There was a situation in last night’s New York-Cleveland game in which third umpire Mike DiMuro credited Yankees leftfielder Dewayne Wise with catching a foul pop off the bat of Jack Hannahan for the third out of the seventh inning.
Problem was, Wise never caught the ball; it ended up in the hands of a fan.
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Don’t you just love how the announcers are so sure of themselves? First they credit Wise (who did make one of the great catches of all time to protect Mark Buehrle’s perfect game as a member of the White Sox in 2009 (on a ball hit by MOT Gabe Kapler, no less)). Then they say that some kid must have stuck another ball in his glove, then they acknowledge a second fan had possession.
To add insult to injury, DiMuro tossed Hannahan out of the game for having the temerity to tell the umpire he had blown the call.
The Indians were trailing 4-0 at the time but had a runner on third. Who knows if the batter had had a second chance off that foul ball, if he might not have stroked a hit to keep the inning going? And the Indians might have won the game. And used this as a launch point. And won the division. And won the Championships. And won the World Series. And inspired some poor kid to achieve great things. Damn umpires. Damn Yankees.
With the benefit of video replay, it’s easy to see the ball fall out of Wise’s glove and roll down the row to a fan in a red shirt, who picked it up and held it aloft as DiMuro came over to investigate. Some investigation it was, too. DiMuro didn’t even ask for Wise to show him the ball. He simply assumed he caught it and signaled as such. Wise, not about to argue his team out of an out, instead kept his glove closed, collected himself and ran off the field — canary in mouth, if not ball in glove.
So how could DiMuro, a veteran of 12 seasons (not to mention the son of long-time umpire Lou DiMuro) not have asked to see the ball. Heck, the umpires in my senior softball league do that as a matter of course.
I was listening to the Boomer and Carton show on WFAN this morning and Carton noted how the Yankees seem to catch all the breaks: The Jeffrey Maier-assisted home run for Derek Jeter in the 1996 American League Championship Series (which ushered in a mi i-dynasty for the Yankees who were in four of the next five World Series); the post-season calls that went against the Minn. Twins… Of course it probably jut seems that way to Yankee haters. These things have a habit of evening out. It’s just like the recent R.A. Dickey – CC Sabathia event on Sunday. You knew Dickey would have a mediocre game at some point, but because it came against the Yankees, it was magnified.
Of course, all this adds fuel to the fire of those who are barking for the use of instant replay/video in overturning such rulings.Tags: Gabe Kapler