Saturday, October 10, 2009

More on the umpiring

There's been a rather disgusting mantra this season from umpires who perform poorly:

"The replays were inconclusive."

We got that postgame response Tuesday from Randy Marsh, specifically on the no-call on the Brandon Inge hit-by-pitch.

We got that response, more or less, in August from Hunter Wendelstadt, who, with the aid of his umpire mates, clearly screwed up multiple calls and claimed later that the replays upheld his calls. As I wrote later, if young Wendelstadt watched replays after the game, they were from different games.

Then there was Mike Muchlinski's blown call — I may never forget or forgive this one — on July 20. As memory serves, the umpires refused to even discuss this one with reporters, I assume to protect Muchlinski, a vacation fill-in.

So it was something of a shock to see an umpire admit that a key call was made in error:

"There's a guy sitting over in the umpire's dressing room that feels horrible," (crew chief Tim) Tschida said. "I've been there."

OK, it might be better if Phil Cuzzi himself was come out to say that. Cuzzi was the left field umpire with one major job — to make fair-foul calls — and he blew the call in the 11th inning Friday.

Now, again: The Twins had plenty of opportunities to win that game long before everybody watching the game knew Phil Cuzzi was on the field. Between Joe Nathan, Carlos Gomez, and 17 men left on base — Joe Mauer had two hits and two walks and was not involved in any scores — there are plenty of other reasons the Twins lost Game 2.

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