Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Worst Umpired Series Ever?

This last week's Giants/Dodgers series in San Francisco has to be the worst umpired series I have ever seen. Numerous calls were completely blown by the umpires. Not just bang-bang plays that happened to be wrong, but obvious plays. The announcers commented on this all series long. It was a nationally covered story.

The third game of the series had all the blown calls going against the Giants. Giants announcer Duane Kuiper recounted that Dodger announcer Rick Monday leaned into the Giants booth and said, "Oh-for-five." A play in the first game of the series had a throw to the first baseman dropped, then he stepped off the bag to retrieve the ball, the runner crossed the base and was called out. Amazing.

In the third game, 1) Manny Ramirez was picked off first, and called safe. 2) Pablo Sandoval was plucked on the arm trying to get out of the way of a pitch. The pitch was a foot inside, and the umpire not only didn't call it a hit-by-pitch, he called it a strike. Sandoval even started out toward the pitcher and both benches cleared. 3) and 4) were two blown calls on the same play. A grounder to second resulted in Sandoval being tagged out in the base path on his way to second base. Only one problem with the tag, the ball wasn't in the second baseman's glove but in his right hand while being thrown to first base. The second base ump called him out, but the first base ump overruled the call mid-play, and the ball was thrown late to first, and the batter was safe by a half step. But, the first base ump was so distracted by overruling the other ump, he blew his own call. Both runners were clearly safe, yet it was almost called a double play. And 5), in the ninth inning, a ground out to short had the Dodger runner out by a half step, yet the ump called him safe.

During this game, both Bruce Bochy and then acting manager Ron Wotus were tossed from arguing. Although none of the outcomes of the games were affected, the fifth blown call in the ninth cost Tim Lincecum both the win and a complete game. I wonder what the worst umpired game ever is?


Unbelievable! While finishing typing the last paragraph, I witnessed two consecutive horribly blown calls on the A's/White Sox game on TV. A White Sox batter was out by a half step at first base, but called safe, and the A's argued the call [Update: I watched the replay, and not only was the runner out, he never even touched first base!]. Then the runner tried to steal second base and was thrown out as the runner over slid the base by several feet. The ump called him safe, saying the fielder shoved him out of the base path, and A's manager Bob Geren was thrown out for arguing. THE UMPIRE WAS THE SAME CREW CHIEF OF THE GIANTS/DODGER SERIES that blew all those calls last week. Gary Darling.

Unbelievable. Sandy Alderson, where are you?


  1. I agree completely, the umps were horrible. I think they were LA fans. At one point I had to control myself because I was yelling at them (Saturday at the park and Friday and Sunday at home).

  2. i'm an amateur umpire, and it's a lot harder than people think. it's not like just watching a ballgame. now having said that, i remember the stuff you're talking about from highlights and i agree with you an everything i remember.