Braves-Pirates go 19 innings; game ends on controversial call at home plate

The Braves and Pirates had a 19 inning affair last night, one that possibly could have gone on a lot longer had it not been for the very controversial call at home featured in the video above.

With Braves relief pitcher Scott Proctor at-bat with runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out, Proctor hit a ground ball to Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez fielded the ball and came home with it and his throw easily beat the Braves’ Julio Lugo to the plate.

Lugo tried to avoid the tag from catcher Mike McKenry with a pop-up slide. From the replays, it looks as if McKenry made the tag, but the home plate umpire called Lugo safe.

And just like that, it was over. A game that had seen no scoring since the third inning, a game more than double the length of a regulation game, a game teetering on the brink of history…was over with one bad call. What a shame.

I hate to beat a dead horse, but plays like this are exactly why baseball needs more instant replay review. They can review boundary home run calls because those can have an effect on the outcome of a game, but apparently plays at the plate in extra innings have no effect whatsoever. It just doesn’t make any sense.

Someone in the league office needs to wake up and realize that the system is flawed before they screw over anyone else. Because last night the Pirates weren’t the only ones to get screwed, all of us as fans got screwed as well, as we were robbed of the chance to see an epic (and possibly historic) game end on an legitimate play.

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Pete Blackburn
Founder & lead editor of The Nosebleeds. Journalism graduate of Endicott College, Class of 2013. Boston born & raised. Lover of sports, binge television watching, music that doesn't suck & everything '90s. Not a tall drink of water. Follow @PeteBlackburn 
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13551019721618404709 Jim

    That's the worst call I can remember in baseball. 10 times worse than the Jim Joyce perfect game blown call. Inexcusable.

  • dugger

    That was a New reason for instant replay!!! another blind ump who was tired and ready to go home to his husband!

  • Randy

    Terrible!!!

  • Anonymous

    That was so bad. I could care less about either team, but I have to feel bad for the Pirates. Just a no brainer.

    Danni
    Honolulu

  • Anonymous

    Jim, you are wrong. While the ball clearly beats Lugo by 5-feet the catcher did not apply a definative tag. I beleive the ump should have ruled him out, however, the replay is not conclusive. The angles we have seen are not clear enough to overturn the call.

    For the potential winning run coming home, the catcher must make a better tag /block plate effort as to not leave any doubt as to whether the runner was tagged or not.

  • Anonymous

    Just horrible! That Ump should be suspended for the rest of the season. He only called him safe because he was tired and wanted to go home; go home forever Ump, YOU SUCK! You just cheated the players and fans you piece of S**T! I am not even a fan of either team.

  • Anonymous

    Shameful call. In plain view of every fan out there…clearly, the guy was OUT. When will MLB come to the plate and bring Instant Replay into the policy? The Pirates were robbed! I am a Giants fan (live in SF) and I couldn't believe this call!

  • Anonymous

    I normally don't rip umpires or referees but this was sickening. The umpire needs to be benched for a few weeks for making a call that bad. I haven't seen calls this bad since the Steelers were given the SuperBowl victory against the Seahawks a few years back.

    Go PHILLIES!!

  • Anonymous

    Great Call!

  • Anonymous

    Unbelievable! The umpire should be suspended and fined by the league. The runner was clearly safe. This call is very suspicious.

  • Anonymous

    THE HOME PLATE UMP NEEDS TO RETIRE…HIS EYE-SIGHT IS SURELY FAILING HIM. EVEN A LITTLE LEAGER COULD SEE THAT THE RUNNER WAS “OUT”.

    MINTA

  • Maureen

    Dugger, your remarks were unnecessary. That the ump was wrong and probably tired were likely true, your inference that the ump is gay was decidedly meant in a derogatory manner. Why else would you have said it. It isn't wrong to be gay, but when you make a statement such as yours, while admonishing someone, it is always going to be taken as a derogatory statement. Unkind unless you know for a fact that the umpire is gay and is married to a man, but you do not know that, do you?

  • lee0136

    Looks like he got him on the leg but the catcher f'ed up by trying to tag him again by swiping at his arm as if he'd missed his first tag. He missed the arm completely by the second view shown. If he had pulled away confident with his first tag the ump would have called him out. IMO

  • Anonymous

    It doesn't matter. The Braves suck and have done so for a long time. They won't make the post season this year because they are about to start their infamous losing streak.

  • Anonymous

    OUT! by a mile. Instant replay needed especially when the umps can't even make an easy call like that. Who ever said great call needs binocculars too!

  • Anonymous

    There is no excuse. I have looked at the play several times. The tag was made but not obvious enough for the ump. Bad Call all the way. I guess he better join the other umps on the unemployment line.

