For some reason the 2013 MLB season hasn’t been kind to the Oakland Athletics when it comes to umpiring. Chris Young hit a game winning home run in extra innings only to have it ruled a double, Adam Rosales hit a game tying home run in Cleveland that got upheld as a double, against the Boston Red Sox a fan interfered with a ball, yet was never called and last night umpire Gerry Davis poor judgment gave the San Francisco Giants a run.
In the bottom of the sixth inning and Gregor Blanco on first, Andres Torres ripped a pitch by A’s reliever Jerry Blevins down the left field line just crossing over the third base bag for what looked like a double and runners on second and third.
That didn’t happen as a Giants fan reached over and made contact with the ball. Yoenis Cespedes stopped, Torres went back to second base even though he wound up on third and Blanco got to score. As the umpire has discretion on where to put the runners. Bob Melvin went out to argue to no avail and A’s bench coach Chip Hale got ejected.
Davis said after the game “you award the runners the bases you feel they would have had there not been interference.” Yet, how can that be if he wasn’t even looking at the baseball? When he called the ball fair he jumped out-of-the-way of the baseball, which made it impossible for him to see what happened.
It’s doubtful that with only one out in the inning and the Giants trailing 6-3 that Blanco would test the arm of Cespedes if the ball hadn’t been interfered with. The only rationale for why the run scored is that Cespedes stopped after the fan made contact with the baseball and Blanco never stopped running.
Much like Angel Hernandez and his call on Rosales’ home run, Davis is hiding behind the rule instead of taking responsibility for his actions. Would it have been so hard to say this instead? “I made a mistake and I apologize.” Obviously now it’s too difficult otherwise he wouldn’t have made an excuse by quoting the rules.
The only way that his point would make any sense is if the ball had been hit down the right field line, it didn’t though. Unfortunately umpires have the “I’m always right” mentality and often refuse to consider what really happened.