I usually don't write about things that just happened, but this time I'm going to make an exception. I just watched the third game of the 2013 World series end on an obstruction call. It was the weakest, worst way to end what actually was a very exciting, well played game by both teams. For those who missed it, a ground ball was hit to Dustin Pedroia, who threw out Yadier Molina at home. After Salty applied the tag, he then threw wide to Will Middlebrooks at third, sending the ball into the outfield. After he had slid, the Cardinal's Allen Craig then attempted to head home and tripped over Middlebrooks, who was lying on the ground at the time. Nava's throw home beat Craig, but he was called safe because of Middlebrooks "tripping" Craig. The run was allowed to score, game over. The main culprits? Home plate umpire Dana Deluth and umpire Jim Joyce
You may remember Joyce as the man who made the terrible call on the last out of the no-hit bid by the Tigers Armando Galarraga. The runner was clearly out, and Joyce new it when he saw the play later, then tearfully apologized to Galarraga. (which is little solace to baseball record books) This call last night was even worse. Yes, I am a Red Sox fan, but even if it were the Cardinals, or (gulp) Yankees victimized by the blown call, I wouldn't feel easy about it. If Boston loses the series because of this, I'm going to suggest that umpires get fined every time they make such horrific calls like this. Sure, all the umpires agreed on the call, but they have been out of control as a whole for years; throwing out players for arguing strikes, throwing out managers before they even have a chance to make their point. Hell, even Earl Weaver got to put on a show before he was tossed.
This play has total precedent in the World series too; in 1975,( which, ironically enough, was also game three) the Red Sox (of course) were playing the Reds at Riverfront stadium, when Cincinnati's Ed Armbrister went to lay down a bunt, but missed. On the play, Cesar Geronimo took off for second, and Fisk had him dead to rights. However, Armbrister "obstructed" the throw, and it went sailing into center field. The fact that Fred Lynn actually threw Geronimo out at third, but was called safe, is kind of forgotten... but the play was a classic case of obstruction, yet was never called. Two blown calls on the same play, way to go, blue.
You may ask what the difference was between the two. Well, for one thing, Armbrister stepped into Fisk, while Middlebrooks was just laying there. Also, it wasn't a game ending play. I'm sure a game has ended this way before, but not in a pivotal game of a World Series. I know the umpires union is strong, but something needs to be done. They're making instant replay almost necessary for every friggin' play. I don't want it to turn into football, the games are too long as it is, especially on FOX. Seriously, if this game didn't end in the bullshit fashion that it did, it would have probably ended up being the longest World Series game in history, the way it was going. Fox airs so many damn commercials...
In conclusion, may I just say that, yes, I am angry because it is still fresh in my mind, and yes, I will get over it, but I'll tell you one thing; if anybody in the next twenty four hours tries to tell me that call wasn't bullshit, I am going to box their ears...this was, and will remain a travesty...man, I had this nice little funny blog about comparing Jim Leyland to Lloyd Bridge's character on "Airplane", and now that will have to wait (looks like I picked the wrong day to quit drinking, and so forth)...weird thing was, I just played a softball game yesterday that ended on a bullshit call...of course my team won because of it, so that's O.K. ( I keeeed)