  • Anonymous

    That was the worst call in the history of the mlb. I was clearly shown that the catcher got lugo out.There are only three reasons why i could think the ump missed the call he is either blind,over the age of 50 or maybe the game was to long and he wanted to end it.

  • Anonymous

    he was safe he did not tag him look close……

  • Anonymous

    Maureen, save your soapbox speech for another board. Nobody cares.

  • Anonymous

    I think the call was bull! I agree the ump just wanted to go home. I hope he's not there tonight. How can the braves be satisfied with a win they didn't deserve at that point? I would want to be able to say that we beat them because of our playing not the screwed ump called. I feel that the ump should have to answer on TV why he made the call he did. And then should be fined and fired! McHenry was 3 feet in front of the bag and the runner knew he didn't have a chance. How could the runner in an interview say he knew he was safe? Now everyone knows that the runner is a liar and would cheat and lie to win. If that's the kind of players Atlanta wants on their team I have no respect for them. Have you seen the commercial where the high school basketball player tells his coach that he touched the ball last not the other team. His coach thanked him and they gave the ball to the other team. That's what I would like my son to be, HONEST. Any low life can be a liar and cheat!

  • Anonymous

    I do not think that any of the views that are shown on the video clearly show that the catcher actually tagged the runner. The only possible tag was to the thigh area of the runner and the umpire was right there over it in the photos. Even if there was a replay review I don't think there was clear evidence that would warrant a replay official to overturn the ruling on the field. The catcher must do a better job protecting the plate especially in a game winning situation.

  • Anonymous

    Welcome to Braves baseball, America's team!!! yuck, yuck

  • Anonymous

    Bad calls are all a part of the game. You wanna win, you gotta hit. Hit better next time Pirates. You can't blame the whole game and get your panties in a wad over one call.

  • Anonymous

    Just a thought: What are umpires taught if there not sure of a tag being applied? If they're thinking “Man, I don't know if he tagged him or not,” then what's teh “right” call in that situation?

  • Anonymous

    Not a fan of either team…runner looked out on regular motion and slow motion. Terrible call. The argument for instant replay is further enhanced.

  • Anonymous

    Dead duck out at home.

  • Anonymous

    I don't think the rule book uses the word legitimate tag. Now we are qualifying how an out is recoeded? WOW….there are more ignorant people in the world than I thought.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, no, the instant replay shows, in the last slide scene that the catcher did touch his shin with his glove. The guy knew he was out, he didn't even bother touching the plate until he saw the umpire call him safe. One of the worst calls of all time.

  • Anonymous

    Bad Call Jim Joyce and now this one. I'm not a fan of either team but like GOOD Umping in a game.
    Fired these blind Ump's

  • Anonymous

    people, be objective. no replay shows definite contact between the catchers mitt and runners leg. the easy call is ''out'', with little or no argument from runner/mgr. fatigue is just a bogus accusation. the writer of the article shows his ignorance as well with a call for expanded replays just because a play at the plate in extra innings may/may not have been ruled incorrectly. what about any close ''out'' at any other base in the 2nd, 5th or 7th inning? those could have prevented ''historic'' scoring records. i will assume that this site's writers are not true journalists, but merely short sighted, aggravated fans with way too much time on their hands.

  • Anonymous

    To all the people defending this call, you are delusional. There is absolutely no argument, lugo was out and by a mile.

    As for the ref..he was tired and wanted to go home. He cheated the pirates, all fans, MLB and the game of baseball around the world. This guys has no business ever ump'ing another game at any level. HE IS A CHEAT!!!

  • Anonymous

    I am an amateur umpire, and I don't see anywhere in the video that it shows above a DEFINITIVE tag made…it looks as if he appeared to swipe the leg, but there is no CLEAR contact, and from the umpires view, it is reasonable to make a safe call their. Why isn't anyone faulting the catcher for not laying and holding the tag? The catcher could have made it impossible for the umpire to make a safe call. I don't think the call is unreasonable. Maybe not the right call, but not unreasonable, and FOR SURE not overturnable using NFL replay language of, “indisputable evidence”.

