Wednesday, October 21, 2009

At Least McClellaned Manned Up...But...

Umpires sure have been a big story this post season. No doubt part of the problem for MLB umpires is that televised games now have a myriad of angles on every play so there is little wiggle room for the umpire who doesn't get it right. McClelland made two major gaffes last night in the Angels/Yankees game at third base. In the first play, catcher, Napoli, tagged both Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada as both were off the base. McClelland was screened by Posada and Figgins and didn't see that Cano was off the base. Only Posada was called out. Later, the Yankees hit a sacrifice fly with Nick Swisher on third. Replays showed that Swisher stayed on the base until Torii Hunter caught the ball. Again, McClelland didn't see it that way. He blew it again.

Watching the interview after the game with McClelland, you had to feel for the guy who had to admit in front of the entire sporting world that he missed both calls. At least he manned up about it. He didn't do what other umpires have done this post season and deny the error. That makes McClelland a stand up guy. It doesn't take him off the hook though. Stand up guy or not, the umpires are paid big bucks to get those calls correctly. And unfortunately for MLB, that wasn't the only missed calls. Nick Swisher was called safe on a pick off move when he was on second. Replays clearly show that he was successfully tagged out. But he was called safe nonetheless.

In the end, it wouldn't have mattered. Between the Yankees' offense and Sabathia's pitching, the Angels had no shot in the game and would have lost either way. But you hate to see a game so marred by poor umpiring.

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