Friday, July 20, 2007

I Hate You, Tim McClelland

So I need to amend my "the worst call I've ever seen" post - THIS was the worst call I've ever seen. Bottom of the first, Ortiz on second and Manny on first: J.D. Drew hits a shot to left center that clearly hit the top of the green monster, over the red home run line, and bounced back onto the field. The initial call was that the ball was in play. Drew got to second, Ortiz scored, and Manny was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

Now, it was obvious to me in real time that it was a home run. Watching the replay, it was crystal clear - the ball hit the barricade between the fans in the first row and the top of the wall, then hit the top of the wall, then bounced upwards back onto the field. The laws of physics alone made it obvious that the ball did not hit the wall in play - if it had, it would have been traveling downwards when it came back onto the field.

So Francona came out to argue, and then the umps got together to discuss the call. During the conference, you could clearly see the second base umpire, Paul Schreiber, mouth the words "it bounced up." He said it at least three times - it was so freaking obvious that he had a better view and made the right call. So McClelland broke the huddle, called Manny out at the plate, and Francona went crazy (justifiably so).

But it got worse: the umpires hadn't even broken up yet as Francona started screaming at McClelland, and during the shouting match, McClelland pushed Schreiber away from Francona, back towards second base, essentially assuring that he didn't get a chance to tell Francona the truth. After Francona got thrown out, he started walking off of the field, but he got halfway back to the dugout before turning around and walking towards second base and asking Schreiber what he saw.

Well, McClelland couldn't have any of this, so he jumped in and pushed Francona away, screaming at him. This was clearly an instance of an umpire being too stubborn to admit that he was wrong, and then being too bull-headed to let anyone else know that he was wrong. Honestly, I've never seen anything like it before - he was so dead set on getting the call wrong, that it bordered on point-shaving.

And now it's 3-1 White Sox, when it should be 3-3, or maybe even more, as the Boston first inning would have been extended. So screw you, Tim McClelland. I've never had a least favorite umpire (only a least favorite ECAC hockey referee), but now you're it.


Warren said...

I look forward to seeing the replays tonight. I'm surprised it's McClelland, though - he's always at the top of players' "best umpires" lists, and I've always been pretty impressed with him.

Sully said...

It wasn't even the call - anyone can screw up one call. That's innocent enough. It's just that he went out of his way to cover up his mistake - he had to have known he screwed up.