  • Anonymous

    they are umpires, not 'refs', you idiot

  • Anonymous

    What was he thinking? The runner was out by a mile. What the hell? I remember that happening I believe back in 1992 with the Pirates and Braves[how ironic]. It was the game for entry into the World Series and Smoltz was running to home plate and the same exact thing happened. The Pirates got screwed. I smell something fishy. I believe the game should be overturned. It just isn't fair. The Pirates haven't gotten this far in quite some time and then to have some blind, ignorant ump to make a super really bad call, they lose the game. I agree that instant replay should be a part of actually all sports because of situations like this. As for the ump, I think to make that kind of a call, he shouldn't be an ump. He should also have to pay a fine. As for the individual that said the tag was in conclusive, at every angle I seen, it was cleary a proper tag and he was, again, cleary OUT!!!!! As for the other who said about bad calls, hey, in any game, winning is the priority. Doesn't matter if it is by 1 point or 10. But this was not just any mistake. This was the game winning mistake and a critcal loss. So understand why the Pirates are in an uproar. If the shoe was on the other foot, you'd be upset too.

  • Anonymous

    Even if there was no apparent tag the ball was there well before the runner and it is no different than having your foot on the bag at second on a double play if its close enough they call the runner out

  • Anonymous

    as a 15 yr retired professional umpire, i remember a lesson learned at umpire school – “players are dumb, but fans are dumber. and as dumb as the fans can be, pales in comparison to the press.”

    this is a fact that will never, ever, change.

  • Anonymous

    terrible these umps need toi be of an age where their vision is not a factor,imagine if this was game 7 world series what then come on fire him now bud or lets just fire you selig

  • Anonymous

    Looks like the unpire just wanted to get to the bar before it closed…..TERRIBLE call

  • Anonymous

    To the amateur umpire above…Lets just hope you dont make it to the MLB level. I would hate to have another incompetent umpire comprimising the integrity of the game.

  • Ernie, Hagerstown Md…

    Wow!I find it hard to say he was out and it was obvious. The catcher could have done a much better job blocking the plate but I thing he was also focus on throwing the ball to first to get 2 outs. When you look at it in slow motion he appears to have missed his upper thigh, but he tried to tag again making it look like he may have missed. Good game and I think the umpire made a good call based on where he was standing at the plate. The catcher whiff the glove at the runner in hopes to go to 1st instead on ensuring he got the runner at home. Go Braves!!

  • Anonymous

    If the play was that easy and a no brainer then the catcher should have covered home plate better
    HaHa

  • Anonymous

    I didn't see any clear evidence of the tag. It looked like he might have tagged his leg but definatly missed his arm. Baseball players are a spoiled disrespectful bunch as are most baseball fans too. The ump made the call. Live with it and move on to your sorry excuse for a life losers!!

  • Anonymous

    My first reaction was”man ya hate to win a game like that”, but after seeing a close up, slow motion replay on ESPN it's clear it was the right call. The catcher missed the tag. Had their been instant replay it would not have been overturned.

  • Anonymous

    Two things…Firstly the batter is OUT for being out of the basepath when he fell. The rule is THREE feet either side of the chalk…
    Secondly… The runner at home was out by 5 feet… I hope the Pirates file a formal protest… and the game will be replayed from the point of incident

  • Anonymous

    Yet another sterling example of why they MUST impliment instant replay in baseball, after cut it down to 6 or 7 innings. My guess is, the umpire was getting tired, and after 19 innings who can blame him. But that's no excuse for making a blatant BAD CALL, even Stevie Wonder could've made the right call. Lastly, I'd title this call: Jim Joyce's Reprieve.

  • Anonymous

    the catcher should from now on make sure the ball is in his hand and then wack the runner in the gut hard. this way he will fall down and then the catcher can fall on him.

  • Anonymous

    The commentators on the video are dumb! He said that the catcher hit him in the arm, but in the last camera view, you can see he clearly missed. TV personalities and sports commentators have never been known to be the smartest folks!

  • Anonymous

    Instant replay in baseball! Gimme a break. Then instead of 19 innings taking 7 hours it'll take 10. Instant replay just delays the game and pisses fans off. Have some respect for the umps and referees and take the calls, whether good or bad. Thats always been part of the game. People have forgotten the HUMAN side of sports. Quit crying. There are too many games in baseball for this call to make a difference.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry- but as slow as the game of major league baseball is- this is a crystal clear case of why there ought to be replay in baseball. “Holy Cow!” The umpire should have been overruled by the third base umpire.

  • stevie wonder

    he was safe, from what i saw. signed, stevie wonder

  • Anonymous

    Whats worse than the call is the umpires explanation. First words were, “I saw the tag” but he made the safe call because the catcher “oled the tag.” The wrong call was made because of the form of tag? MLB…more worried about money than getting it right.

  • Anonymous

    what are you talking about anonymous?? of course he applied a definitive tag!!just look at the still frame above!!he's clearly out by 5 feet! ANY AND ALL ANGLES SHOW THAT! no idea what you're looking at, but keep trying to sound intelligent.

