Blog Entry

Ump says he 'might have' missed the call

Posted on: July 27, 2011 9:14 am
Edited on: July 27, 2011 9:28 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans

Umpire Jerry Meals admitted after Tuesday's 19-inning Braves-Pirates game that he "might have" missed the game-ending call.

From Mark Bowman of, here's what Meals had to say about the play that ended the 4-3, 19-inning Braves victory at Turner Field:

"I saw the tag, but he looked like he oled him and I called him safe for that," Meals said. "I looked at the replays and it appeared he might have got him on the shin area. I'm guessing he might have got him, but when I was out there when it happened, I didn't see a tag.

"I just saw the glove sweep up. I didn't see the glove hit his leg."

Here's a .gif of the play:

If you watch closely -- and not just noticing when the ball and runner both get near the plate, you can see how Meals could think that. It's not as obvious as it appears at first blush. It looks as if Michael McHenry did get him, but only brushed the runner.

"I know I'm safe," Braves runner Julio Lugo said.

Still, this is yet another example of why we need replay expanded. In the end, Meals made a mistake after 19 innings, that happens. But there should be a recourse. If the Pirates' dream season ends one game short of the playoffs, you can imagine who will be the scapegoat, and it's likely nobody will feel worse about it than Meals. 

Last year there was a lot of attention around one missed call that cost Armando Galaraga a perfect game -- that only hurt an individual achievement, not an entire team. This one is worse, because the ramifications could last the entire season.

All that said, replay isn't a cure-all -- we saw that earlier on Tuesday with even the benefit of replay, umpires blew a call giving Albert Pujols a home run in St. Louis' win over the Astros. Pujols hit a ball off the wall in center field in the first inning that umpires reviewed and called a home run.

That didn't sit well with Astros manager Brad Mills.

"The whole system I think has to be reviewed if everyone looks at it and says it’s not a home run," Mills told Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle. "Somebody in New York is supposed to have seen it and talked to them; that’s my understanding. And they should have seen the same thing that everybody saw. The whole thing has got to be reviewed. Especially if they go back and look at it and screw it up, then we have to be able to protest it or something. Something’s amiss here."

I'm a proponent of replay, but as long as humans are involved in the game, there will be mistakes. Replay can help minimize them, but not eliminate them. 

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 21, 2011 3:35 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 19, 2011 10:26 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 10:36 pm

Ump says he 'might have' missed the call

My hubby and i undoubtedly played out looking through this approach. It's my opinion I will that her form by using a another strings!

Since: Jul 18, 2011
Posted on: July 27, 2011 7:18 pm

Ump says he 'might have' missed the call

I feel a lot of Pittsburgh Penguins hate coming through that comment.

Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2011 4:12 pm

Ump says he 'might have' missed the call

is the ump your brother because your as stupid as the ump is.  The ump admits today he missed it and you can watch it on replay.  Can you morons from st louis just shut up and say hey that ump gave us the lead.
Perhaps I am incorrect in assuming that this unwarranted, ad hominem attack is directed at me, but because I'm nothing more than "stupid" and a "moron from st louis" it's to be expected that I would make such a mistake.

HEY, THAT UMP GAVE US THE LEAD....does that make it better?  Because the division lead on July 27 by 0.5 games over 2nd place and 1 game over third is pivotal to claiming the crown.  Actually, the Cardinals winning 2 of 3 last weekend in the Pirates' house did more damage in the standings as last night's call (which only cost the Pirates 0.5 games in it of itself). 

Just one question I have: where did I ever say that the umpire's call was correct (the basis of your attack)?  In fact, I stated twice that I thought the runner was out.  My claim was that the umpire affected the timing of the game's end and not necessarily the winning team.  I submit that had the runner correctly been called out, that in no way means Pittsburgh wins the game and thus to allege that the incorrect call would end up affecting the standings is unknown.  Atlanta could have won the game with the next batter.  Pittsburgh could have won the game in the 20th.  But to categorically state that it cost the Pirates the game is false as they may have ended up losing the game anyway had the game continued.  That is my claim.  I never said the runner should have been called safe, or that the umpire didn't imply he was incorrect.  Yes, it was a bad call.  But it is a hyperbole to claim it cost Pittsburgh the game, particularly one that went 19 innings. 

