Thursday, October 7, 2010

More thoughts on the umpiring

We've seen this before: Hunter Wendelstadt
ejects Ron Gardenhire.
I'm fairly sure that Hunter Wendelstadt missed the call on the pitch that teed off Ron Gardenhire. I'm just as sure that Wendelstadt missed a pitch earlier in the same at-bat, and that call went in the Twins favor.

In which case the two calls canceled each other out.

It's my sense that Wendelstadt is in the bottom half of MLB umpires, but that opinion is influenced by the repeated run-ins he's had with the Twins. If he really does merit a postseason assignment, it clearly shouldn't have been in a series involving the Twins.

Gardenhire was the second manager ejected Thursday. In St. Petersburg, Fla., Tampa Bay's Joe Maddon got the heave-ho after a bad call on a two-strike checked swing kept Michael Young's at-bat alive. He hit a three-run homer on the next pitch, and Maddon's ejection followed body language indicating that he was listing a string of dubious calls in that series.

That said, the Twins did not lose Thursday because Wendelstadt blew that pitch, or because he may hold a grudge against Gardenhire. They lost the game because Andy Pettitte pitched like the Pettitte of old, not like the old Pettitte; two runs is not often enough to beat the Yankees. The Rays lost their game 6-0; they've scored one run in two games, and that's not going to get the job done either.

Meanwhile, the players union wants a meeting involving it, the umpires and MLB to address problems between players and umps. One of the basic issues to be confronted: When a player is disciplined, it's public knowledge. If an ump is disciplined, nobody knows -- and there's a real possibility that there is no effective discipline for out of control umpires.


  1. He may have blown two calls in that one at bat. The problem I have with Wendelstadt is he is not consistant batter to batter team to team.

  2. You're correct, the Twins didn't loose because of umpiring, but Strike One doesn't "cancel out" Strike Three--I think Strike Three is of higher value. LuckyBucky