  • Anonymous

    HEY GUYS!!!… NOT SURE HOW ALL YOU CLOWNS ARE SAYING THE CATCHER “MISSED THE TAG”!!!! HAVE YA SEEN THE STILL FRAME ABOVE???? HIS GLOVE IS CLEARLY ON THE RUNNERS KNEE. TAKE A LOOK AT IT, AND YOU'LL ALL REALIZE HOW FOOLISH AND IDIOTIC YOU SOUND.

  • Jim

    It could have gone either way. The ball beat him by a mile but it was very hard to see if the catcher touched the leg. It appears to me he swiped at what he thought was the leading leg (the left one) but it was bent so he swiped and missed the right leg.

    I have never been a fan of the phantom call at 2nd on double plays. You either touch the bag with ball in hand or you don't.

    From what I have seen it could not have been overturned either way. So much for instant replays. We have seen it from all angles and still can't be definite.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17473589606148462588 liquidmonkey666

    I happen to be a Tiger fan so I'm not concerned that much with the outcome. I like both the Pirates and Braves equally. They're 2 of my favorite teams from the NL. But. I have to agree with the ump. The fact that given the video angles and the nature of the tag I couldn't be sure he made the tag either. The ump had the best view and in his opinion the catcher failed to make a decisive tag. The catcher should have gone down and blocked the plate and made a more forceful tag. That way nothing would be in doubt. Enough said!

    Pittsburgh fans, get over it, move on! If Galaraga can get over losing a perfect game surely you can get over this. It's one game, played barely one week after the all-star game. I doubt it'll have any bearing on the NL Central division outcome. There's still more than 75 games left til the end of the season. Put it behind you and be grateful you're not the Houston Astros.

  • Anonymous

    hey amateur umpire from 1:11 pm, since when is a “swipe of the leg” considered not a definitive out?? this is why you're an amateur umpire for tee-ball!. a swipe of a leg with the glove (ball inside) has been an out since 1900. a swipe is a tag! keep umping those 8 yr olds!

  • Anonymous

    I spent 6 hours watching this game, it was a special game that fans live for, to end like that cheated the fans watching. He is a major league umpire, the play not fast. He should be in position to make the call. To call him safe he didn't to be sure, he wasn't, he deserves all the critism. If a safe was made not word would have been said.

  • Anonymous

    I am a 78 year old man,and have seen alot of
    baseball.This has to be the worst call That I
    have ever seen.The ump missed the call because
    A:He is blind,B:He thought homeplate was in the
    right hand hitters batters box.C:He was already late for a date.That is what is terribly wrong
    with Baseball,the umpiring has been terrible.
    From ball and strike calls to calls like this.

  • Anonymous

    JIM hit this one on the head. The throw was in time but the tag was not applied.
    No one complains when a SS drags his foot next to second base without touching it in a double play and the runner is still called out!

  • Anonymous

    First Maureen there is something wrong with being gay, but we can address that in another discussion. Secondly after looking at this reply several times it appears that the catcher clearly knew he missed his leg and therefore attempted to tag his arm and missed that as well. However this can be very debatable as who is to say if he touched his leg or not.

  • Anonymous

    Who cares, the call was made. Live with it. Too bad.

  • Anonymous

    The still frame doesn't show jack. It's 2 dimensional like your brain. You see what you want to see. Either way. But what it comes down to is the ump's call. It is the final answer. Live with it and move on, loser.

  • Anonymous

    “No one complains when a SS drags his foot next to second base without touching it in a double play and the runner is still called out!”

    TRUE!! Baseball sucks. Rules are rules. Enforce them or get out! The ump has the job of making the call. Now the no life loser fans must live with it. The call cannot be reversed. No matter how many stories are printed or posted. No matter how many dummies post on this website.

  • Anonymous

    “not a definitive tag”…. yu're right, there were TWO deifinitive tags!! Keep up the good work Pirates….more fuel for the fire!

  • Anonymous

    I for one 100% agree with 'lee0136', the catcher just didn't stick with it. If he would've kept it strong then he would've got
    Lugo out but since he didn't,he's SAFE!! GREAT call UMP!!

    – Go Braves(:

  • Anonymous

    Dot a definitive tag. The ump had the best view and in my opinion no tag was made. He's safe and the braves win…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06969717826926129614 Shadow

    Catcher MADE the tag, not once but twice, first tag on the right leg and the second tag on the right arm/side, long before the runner even got a foot close to the plate. If you look at the replay, the safe call is even before the runner touched home plate, which is AFTER being tagged out at home!