Since: Jul 27, 2011
Posted on: July 27, 2011 1:55 pm

Ump says he 'might have' missed the call

I agree that it is not as obvious as people are making it out to be.  However, if you have played professionally and been around the game for a while, you understand that there are some unspoken rules.  You obviously look for the tag when umping.  However, in situations where the throw beats the runner by a mile, you need to be sure that the tag is missed.  There are certain situations, like in all sports, where if the sitaution obviously favors one team (ie. the ball is at the base well ahead of the runner) the only time you should make a call in favor of the other team is if you are positive of the result (ie the tag was missed).  This occurs very often in baseball or other sports.  in baseball it happens often when infielders are turning a double play.  In slow motion, many times the infielder removes his foot from the bag before he actually catches or has possession of the ball.  However, if an ump is going to call that, he better be sure it is obvious and not just 'think' he saw it.  In this situation, the ball arrived well ahead of Lugo at home, so the ump should have been positive that he saw McHenry miss the tag, not just 'thought' it looked like he missed the tag. 

Since: Aug 6, 2008
Posted on: July 27, 2011 1:45 pm

Ump says he 'might have' missed the call

"If they are still in first place, they would be more likely to go out and get Carlos Pena"  if blowing the call means the Bucs DO NOT get Pena, then I say 'The ump got it right!' just like all the deperate STL fans.  Pena was going downhill BEFORE he went to the Cubs, the Pirates just got away from such players.  Stop listening to the knuckleheaded press suggestions.

Since: Jul 27, 2011
Posted on: July 27, 2011 1:24 pm

Ump says he 'might have' missed the call

One thing that I don't think many people realize is that to the Pirates, yes losses in this 13 game stretch mean a lot more than any other of the 162 games.  The pirates organization has stated that this recent stretch of games (Reds, Cardinals, Braves, and Phillies) will determine if the Pirates are going to go out and get a new bat before the trade deadline.  If they are still in first place, they would be more likely to go out and get Carlos Pena or a right fielder.  If they start sliding, and by the trade deadline, they are a few games out, they are more likely to get a low level utility guy or just hope getting healthy can give them the push to get to 1st place.  So while, yes, this is just one of 162 games, this loss could be the difference between getting a firstbaseman for the rest of the year that is on pace to hit 40 homeruns, or sticking with a firstbaseman that is on pace to hit 13 homeruns. 

Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: July 27, 2011 12:38 pm

Ump says he 'might have' missed the call

Before seeing the replay I heard a lot of ranting (Mike and Mike) about how terrible it was that Jerry Meals blatantly blew this call and cost the Pirates a critical game - maybe even because he was tired and purposefully wanted to end this 19 inning drama. Now having seen the replay, although it looks like Michael McHenry likely brushed Julio Lugo with a swipe tag as Lugo slid by. But, this is far from a blatant missed call - even on replay it is hard to tell if the glove brushed Lugo. Had McHenry dove into Lugo and emphatically ended the game, there would be no questioning the call. But, he didn't. This isn't even as blatant as the missed call that recently fired up lame duck Cubs manager Mike Quade. Missed calls are a part of the humanity of the game, and if you ask most players and managers, unless they just got screwed, they want to keep that part of the game. Whether Meals missed this call or not, or whether Jim Joyce missed the call at first base on Armando Gallarags's perfect game - this is part of baseball. Love it, or not, it is part of what makes this game great.

Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: July 27, 2011 12:37 pm

Ump says he 'might have' missed the call

Regardless of whether you thought the tag was applied or not, you called Lugo safe before he touched home. So, yeah, you might have missed the call.

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