If you’re just waking up to it now, know that home plate umpire Jerry Meals made one of the worst calls you’ll ever see in a baseball game early this morning, calling Julio Lugo safe at home in the bottom of the 19th inning of the Pirates-Braves game, handing Atlanta the win. The photo to the right is the best one I’ve seen.
Not that there’s a ton of room for analysis or debate here. It was a pure blown call. The ump admitted it himself after the game. I went back and watched the replay from the Braves telecast and even Chip Caray and Joe Simpson — two of the biggest homers you’ll ever hear in a broadcast booth — couldn’t spin it, nor did they even try. So all we’re left with is reaction.
Now, normally when we troll reaction of a big baseball event with a “what they’re saying about …” post, we go with what pundits and bloggers write. This time it seems that the immediacy of the moment captures it better than any sober reflection will, so I’m going with the instant reactions from my Twitter feed:
- Buster_ESPN: If there was ever an argument for five-man umpiring crews–with one in the booth, overseeing replay to correct mistakes– it was just made.
- Pirates pitcher Jeff Karstens, via the tweet of LangoschMLB: “”For some reason, somebody didn’t want us to play anymore. So the game was ended.”
- BizballMaury: Sun was in his eyes (I think Maury may be offering a touch of sarcasm here)
- Maholm28: Unbelievable game. I have never seen anything like it. Thats all I got (yes, that’s Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm)
- SeanEP1: Other 3 umpires looked like they wanted to crawl in a hole and hide.
- edrainey: I hear Jerry Meals has missed some time this year while serving on the Casey Anthony jury. May be why he is rusty. (Ooooh, ouch)
- dodgerthoughts: When does the Jerry Meals-Daniel McCutchen book come out?
- nvasconcelos: I’m just glad the human element of umpiring is preserved. That’s the important thing.
- joe_sheehan: McKenry tagged Lugo on the leg and then the arm. Maybe Meals figured they canceled each other out.
- 4Who4What: I can name 5 bad umpires before I can even think of 1 good one. The ineptitude is amazing.
- DaleMurphy3 (yes, that’s the real Dale Murphy): On ‘swipe’ tags you usually see guys called out when they aren’t tagged, seldom do you see a guy get tagged, and then be called safe…weird
- allenw111: give me robot umpires, please…instant replay for all plays, I don’t care if it makes every game 4 hours long
- keithlaw: Holy …
Note: If you can render Keith Law mostly speechless, you know you’ve done something monumental.
Instant. Replay. Now.