  • Anonymous

    Here is the worst part, the Braves argued all night with this same home plate ump, Nate was thrown out of the game along with the manager of the Braves. In most cases the team that does that will get no close call the rest of the night, the Pirates had no beef all night with this ump and got the short end of the stick on this one, just doesn't usually work out this way.
    Bottom line is without instant reply the call is the call, right or wrong. I am a Pirate fan and lets hope this makes us play that much harder to avoid these mistakes, don't forget neither team did not score the extra run they needed until the 19th.

  • Anonymous

    Don't you think that if the runner had scored, he would have been excited BEFORE the call? He just kind of paused, heard the call, then started bouncing around. Even he knew he was out! That ump should be fired, and I think a “bad call” should now be known as a “Jerry”.

  • Anonymous

    great call

  • Anonymous

    Very clearly out by a country mile! Anyone who says the catcher didn't tag him is as blind as the umpire. All pro sports need replay to take the moron factor out. This umpire will be known for this the rest of his career and life.
    Way to “F” up a good game ump!

  • Anonymous

    The ump made a great call under the circimstances. There was never a tag applied, you can see it in the replay. The announcers made a bad call. They said he was tagged on the leg and arm and clearly neither was the case. I'm the first to jump on the umps when they make what I percieve as a bad call, especially against my favorite team, but in this case the ump was right!

  • Anonymous

    grow up ppl! the ump made a mistake (which he pretty much fessed up to today) and it cost the pirates a game. Nobody died and the world did not end. They're professionals and get paid way more than you and I will ever see in a lifetime. They'll survive! You should focus your energiesn and comments on real tragedies in life such as what happened in Norway and everyday violence and tragedies in our own country each and every day.

    and yes i'm a huge Pittsburgh fan—- Go Pirates, Steelers and Pens!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    What about all the other bad calls from that night?

  • Anonymous

    As much as I'd like to believe the ump made a bad call, I don't see it that way. I've seen still photos and video in both real time and slow motion, and from different angles, and I can not see a definitive tag. It really does appear as if McKenry simply missed the tag. Close? Yes, but there's no definitive tag. Braves win. Pirates lost the game, and will loose the appeal too.

  • Dave E.

    To all those folks who addressed the issue of the catcher not blocking the plate: Didn't we hear an outcry recently concerning the Buster Posey injury and the resulting emphasis on catchers avoiding collisions at the plate? And-each of the replays I saw showed a tag being made.

  • Anonymous

    Every one saying that this is “only one game” and “it wont effect the standings” is high. How many times has a division come down to 1 game on the final day of the season. Hmmm last year with the Giants and Padres sounds familiar and what happened? Oh yeah the giants won the world series. He was out, no need for instant replay, get better umpires.

    Alex

  • Anonymous

    Having played this position in high school & college, I have watched the video, the different angles and slower speeds. There is one important aspect that know one has referred to or even mentioned…look at the video again from the angle that the ump was directly looking in from to the Pirates catcher. As the catcher is making the swiping tag on the thigh of the Braves runner…there is no hesitation or change in direction of his glove. Even if there was the slighest glance off the Braves runner…that glove would have had some resistance or change in direction! There was none, none at all…therefore, I could see why this ump would have made this call!

  • Anonymous

    If you look close, he did miss the leg. You can't really tell until the last angle, but he does go over.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Anon @ 4:00pm…thats what I'm saying! His glove didn't change its angle or trajectory at all. It came all the way around & didn't even touch Lugo on the arm either. Lugo run into his arm. The mitt/ball never touched Lugo!

  • Anonymous

    You can see clearly that it is a tag before he reached the plate. If you look at the replay at 1:30 mark you can clearly see that the runners pants at the spot of the tag billowed away from the area proving that the catcher's glove did in fact hit him in the thigh.

  • Anonymous

    It all comes down to one thing. The Pirates are from PITTSBURGH and everyone hates teams from Pittsburgh. Look how hatefull Baltimore is of Pittsburgh. They wish hateful things on us. And durinmg the playoff games for the super bowl in Detroit I believe it was Cincinati and Denver where they were telling everyone not to sell tickets to Pittsburgh fans. How petty can you get.

  • Anonymous

    I think replays would be inconclusive. I'm a Phillies and Mets fan, too. It was a good call and we need to give the umpire a break. He's got feelings. I'd liked to give him a hug. Go Phillies and Mets!!

  • Anonymous

    Anon 4:08, that billowing of the pants leg @ the 1:30 mark was Lugo starting his slide & the catchers glove coming over top. Its also wind resistance of his swipe that was a “whiff”!

