The umpires in the Mets-Braves game are having a tough inning

26 Comments

And what a surprise…. it’s Dan Iassogna’s motley crew.

In the top of the fifth today in the game between the Mets and Braves in Atlanta, C.B. Bucknor missed a very obvious play at first base, calling the Mets’ Jordany Valdespin out on his attempt for a bunt single. It wasn’t even a bang-bang play; Valdespin touched the bag well ahead of the throw.

Then things got ugly in the bottom of the inning, as second base umpire Bill Miller (safe) and third base ump Dale Scott (out) made conflicting calls on Jason Heyward’s blooper to left with Martin Prado on first. The ball was clearly played on one hop by Valdespin, but Prado, seeing Scott’s call, started to retreat back to first having already touched second. The throw came back in with Prado still trotting back towards first, and Ike Davis tagged him, causing much confusion over whether there should be none, one or two outs in the play.

The umpires huddled after that one and did get it right; Heyward was credited with a hit and Prado was put back on second base, much to Mets manager Terry Collins’ chagrin. Collins, who was already out to argue in the top of the inning, got tossed after coming back out to dispute the decision.

There is, indeed, an MLB-to-Portland group

Associated Press
Leave a comment

On Monday, Baseball America reported that MLB is prepared to expand to Portland and Montreal. We talked about that at length yesterday. One of the most common responses to that piece has been “Portland? Really?”

There’s good reason for that response. Baseball-to-Portland has been talked about for years, but there has never been any real traction. Past initiatives have failed, significant public funding for a stadium seems to be a political impossibility and, heck, Portland wasn’t even interested in keeping its Triple-A team, turning its stadium into a much more successful soccer venue and not missing the Beavers all that much.

It would seem, however, that the reports are not mere speculation and there is a genuine baseball-to-Portland initiative afoot once again. From the Oregonian:

On Tuesday, former Trail Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive that he is part of the Portland group.

“I am officially involved with a campaign to bring Major League Baseball and a stadium development to Portland,” Barrett said. “There is also a formally organized, sophisticated and seasoned management group running this initiative. We will keep you fully apprised of any/all developments as this project progresses.”

One guy — a broadcaster no less — saying he’s part of a group is not exactly a major needle-mover, of course. But it does contrast with past Portland initiatives that have been well-publicized grassroots affairs. While those may have been more broad-based and while their public nature may have provided some refreshing transparency, the simple fact of professional sports ownership in the 21st century is that well-monied groups who play things close to the vest are more likely to make waves. We’re in an age when technocratic hedge fund-type guys make things happen in this arena, not in an age when flamboyant public personalities do.

None of which is to say that baseball in Portland is a lock or that expansion anywhere is a short term proposition. It’s just to note that, yeah, there is a bit more going on, it seems, than just pointing at a map and saying “yeah, a team would make sense here.”