agree with David and Ray.


Conversely, you should probably "recognize your error, and the passion of your fandom taking you down untoward alleys of thinking" when even Ray and David have stumbled across to the correct side of an issue, while you're still lost in the weeds.
   265. Poster Nutbag Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:44 PM (#3887645)
#263 - Again, difference in opinion. I made an observation, and immediately in that very post tried to word myself carefully so as not to be attacking anyone personally, just a mindset that us as people seem to be better than. If you found that to be bomb throwing, such is your right. I can at least say I made an attempt to NOT be an ass and never told anyone to #### off, accused them of being new or trying to be a troll, etc. Selective memory of yours is STILL rampant here.

Irony? Please explain? Check that thread again, I do my damnedest to find a way to discuss my observation without offending anyone. Not good enough, then my apologies. I can sit here knowing I made an honest effort. I can also sit here knowing I made an honest effort to thouroughly understand the other poster's points. So do please explain the irony bit there, I cede to your knowledge and humbly ask you to enlighten me. Honestly.

EDIT: In re-reading that thread, many people also see me as trying hard not to offend anyone and merely make an observation.....if it's personal with you, my apologies. Again, your earlier post was only quoted because it was at that point I had the thought and it was easy (see: lazy) for me to just grab that one as an example. I didn;t mean to isolate it completely.
   266. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:03 PM (#3887667)
If you found that to be bomb throwing, such is your right. I can at least say I made an attempt to NOT be an ass and never told anyone to #### off, accused them of being new or trying to be a troll, etc. Selective memory of yours is STILL rampant here.
In case it's not clear, I wasn't accusing you of bomb-throwing in this thread but the old one, where your first sentence of your first post read:

"Sox fans: You realize over the last 10 years or so you've become the very thing you (collectively) spent almost 100 years hating? Yankee fans now show infinitely more class. The Red Sox have gone to complete ass-hattery."

...followed later in the post by "From an outsider (non yankee/sox fan), you (again, collectively, I understand there are exceptions) have become some of the worst, seemingly most arrogant & ignorant fans (with a warped sense of entitlement!) that I have ever encountered."

Yeah, you qualified it with "collectively" yet still managed to imply that the "good" fans are the exception. That's bomb throwing. Might be your sincere opinion, and I'm sure you've witnessed bad acting on the part of RS fans, but that's still what it is.

I am officially done addressing this old topic that I'm sure no one besides us gives a rat's ass about.

Irony? Please explain?
Semi-serious. You were essentially bragging about your humility.
   267. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:04 PM (#3887668)
I still don't see how it's OBVIOUSLY a tag.
   268. Poster Nutbag Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:07 PM (#3887675)
#266 - Dig it. I see what you're saying. Thanks. I'll make a better effort next time, sincerely. I simply enjoy solid discussion, not schoolyard arguing. And you're right, and at that I'm sure between us there's only maybe a total of 1 person that cares (about half of each of us.... that is NOT an attack either! j/k) Good day and best wishes!
   269. Poster Nutbag Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:09 PM (#3887676)
Oh, and BTW, he was out.....clearly. ;-)
   270. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:35 PM (#3887707)
I still don't see how it's OBVIOUSLY a tag.


Well, the arm goes down, touches him on the leg, then withdraws. What else would you call it?
   271. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:44 PM (#3887713)
Except many people (including me) see the video and pics and don't see a tag. Or, at least, they think a leg might have been grazed. I don't see how the video makes it obvious.
   272. JC in DC Posted: July 28, 2011 at 05:56 PM (#3887723)
Well, the arm goes down, touches him on the leg, then withdraws. What else would you call it?


Getting to first base?
   273. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 28, 2011 at 06:12 PM (#3887736)
Conversely, you should probably "recognize your error, and the passion of your fandom taking you down untoward alleys of thinking" when even Ray and David have stumbled across to the correct side of an issue, while you're still lost in the weeds.


My position is "the ball was there so early, and the play close enough, I'd have probably called him out based on sheer laziness. Meals actually bothered to get in position and make a reasonably defensible call in live-action, that the swipe tag missed the runner, and thus the runner was safe."