  • Anonymous

    Having umpired professionally I can positively attest to one thing…the ump was in the absolute correct textbook location to make that call. The camera, although very beneficial in most cases, is totally out of position.

    If we you are going to complain about this call MLB really needs to clean up the errant calls at 2B that have become status quo.

    No man should be asked to umpire 19 innings behind the plate in one shot. MLB needs to come up with a rotation plan after 9 innings for the umps.
    What a gutsy call.

  • Anonymous

    How does he call himself a major league umpire??? That was one of the all time worst calls. This time it wasn't about instant replay. A blind man would have called him out.

  • Anonymous

    This is the reason why catchers must block the plate and throw hard body blocks to base runners. How else can you force an umpire to make the right call????

  • Anonymous

    On a play at th plate any contact is considered a tag. Look it up.

  • Anonymous

    The umpire is a bafoon. He was sooooooo out!
    The best thing ever to happen in MLB was to get the Braves of the NL west.

    GO GIANTS

  • Anonymous

    As a umpire the photo does not demostrate that theres has been contact with the base runner, in fact on the replay the catchers mit does not appear to deviate in the sweeping motion – if contact was made with the base runner the glove should have hesitated for a brief moment. If you look closely it also appears that there is light where there should be a shadow, The umpire is in the correct position to make the call and the camera from center field is not. Without a camera being in the exact position of the umpire. I would have to agree with his call. The umpire made the difficult call and that is what he gets compensated for, anyone can make the easy calls. It is part of baseball and should be forever.

  • Anonymous

    The PIRATES were robbed and cheated out of a win. I've come to believe several things since the BUCCOS have started winning.
    1. They don't want to see another Pittsburgh team do good. 2. I feel that he wanted to go to bed and didn't care if any team got hurt.
    For those who say Pittsburgh should get over it I say you are all wrong. I bet you wouldn't let it pass by if that happened to your team. The ratbirds, bungles and a lot of other teams hate Pittsburgh for winning so much. Now they want the Pirates to not win either. Just look whgat the ratbirds said and tried to do to Hines and Kym during DWTS. They asked their fans to call in and vote for somebody else. That would have tied up the phone lines. As you know that didn't work. Those jealous of how good Pittsburgfh teams should go away.

  • ninrocket

    SUPER SLOW MOTION HERE: on.fb.me/qFFz8i

    Click through the pictures using the RIGHT and LEFT arrows on your keyboard.
    Read my comments below the pictures. I think Jerry Meals made the right call.

    This is actually not the worst umpire call ever but probably one of the best calls of all time.
    EXCELLENT WORK MR. MEALS!!!

    MLB needs to show this view to the public in slow motion with the original footage. Jerry Meals should be vindicated and apologized too.

  • Anonymous

    That is the worst call ever ! It was not close ! Meals should be fired for it ! I am not sure if he just had enough after 19 innings, was a Braves fan, or one of the NFL's anti-Pittsburgh rule idiots ! Nevertheless he is a disgrace to baseball ! MLB should replay the game as it might cost the Pirates a playoff chance !

  • Anonymous

    I wonder how the ump feels after watching the video? I'm sure the Braves will send him a nice xmas gift!

  • Anonymous

    I am always amused by the comments on sporting events. Please people, if you are going to express your feelings, please learn to spell. Your mis-spelled words are more interesting than your comments.

    BTW: He was out!

  • Anonymous

    Joe Torre even said he made the WRONG call and Lugo was out

  • Anonymous

    So now all of a sudden the tag is what counts in baseball? It never seems to count when the shortstop steps over second base and throws to first when completing the double play. Or when the second baseman is standing two feet from the bag. Its a fact that the umps give at least some credit for the throw beating the tag. In this case, whether the catcher applied the tag or not, the umpire signaled safe before the runner even touched home plate. The ump had no clue where home plate was. If he had waited until the runner got to home plate before making the call you might argue that he thought the tag was not applied. But the end of the slide and safe call was made four feet up the line. Obviously, THAT is INCORRECT. So at the very least, the umpire needs a geography lesson and shown where home plate is.
    This reeked of $10/hour softball ump in a rec league.
    You'd think much, much more from a big bucks major league umpire.

  • Anonymous

    Yhe only thing Meals will get is more games playoffs and bigger games and all the suckers who pay high ticket prices will pay his salary

  • Anonymous

    He needs to be investigated for gambling by having a ton of money on Braves

  • Anonymous

    looks like the catcher didnt really touch the runner… look carefully…His hand just fly away from the runner….

  • Ryan Foster

    After watching it a few times, now I think he did miss the tag, but I do have to add that the home plate ump missed calls all night long.

