Even with the newly implemented instant replay, Major League umpires still manager to blow simple calls. During Wednesday night’s Yankees Orioles game, Gerry Davis flat-out blew one.
Stephen Drew hit a weak chopper down the first base line, and Nick Hundley’s throw to first base went into the outfield, allowing Drew to reach 2nd.
That’s when Davis intervened and said Drew ran out of the baseline. Judge for yourself.
It’s pretty clear Drew was running in a direct path to first base and did absolutely nothing wrong. Hundley just took a bad route to the ball.
If he lined himself up in fair territory to make the throw, Drew would not have been in the way. But Hundley’s momentum carried him into foul territory forcing him to make a near impossible throw. Joe Girardi came out to argue and was quickly ejected.
In case you were wondering, here are rules 7.08 and 7.09 which deal with runners running out of the baseline:
7.08 Any runner is out when—
(a) (1) He runs more than three feet away from his baseline to avoid being tagged unless his action is to avoid interference with a fielder fielding a batted ball. A runner’s baseline is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely;
(b) He intentionally interferes with a thrown ball; or hinders a fielder attempting to make a play on a batted ball; Rule 7.08(b) Comment: A runner who is adjudged to have hindered a fielder who is attempting to make a play on a batted ball is out whether it was intentional or not.
(f) He is touched by a fair ball in fair territory before the ball has touched or passed an infielder. The ball is dead and no runner may score, nor runners advance, except runners forced to advance.
7.09 (j) It is interference by a batter or a runner when he fails to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field a batted ball, or intentionally interferes with a thrown ball, provided that if two or more fielders attempt to field a batted ball, and the runner comes in contact with one or more of them, the umpire shall determine which fielder is entitled to the benefit of this rule, and shall not declare the runner out for coming in contact with a fielder other than the one the umpire determines to be entitled to field such a ball;
PENALTY FOR INTERFERENCE: The runner is out and the ball is dead.
The Yankees ended up losing the game 5-3, and in a season where nothing seems to be going right, the Bronx Bombers streak of bad luck got even worse on Wednesday.
This is easily the worst call of the year in Major League Baseball and it’s a shame Gerry Davis wouldn’t even consider overturning it. After all, isn’t this what instant replay was all about.