Touch 'Em All: Bad call prompts push for replay

Texas' Derek Holland blanked Toronto on Saturday for his third shutout in July.
Texas' Derek Holland blanked Toronto on Saturday for his third shutout in July. (Getty Images)
Posted: July 31, 2011

The reaction to umpire Jerry Meals' call at home on Tuesday night in Atlanta was predictable - a scream that baseball needs replay.

You probably didn't see the play live because Meals' call of safe on Braves runner Julio Lugo ended a 19-inning marathon just after bars close in most places and honest citizens are long asleep.

But you sure saw it the next day. The call - unanimously judged incorrect by everyone who saw the replay - was shown all day Wednesday, igniting a national uproar.

And most of the noise was screaming for instant replay.

Which delivers the point. You never will have a better example of a situation where the fans watching television had a better view of the play than the umpire.

Don't blame Meals. He was about to signal "out," when he thought he saw Pirates catcher Michael McKenry miss the tag. He was wrong, but that happens every day somewhere in baseball. Unfortunately, this bad call was witnessed by tens of millions.

In the age of instant communication - and it's evolving day by day - delivering fans a better view of a critical play than the umpire is untenable.

If Pittsburgh misses the playoffs by one game, it will be worse that that.

Trade talk

The Cubs are trying to retool a bit and move some of their excess baggage, but they are at a handicap because players like Chicago (games by day, fun by night). Aramis Ramirez's agent, Paul Kinzer, told SI.com's Jon Heyman that his client wanted to stay a Cub and would accept a trade only if he knew the team was totally disbanding, and that isn't happening.

Maybe the Cubs should rethink giving "no trade" clauses to free agents.

Impressive company

Derek Holland's 3-0 win over Toronto on Saturday was his third shutout in July and fourth this season.

The Texas lefthander is two shutouts shy of tying the club record for a season, shared by Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins (1974) and Bert Blyleven (1976).

Holland is the second Ranger to record three shutouts in a month. The others are Jenkins (1974) and Gaylord Perry (1975).

Jenkins (284), Blyleven (287), and Perry (314) combined for 885 wins. Whew!

History lesson

Carlos Beltran was pretty much a bust in New York, certainly compared to his salary. But before you think the Giants got an overpaid stiff last week, remember this - Beltran hit eight postseason home runs after his trade to Houston in 2004.

As you saw last week, the Giants will be very, very tough in the postseason.

Post-Derby letdown?

Once again the All-Star Game's Home Run Derby is wreaking havoc on the participants.

The Seattle Times' Larry Stone pointed out that AL boppers have been in a power slump ever since.

Entering the weekend, Derby winner Robinson Cano, had one homer in 14 games since the event. Adrian Gonzalez had no homers in 13 games, David Ortiz had one in 10 games, and Jose Bautista - the majors' gaudiest slugger - had none in nine games.


Contact staff writer Don McKee at dmckee@phillynews.com.

Read his blog at www.phillynews.com/incites

This article contains information from the Associated Press.

 

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