  • Anonymous

    I didn't read all the comments but to me the proof that he was out was provided by Lugo himself in the way he reacted after the ump called him safe

  • Anonymous

    I see umpires botching calls on stolen base tags at second base all the time. Those plays have a margin of error though. It's not always clear cut,hence you don't see the manager running out there to argue always. This play is a different story. There is no way that anyone seeing this can say the runner is safe. The guy was out by a mile and the catcher was on top of it and tagged him. One of the worst calls I've ever seen.

  • Anonymous

    Close call…wouldn't want to be the Ump, but if the runner was out it could have been overturned by the ump at third base by appeal. BTY, Maureen is wrong…it is WRONG to be gay…not natural. (in her reference that the Ump was a gay man) Just my opinion. God made adam & eve, not adam & steve.

  • Anonymous

    I can't believe I stayed up late to witness this travesty. Then I had to go to work on minimal sleep! It's a shame Meels will never be held accountable, this coming from a former ump. And he stank on pitch calls both ways all night. Sad.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone saying he missed the tag is blind too… You can clearly see, during the swiping motion, Lugo's pants ruffle. He also tagged the arm at the top of the swipe with the back of the glove. He's out by a mile, and Lugo knew it, that's why he looked disgusted til the ump made the safe sign, and only then did Lugo make sure he touched the plate…

  • Anonymous

    By far the worst call I have ever seen. Pirates filed a complaint? What exactly does that mean? A slap on the ump's wrist. More needs to be done. INSTANT REPLAY!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Stevie Wonder jokes – very funny, m****r f****r!

  • Anonymous

    Anybody who thinks that is an obvious blown call is a diptard. I think the ump did a fantastic job with a very hard tag to call. The one people should be looking at is the catcher. What a crappy tag attempt!!

  • Anonymous

    Baseball needs instant replay worse than any other sport!! If the ball is there 5 feet before the runner, he is out at 2nd base but at home he is safe?? Ump even had his mask off and still couln't see the play?????

  • Anonymous

    For a fact I know the ump not gay. I read all the comments and realilize that no matter what anyone does in life that people are going to comment with their own opinions. But the ones that commented–good or bad — should remember; we were not standing on that field at home plate watching the runner coming to home plate. So how can anyone say the runner was out or safe? That's why the MLB has officals standing at every plate. Don't jump to concusions until all the facts (or replay from all angles) are seen. I know for a fact that the ump is a very dedicated person to baseball

  • Anonymous

    what were the other umps doing during the play…and AFTER the play ?? No one saw anything ?

  • Anonymous

    it is wrong to be gay! adam and eve, not adam and steve

  • Anonymous

    i mean any dumba** that close cld see he didnt even touch the plate for another foot or two. not that damn hard to see that

  • Anonymous

    @Jim… sorry but nothing could be worse than losing a perfect game on a blown call… this was bad, but definitely not as bad! Instant Replay NEEDS to be initiated bigtime in Baseball. I know most people argue its already long and slow enough, but last I checked most NBA & NFL games are roughly around 3 hours long, just like baseball?! Severely blown call!!!

  • Anonymous

    Wow and they get PAID 4 THAT? SHOULD B FIRED!!!!UMP THAT IS!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I will pay 10k for that game ball if it is signed by the ump I will pay 50k,better yet ill pay 20k and get his autograph for a happy meal when hes on the unemployment line. Anyone can make a mistake but this guy actually shoved the call right uo the cathers you know what. Look at the umps face hes like F YO- JE-K O-F YER OUT

  • Anonymous

    Ump made the right call… the video replay PROVES NOTHING!!!!! He had the best view, and most likely tghe catcher took the second swipe at his arm/upper body as an attempt to actually tag him out. Either way its the umps call, and anyone unbiased has to agree there is no way the replay proves it one way or another. Just like in hockey when the review a goal, the video replay has to prove clearly what happened IF THE original call is goping to be overturned. Most likely the same guidelines would apply in baseball if they ever implement video replay. The call would have standed as “safe”

  • Anonymous

    Who ever said the ump bad the right call in the previous post at 1017 pm ,if someone put a gun to your head and said what do you think is the right call, I bet you would change your mind.now change your post jackass

  • Anonymous

    Guys… I know the play was obviously an out, but umpires are human beings and make mistakes.

  • Anonymous

    The catcher ate a bad batch of chili the night before,that why the guy was called safe.

  • Anonymous

    TO POST AT 10:25…do you ride the short bus??? If not, and someone put a gun to your head and said to say “YES, I do ride the short bus”…I'll bet you'd do it. Brilliant, you have concluded that a person with a gun held to their head will do what they are told. My guess is, with that line of thinking, you DO ride the short bus.