Your position seems to be "wah wah wah the Pirates lost wah wah wah." Or something like that. You are arguing that there exists in the video replay conclusive evidence that quite simply does not exist in the video replay. I can only surmise that you are seeing what you want to see, rather than what is there. That's no great crime. It happens all the time. But you're wrong. The video is inconclusive in virtually every way. You can't say definitively yes or no to any question, based on the replays we've seen. Which means it's umpire's discretion, and he said the tag missed the runner in real time. C'est la vie.

Ray's position seems to be that Meaks intentionally called the runner safe because he wanted to end the game. He manages to throw paranoid conspiracy theory into the mix, whereas I think you're just viewing the data as a fan first. As such, Ray is crazier than you.

David is just being an insufferable contrarian prick, as is his wont.
   274. phredbird Posted: July 28, 2011 at 06:42 PM (#3887762)
I was able to see that Lugo’s pant leg moved ever so slightly when the swipe tag was attempted by McKenry,” Meals said.


well ... as a bona fide contrarian, all i'm going to ask is, is it not entirely possible that lugo's pant leg could move simply from the force of his slide or the breeze of the swipe tag missing? is that not possible? that's all i'm asking. not that i necessarily believe that. i'm just asking.

There used to be a lot less ####-slinging in these discussions and more actual discussion. Now, it devolves into pettiness quickly and rolls along for a day or so.


well that was before serious nut jobs got on here and dissed modern art you pathetic philistine. :)
   275. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 10:04 PM (#3887946)
Ray's position seems to be that Meaks intentionally called the runner safe because he wanted to end the game. He manages to throw paranoid conspiracy theory into the mix, whereas I think you're just viewing the data as a fan first. As such, Ray is crazier than you.


My position is that the ball beat Lugo, Lugo was tagged out well before he touched the plate, Lugo acted like he had been tagged out well before he touched the plate, and Meals would have called Lugo out if it had been 8pm instead of 2am.
   276. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: July 28, 2011 at 10:33 PM (#3887958)
If the game allows the phantom touch of second base for double plays

----------------

It doesn't.

This is 2011, not 1980.

--------------------

How much baseball do you watch? I see it at least once a week.


Well, I can't argue with what you think you see. I watch parts of a few games a week. Less than many others, I'm sure. Regardless, what I see are middle infielders who are very deft at just grazing the edge of the bag on their way past it. Is it possible they sometimes miss by a couple inches? Sure, but based on the chances I get to see these plays from the right angle in slow motion, I think it's very rare. We never see guys a foot or more off the bag getting the call, like we used to, which was the original meaning of "phantom tags."
   277. haven Posted: July 29, 2011 at 11:27 PM (#3888650)
Except many people (including me) see the video and pics and don't see a tag. Or, at least, they think a leg might have been grazed. I don't see how the video makes it obvious.

What's your definition of many people? Because except for some people on this thread it seems pretty universal that everyone else thinks it was a horrible call and the tag was clear.
   278. smileyy Posted: July 29, 2011 at 11:52 PM (#3888668)
And I think its a horrible call regardless of whether the tag was clear.
   279. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 30, 2011 at 12:39 AM (#3888700)
You can't say definitively yes or no to any question, based on the replays we've seen.


Yes, I can. I've done it repeatedly throughout this thread. If you'd like me to do it again, here it is: Yes, he was safe. It was such an obvious call that Meals should be taken out behind the stadium and beaten with an assortment of lead pipes in order to provide him with sufficient incentive to not #### up similarly obvious calls in the future. The correct call is immediately obvious upon watching the play on video, at speed, for the first time, and does not become any less obvious with more detailed examination. McKenry tagged Lugo, full stop.

Ray's position seems to be that Meaks intentionally called the runner safe because he wanted to end the game.


This may or may not be true. I don't think there's conclusive evidence of it, but I wouldn't dismiss it as a possibility out of hand, either.

David is just being an insufferable contrarian prick, as is his wont.


If David were just being a contrarian, wouldn't he be on your side, since it's the minority position?
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