MMO Fan Shot: The Umpires Strike Back

Terry Collins, Manny Gonzalez

An MMO Fan Shot by Michael Reilly

The bases are loaded, with one out in the third inning and the Mets are down 3-1. Colorado’s Tony Wolters heads to the dugout after striking out. Not so fast, says home plate umpire Carlos Torres. You foul tipped it… A double and four runs later, the hole the Mets were already in gets much deeper. “He sold it for me,” Wolters says after the game. “I appreciate it. Carlos [Torres], thank you.”

MLB rightfully decided to honor the human element in the game by not allowing replays in such situations, leaving it up to the umpires to officiate. Umpires are permitted to consult with one another to try and make certain that the correct call is made. An umpire also has the right to refuse to discuss the issue any further with anyone at all. Too often, despite common sense and without humility, umpires choose the latter—even when it is obvious they are aware they blew the call.

The next day, with one out in the 8th inning and umpire’s egos dangerously close to being crushed, another call was badly blown. With the Mets trailing 4-3, Lucas Duda tapped a grounder to third base. Juan Lagares, running from 2nd base, avoided the tag from 3rd baseman Nolan Arenado, who instead threw to first for the out.

The third base umpire (properly) ruled Lagares safe. However, the second base umpire called him out for running out of the baseline. Who cares about such insignificant details like Lagares not even coming close to running out of the baseline and remaining on the dirt and directly in line with the third base bag, all while avoiding the tag? Ignore the fact that it wasn’t the second base umpire’s call to make. Definitely ignore the first call (safe) made by the umpire whose call it was to make. Ignore the rules. It is the umpires’ egos that we must protect.

To get to the end of this article, we must go back to 10/10/15. Game 2. Noah Syndergaard took the loss against the Dodgers and Ruben Tejada got knocked out for the remainder of the playoffs with a broken leg from a hard (and now illegal) slide by LA’s Chase Utley.

Since that game, the Mets have played the Dodgers on eight different occasions. 72 innings. Noah Syndergaard has already pitched once against L.A. since that loss in Game 2. In that game, he got the win and a couple of homers. So tonight was the 9th time that we played the Dodgers without any of the retribution every baseball fan and player thought was rightfully owed to Chase Utley, including himself.

I am not talking about hurting the guy and putting him on the disabled list. That would be wrong in any sport. Instead, one in the back, perhaps? Or, just throw a purpose pitch to back him up off the plate he has been hogging all season. Even better, make him eat dirt; you know, because: BASEBALL.

So last night, Noah Syndergaard got ejected for throwing behind Utley. Could the ball have just gotten away from him? Sure. Who knows? Adam Hamari, home plate umpire and rookie call-up, that’s who.

Although no warnings were officially issued, the umpires certainly seemed like they were treating this game and its players as if one had actually been given. I wonder just how long the umpires would have continued like this, seeing that the Mets had never sought retribution (if indeed that was retribution)?

It is not reasonable to issue bench warnings one off-season and nine games later when there has not even been a single pitch thrown inside by a Met pitcher. Nor has there been any tension or animosity between these two teams; therefore, sensibly, no bench warnings were given. Instead, the umpires decided the game should be played and ruled in the same manner it would be if an official warning was given: ONE STRIKE AND YOU’RE OUT!

Did 44,000 fans buy tickets for tonight’s game just for the chance to watch home plate umpire and rookie call-up Adam Hamari get involved and become the headliner of the game? Yes, according to yet another umpire’s ego. When will the league step in and do something not only about the bad umpiring itself, but to address this rampant arrogance and refusal to even confer as a group to get the call right?

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This MMO Fan Shot was written by MMO reader Michael Reilly. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Met fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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