Monday, May 25, 2009
The Integrity Of The Game
What's the use in having video replay if a fan CLEARLY leans over and obstructs play to one team's advantage and the umpires don't overrule?
I just don't get that.
The integrity of the game was on the line tonight in the bottom of the 6th inning in Queens. The New York Mets Gary Sheffield launched a John Lannan Fastball to left centerfield with two runners on base--near the top of the wall at Citi Field. A fan leans over the fence by about two to three feet and--without a doubt--obstructs the action by touching the baseball with his glove. The ball WAS NOT going OVER the wall. The baseball was heading downward.
One run would have definitely scored on a ground rule double for interference. Instead, 3rd Base Umpire Adrian Johnson ruled a three run Home Run. After an argument by Our Manager Manny Acta--The Umpiring Crews went to the video replay. A decision that took nearly 10 minutes to inexplicably make.
And the call was NOT reversed.
Sorry, but that decision was incorrect.
It was the wrong call and that feeling has nothing to do with the fact that The African Queen and I are cheering for Our Washington Nationals. No matter the circumstance, The Umpires should have made the right decision and reversed the home run and let the game continue with The Mets now ahead 2-1. The Men In Blue had all the necessary tools available to make the proper decision.
They blew it.
And there is NO EXCUSE for that error in judgement. This group failure changing the complexity of the game and giving The New York Mets a undeserved 4-1 lead.
No question, Our Washington Nationals had multiple chances to come back and win this game in the subsequent 7th, 8th & 9th innings tonight at Citi Field. They eventually left 13 runners on base; were 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position. A little clutch hitting by Washington could have helped to take away the sour taste of a poor ruling by The Umpires.
But whether Our Washington Nationals win or Lose any battle--The Integrity Of The Game should be maintained at all times. A fan interfered with play tonight in Queens and the arbiters of judgment--The Rulers Of Every Game--chose to ignore what everyone clearly saw with their own eyes--not only on the field of play--but while watching multiple television replays after.
Home Plate Umpire Larry Vanover and his crew have some explaining to do. And if Major League Baseball has the guts to officially say the ruling was incorrect--MLB should fine the umpires for losing control of the game--although I doubt their union would stand for that, much less a suspension.
Final Score from Citi Field where Fan Interference changed the outcome of tonight's game--The New York Mets 5 and Our Washington Nationals 2. The 31st Loss of 2009 will be remembered for one disappointing ruling on the field. And recalled for it's frustration--because Washington had bases loaded with one out in the 7th and scored just one run. Had runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs in the 8th--and didn't score again. Finally, DC's Team had runners on 1st & 2nd and one out in the 9th--and couldn't push anyone across the plate. Multiple chances were still there for the taking, but Our Washington Nationals could not find the strength to overturn that bad umpiring decision and win despite all odds.
An all around bad night of baseball involving Our Washington Nationals.
Game Notes & Highlights
John Lannan had a poor outing this evening. Although tagged for Sheffield's So-Called three run homer, Our Number 31 gave up 8 hits, four walks and struck out no one. He wasn't sharp and didn't look comfortable all night long.
As far as Daniel Cabrera is concerned, can we please just Designate Him For Assignment? Please, just eat the salary. He's not helping. Tonight, called on to pitch the 8th inning, Cabrera again couldn't find the strike zone, walked three New York Batters and threw one more wild pitch and multiple more pitches in the dirt--thankfully blocked by Wil Nieves. Jason Bergmann was eventually called on to save him on the mound. But Daniel is clearly not an answer, for now or later. He has no confidence and is throwing his fastball 10 MPH slower than just two years ago. Something is wrong with him. Let him figure it out--elsewhere but here.
Ryan Zimmerman extended his consecutive games reaching base streak via hit, walk or hit-by-pitch to 43 games tonight with a single and walk--tying the single season franchise record of Tim Raines (of The Montreal Expos). Rusty Staub (an original Expo) holds the Franchise Total Consecutive Games Reaching Base Streak (tallied over two seasons) at 46 games.
Wil Nieves continues to swing a hot stick. Two more hits this evening, one rbi and one run scored. He's playing well and really is a fine backup catcher--dependable.
Finally, although he did not do well with runners in scoring position tonight for Washington, Austin Kearns again displayed his defensive prowess. When Gary Sheffield sliced a liner to right field in the bottom of the 1st inning with two outs, Carlos Beltran took off from 2nd base, rounded 3rd and headed home--looking to score. Like he always does, Our Number 25 deftly moved in on the fast approaching baseball, scooped it up and UNLEASHED A PERFECT ON THE FLY STRIKE to Wil Nieves standing on home plate. Beltran was out by a mile. The Defensive Play of This Game proved again that Austin has value--even when not getting the clutch hits at the plate.
Tonight's InGame Photos--Paul J. Bereswill (AP)