If the Tampa Bay Rays miss the playoffs by one game this year, do they have a legit beef with the umpiring from April 8th, 2013? Debatable. Either way, the strike three heard round the world on Monday was absolute comedy, and not in a good way.
Umpires are human, and miscues are going to happen. Oftentimes, if we’re being picky, they happen multiple times per game. But some are inexcusable (just ask Mapes–he’s still fuming over the “infield fly” in last season’s NL Wild Card game), whereas others are just plain funny.
When I saw the replay of Marty Foster’s perplexing full-count, game-ending, strike-three call on a Joe Nathan curveball that was gloved in the dirt, I couldn’t help but laugh. And I was immediately reminded of an equally embarrassing and obvious missed call last season at Coors Field that caused Rockies first baseman Todd Helton to comment: “[In the] neighborhood? It wasn’t in the same area code.”
So take a look at these two videos below, and vote in the poll: Which umpire error is more obvious…and more hilarious?
April 8th, 2013 — Rays vs. Rangers in Arlington, TX
May 2nd, 2012 — Dodgers vs. Rockies in Denver, CO
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
The Rays/Rangers game on Monday night ended in controversial fashion. Ben Zobrist had a full count, with two outs in the top of the 9th, and a runner on first base. A walk would put a runner in scoring position with Evan Longoria coming up in a one-run game. Instead, this was called strike three to end the game, click to watch.
UPDATED: Here’s the video of the call.
Needless to say, Rays manager Joe Maddon was not pleased about the call. He tweeted this after the game.
That can’t happen in a major league game.
— Joe Maddon (@RaysJoeMaddon) April 9, 2013
Evan Longoria was slightly more understanding.
To error is human…still doesn’t take any of the sting away. #Rays2013
— Evan Longoria (@Evan3Longoria) April 9, 2013
While Jeremy Hellickson has already moved on to his birthday plans in Texas tonight it seems.
Thank you all for the birthday wishes..I appreciate every single one of them!!
— Jeremy Hellickson(@JHell58) April 9, 2013
I know you don’t argue balls and strikes, but Marty Foster, you’ve got some explaining to do. UPDATED: Foster explains himself.
HP ump Marty Foster on call to end #Rays game: “Had I had a chance to do it again I wouldn’t call that pitch a strike.”
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 9, 2013
Before I forget, congrats to Joe Nathan on his 300th career save! As he said after the pitch, WOW!
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)
Moving along in our 3U3D Awards to Manager of the Year. Will these be the awards that we agree on the most? Let’s take a look.
Jeremy Dorn (@JamblinMan): Ventura has done a fantastic job in his first year on the Southside, but he was given a pretty decent offensive team, and you can mostly thank his pitching coaches for getting Jake Peavy back to his normal self. It’s a tight, two-horse race here between Bob Melvin and Buck Showalter, but I have to give the edge to Melvin. Yes, it was only a two-game difference in record, but he got his team all the way back from a huge deficit to actually win their division and absolutely shock the Texas Rangers. What a story.
Angelo Fileccia (@GODF_TH_R): Bob Melvin wins this award for leading his team to an AL West win. Rookies paved the way for Melvin’s A’s, recording an AL record number of wins. Buck Showalter would have taken this award home for me if it wasn’t for the A’s winning their division on the last day of the season. Buck had used 25 different starters and didn’t have a single player bat over .300.
Brian Boynton (@GingaBeard_Man): How can the guy who had the second lowest total payroll in baseball and won his division not win this award. The A’s finished first in AL West with a record of 93-69 beating the Texas Rangers on the last day of the season to take the division. Buck Showalter has dramatically increased his teams wins in his second year and this year’s Baltimore Orioles were no different finishing this season with a record of 93-69 after 2011’s 69-93 record. Robin Ventura had a very good rookie season as a manager although he was unable to win the division the Chicago White Sox led for a majority of the season. His team wilted down the stretch losing him his Manager of the Year award.
Kurt Peter (@FalconKP): You can’t throw away what Buck Showalter did for the Orioles. Making their first playoff appearance since 1997 and shocking the tyrants of the AL East. I loved watching it all season and seeing Adam Jones, Manny Machado, and JJ Hardy keep the birds in the air. Moneyball Part 2 can also not be overlooked. Bob Melvin and Billy Beane worked their magic again as it seems this haphazard group of misfits in Oakland got it done. Their team OBP is not great, they don’t lead in many categories, they strike out a lot, but boy do they bring the energy and win when it counts.
Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes): Melvin and Showalter are on their own level for this award and I think that the actual vote will be closer than ours was. Melvin gets the slightest of edges for me for winning the AL West and finishing with the better record than the Orioles when both teams had low expectations. To win the AL West in a division with the back-to-back American League champions and a retooled, strong Angels team is amazing. The fact that Melvin did it while starting a rookie pitcher in more games than any other team in MLB history is even more amazing. Maddon gets my 3rd place vote, because I don’t think there is a manager that gets more out of his team and his strategy than the Rays skipper.
Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes): Davey Johnson is the easy call here. The Nationals had the best season based on expectations. Johnson led the franchise to its first playoff appearance since 1982 and finished the season with the best record in the National League. Gonzalez gets my 2nd place vote as I wasn’t sure what could happen after the Braves collapse of 2011. They could have imploded and finished 69-92 like the Red Sox, but Gonzalez rallied the team to get the 1st Wild Card spot in 2012. Bochy is a close 3rd to me, just over Dusty Baker. I’m already second-guessing myself on that one, but I’m sticking with it.
Kurt Peter (@FalconKP): The Washington Nationals were bound to break out of their coccoon eventually, and an (almost) full season of Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper helped Davey Johnson guide the ship out in Washington. Their pitching has been dominant, Ryan Zimmerman has put in his work at 3rd base for them, and Teddy actually got his first win!! Dusty Baker also gets a nod because the Reds just ran away with the NL Central. There’s no doubting they are the best team in that division and when Baker was out due to health issues, they still stayed energized and headed strong into the playoffs.
Brian Boynton (@GingaBeard_Man): Davey Johnson has to win this award right? He led the Washington Nationals to their first playoff berth in franchise history leading the NL East for almost the whole season. Dusty Baker for all his short comings as a “manager” of his pitching staff was able to effectively use one of the best bullpens in baseball. Leading the Reds to the division title this season after finishing in third in 2011 with a record of 79-83. Im beginning to think that the St. Louis Cardinals are just a team that plays mediocre baseball for much of the season and then makes a push for the playoffs late in the season. This season under Mike Matheny was no different from last year than last year under Tony LaRussa but still not bad for a young rookie manager.
Angelo Fileccia (@GODF_TH_R): Davey Johnson is just a winner plain and simple. He won with a completely revamped team with a few key pieces from last year. Mike Matheny takes over the reins as Cards skipper and leads the defending World Champs to a playoff appearance that’s of the Wild Card variety.
Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman): Well, come on. I’ve got to give my boy Donnie Baseball a little third-place love up in here! Sure, Mattingly did a great job in L.A., but it’s nothing compared to the magic that Hurdle and Johnson have twirled in Pittsburgh and Washington D.C., respectively. I probably would have given the nod to Hurdle if the Pirates had reached 81 wins. But, Johnson instead snuck in after leading the Nats to a 90-plus win season, the number one seed in the playoffs, and an NL East division title for the first time since they were…the Senators? No literally, since the only people in America were British senators. At least that’s what it seems like. Long live the Expos!
Congrats to the Atheltics Bob Melvin and Nationals Davey Johnson on winning the 3U3D Managers of the Year!
What are your thoughts on Manager of the Year? Let us know in the comments!