Sports Extra

THE PLAY

Posted on: August 1, 2011

It can simply be known as “The Play”. A controversial finish to the Ontario Junior Elimination semi-final between Etobicoke and St. Thomas. Brent Lale breaks it down.

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13 Responses to "THE PLAY"

Stick to Windows A Rod!

The word on the street is that in the huddle there was no question from the beginning that the call was made too quickly and therefore needed to be changed. The first base umpire (who by the way was one of two umpires in the crew who were not local) did not see the ball come free, so there was no argument as to control or intentionally knocking the ball loose etc. The time taken was to determine where the runners be placed. They appear to have made the right decision there but it was something that Etobicoke should have been very grateful for. You can see reactions from the right fielder, pitcher, first baseman, and first base coach that indicated that they saw the ball come out and reacted as if thee runner was safe at first. Only when the first baseman and the pitcher realized that there was a celebration taking place, did they join that celebration.
You want the right call to be made which in this case is what happened eventually, but the process was kind of ugly. It seems that it made for a lead story on a slow night for news at A-Channel London.

By the video , it is difficult to see if the runner intentionally tried to knock the ball out of the first baseman’s glove–if the action is intentional then the runner is out. If the ball is dropped during the play and the runner was running to the bag and the first baseman drops the ball, then the runner is save. Both coaches could dispute the call. The first dispute is with the base umpire who made the call–did the runner intentionally try to knock the ball out the first baseman’s glove? The base umpire could ask the plate umpire for his opinion or he could stay with his call. If the base umpire is positive with his call then stay with it, but if he is unsure of the actions of the runner then he should ask the opinion of the plate umpire. The plate umpire has the final say. Remember umpires are human and they do make mistakes–a call can be reversed. Look at the Major League umpires–there have been many mistakes made this year–in their cases there should be video replay–I feel the coach can challenge any call and they should be allowed one or two questionable calls per games in the Majors–these challenges for video replay should be similiar to the NFL.
The other question to be asked about this game who started the bullying of the umpires–this is where those in control of the games need to step up to the plate. In any sport there is human error and no umpire on this earth is 100% correct.

In my honest opinion I don’t think the runner tried to knock the ball out of the first baseman’s glove. That’s against the rules!

Wow what a time to blow one blue. One team was bound to be livid after that no matter what.

Why is it always “what a time to blow one blue”? I don’t believe he blew the call–the unpire did not see the ball come loose. Also, most athletes want the calls by umpires to be immediately. The umpire can also reverse his call if the situation changes. With every sport, umpires and referees situations change. Umpiring a ball game, is totally different than a ref. calling a basketball game, and many people umpire/referee different sports. Unfortunately when you ref/umpire you get caught up in the situation and you realize your doing a different sport. All of us are human and we make mistakes. No one in blue blows the game–when you are batting 1000 and made no errors than you can direct your comment at the BLUE. Also, not all umpires are in blue—have a good day

Throw some garbage on the field etocichoke! haha

These responses are becoming laughable and seem to lack not only knowledge of the game but show an inability to remain objective. At no point was the player called out because he slapped the ball out of the glove. The umpire acknowledged to BOTH teams that he didn’t see the ball come out of the glove, THAT was why he was called “out” not because of the runner doing anything on to purposefully knock the ball out. After that, the umpire asked for help (which he is entitled to do) to ensure the right call was made. You are correct in saying that if he had knocked the ball out on purpose and that was the reason the umpire called him “out” that a reversal of that call would be incorrect. But that’s not the case here, as the umpire admitted to both teams that the call was made because he didn’t see the ball come flying out of the 1st baseman’s glove, not because of any attempt by the runner to knock it out. I also love how one team “bullied” the umpires in your opinion because the call was reversed, but when there’s no mention of the other team “attacking” the umpires…. interesting.

As a humble baseball fan, this is how I saw it(I think).The batter-runner in running to first did everything he could to avoid the tag
except for sliding into the bag. He ran in the defined area(on the right) on his way to first. He obviously would not try to make contact with the ball before touching the base. The first baseman was over extended when attempting to make the tag and the contact made him drop the ball. Happens often enough. If the umpire had waited to ensure control,as they are trained to do, it would not have taken so long to make the right call. Trust the next pressure packed game he works he will be prepared to say “control” before making the final call. Just sayin.
There were two problems with the play. The first being the premature call at first. The second was the final placement of the runners. If you watch very closely to the video you will just barely see a St. Thomas runner,that had been on second base advancing to third. Much of the shouting from the fans was the final placement of this runner. The
fans felt he should have been awarded home plate(tying the game), and the batter-runner awarded second base. The umpires after some time awarded the batter-runner first base and the runner on second was awarded third. Whether or not the fans had an impact on the outcome of the game should never be in dispute. Fans rule. Of course a ball rolling into the outfield, when it should be in a fielders glove is not evidence to be ignored.
So, there you have it. Final inning runners on first and third, two away, down a run. The next batter clears the fence with the second offering. Game over.
I was at a previous game where the umpire yelled that he didn’t care what the right call was. He had made his decision and was sticking to it. As a fan, I never want to hear this. The umpires need to get it right, In this case there is no doubt in my mind that they did. The ten minutes was time well spent. Good for them and congratulations to the St. Thomas TomCats for a much deserved win. Good luck at the
“Junior Baseball National Championship” in Windsor.
From a Junior Baseball Fan

Good luck in Windsor. It’s one of the only places where the umps are worse than London. Homer calls…What a joke

Brent Lale should have got his facts correct before posting this video. The runner was declared out because he intentionally knocked the ball out of the glove. This was a terrible case of home team coaches bullying the home team umpires into changing a call. How can the umpire make a definitive call to end the game and then change his mind afterwords? It took at least ten minutes to change the call while the St Thomas coaches argued with the umpires and the Etobicoke players started getting prepared for the final game. The Etobicoke team was robbed of a chance to go to the nationals that they earned with a win on the field. And it’s a real shame that the OBA officials at the game did nothing to stop this injustice. It’s all quite embarassing for the OBA.

Your assessment is incomplete and incorrect. The out call was because the runner was judged to have intentionally knocked the ball out of the glove with his arm and it was the correct call. It wad only after at least ten minutes of bullying by the home team coaches the the home team umpire decided to change the call that had already been made. The way this happened was embarrassing for St Thomas baseball and the Ontario Baseball Association.

Wasnt at this game but watched 5 games at the junior eliminations this past weekend and only 1 set of umpires I saw on the weekend should have been doing games above peewee rep .
Reminds of the play by ARod in 2004 World Series when he slapped the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s glove . The umps called ARod out that time and from looking at this video I think the 1st base ump got it right the first time at Emslie yeasterday .

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