This just disgusts me.

In a close game. In a meaningful game for the AL wild-card standings. The umps do yet again what they’ve been so good at doing for the last two and a half seasons:

Screw up royally.

It was the bottom of the fifth inning at Comerica Park. The Baltimore Orioles against the Detroit Tigers. And, well, this video will give you a better description of what happened. It’ll save me from butchering what actually happened with my naturally and genetically poor storytelling.

This whole incident to me is ridiculous. And for multiple reasons.

First baseman Mark Reynolds should never have been ejected.

The home-plate umpire shouldn’t have had the final ruling on a play at first base.

The runner should have been out.

In real time, from the standard camera angle from which every station shoots infield plays, it looked like Reynolds’ foot left the bag before he made that great play on third baseman Manny Machado’s throw, and that the Tigers really did have a case to argue for.

But slow it down on replay, and you can clearly see that the toe of Reynolds’ shoe is on the edge of the bag for a good second after he scoops that errant throw.

Of course, that’s a lot easier to see on replay than it is in a real-time environment, but what I don’t understand is why home-plate umpire Tim Timmons’ input was necessary, considering it was likely his input that reversed the call. First-base umpire Jeff Kellogg got the call right the first time. And he’s called the first-base ump for a reason. Let him make the call at his base, since he has the best view of what happened there. I guarantee you Timmons didn’t have half as good of a view as Kellogg did.

When was the last time you saw a call on a play at first base overturned, anyway?


On to Reynolds being ejected, that was just utter nonsense. He was ejected for chucking his glove at the ground in front of his feet, people. You can argue that the second-base ump tossed him for his language all you want, but players usually don’t get ejected from games for a foul mouth. And MASN color commentator and former Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer seemed to think Reynolds was ejected for the glove throw, a claim that he made during the broadcast.

Going back to the “when was the last time” theme, when was the last time you saw a player get tossed for spiking his glove, and/or the use of a naughty word, for that matter? If a pitcher gives up a bomb in a close game, you almost always see him yell the mother of all swear words, and he stays in the game.

My point again.

Furthermore, why was one of the umpires allowed to touch Orioles manager Buck Showalter on the chest while he argued with them in order to hold him back? Showalter never touched one of them in an aggressive manner. All he did was slightly pat one on the side as he walked by to restrain one of his players, and that is very obviously more of a reflexive thing that nearly every human being does.

Correct me if I’m wrong, because I haven’t read the entire MLB rulebook, but I would imagine that umps aren’t allowed to touch players, coaches or a manager during an argument, considering that if a team’s manager or coach so much as accidentally grazes an ump’s chest with his own when arguing, he gets suspended for it.

If none of this happened, who knows where the momentum would have gone after that. The Orioles starter was forced to throw more pitches in the inning, and while that inning didn’t lose the Birds the game, the fact that any momentum or morale they might have had completely vanished after that fiasco did lose the game for them.

It seems as though some umpires in Major League Baseball feel like their power on the baseball diamond is unlimited. Baseball has been having that problem for years now. And it won’t go away unless it is addressed.

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