  • Anonymous

    Somehow congress will want to interview all involved

  • Tom H

    Look at the still frame above again. From our angle we can see that the glove is definitely “in front” of the leg, but there's no way to tell if it is actually touching the leg. Now look at the perspective the ump has. He is in the exact position to see if there is any space between the glove and the leg. And he is obviously focused in on the tag. Sorry, everyone, but I am going with the ump's call.

  • Anonymous

    Listen stupid ,what I am saying is fans sometimes see what they want to see,but when the chips are down and someones got a gun to your head and says make the true call and you live. your opinion will change in other words ,Bet with your brain[literaly} not your heart,now review the video again after you remove your eyeballs from your hemorrhoids.

  • Anonymous

    You are all idiots who agree with the umps original call, The ump admited he F—— u-

  • Anonymous

    To the idiot comparing the Steelers DESERVED win over the Seahawks in the SB. lol What game were you watching? Steelers should have wom that game by 30…….what a MORON you are sir still crying over a far better team playing a below par game AND still domiating the Seahawks , over one little push off call. LMAO. I thought Seattle fans drank all that “WHINE” by now.GO BUCCOS

  • Anonymous

    Yes it was , after watching the replay , was a bad call , BUT it was closer then it seemed. He did BARLY make the tag . At best it was on the clothing. I'm a Pirate fan , but I can see where he could have called that. BUT if the Bucs lose the DIV. by one game Im going to protest……lol. GOOOO Clint Hurdle… from another Merritt Island High School grad to another… ( oh and I am the one cracking on the SEAHAWKS crybaby )

  • Anonymous

    Complete dueche bag of an UMP, he had only onething in mind to miss a damn call that bad, is to end it! Nothing hurts the sport more then a damn UMP getting in the way!

    Jerry Meals “Dueche Bag of the Week Award”

  • Anonymous

    yep…it's confirmed for sure…. he rides the short bus

  • Anonymous

    I think its obvius from reading a few of these comments that most of you dont care to use any kind of common sense reasoning ability. First I want to say ok it does become obvious that the ump screwed up the call and the runner was out. But for half a second pretend like you were there and had to make the call. when I first saw the play my first impression was that the runner was safe beat the throw and was in the middle of his pop up slide when he was tagged, so he was safe right? wasnt until I had the benefit of replay that I was able to see that he completed his pop up slide a foot or foot and a half short of the plate. and the ump doesnt have the benefit of instant replay. so he makes the mistake of making the call on his first impression which is probably right 99.9% of the time. Had to write this because I get tired of the monday night quarterbacks that think they know it all. If you are that good maybe you should give up your day job and get out there on the field.

  • Anonymous

    It may have been a bad call, but you need to back off the ump. The next time one of you perfect people disagree, I suggest you go do the job. It is not easy and requires lots of training. It takes years to get to the Majors as an umpire. Most never make it. Human error will be a part of the game and you will just have to live with it. Besides, it didn't cost you any money or your job. So why are you worried about it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01393813614918264014 baseballcoach2846

    Plays like this are exactly why baseball does NOT need instant replay. This is not the NBA or the NFL. This is Major League Baseball. Where blown calls are part of the game. I wish they never put replay on blown home run calls. If we had that instant reply back in 1996, we would never know who Jeffrey Maier is. Derek Jeter may not be Derek Jeter. You never know. This is baseball at its best and worst. I love this game

  • Anonymous

    Lugo should have just lowered his shoulder and broke a bone on the catcher. That would have been better. Safe.

  • Anonymous

    Okay,this was a bad call; it happens, very likely more times than we know. Just study your neurology; there isn't a human being alive that can consistently make an accurate call on a play like this. The human brain an optics system cannot do stop action the way we see in photos or slow-motion, and are not capable of accurately seeing what's happening between the moving objects of the ball, the mit and the runner accurately under those conditions; just can't happen. In fact all that the brain can get out of such a thing is just a flash of objects moving, nothing more.

    It's not a matter of the ump's age or ability, it's just that the human eye to brain images can never be fast enough to accurately comprehend what happens at that speed. That's why we now have photo and instant replay, which probably should be used more often in pro sports where there can be so much money riding on a close call.

  • Anonymous

    he is a gambler

  • Anonymous

    Had a ton of money on Braves

  • Anonymous

    I'm a Braves fan and this call was as egregeous as it gets. I believe the ump was tired and wanted to end the game and was willing to do it on anything close either way. While the playback clearly shows the tag being applied to Lugos on the leg…the actions of the runner also confirm that he was tagged. If you watch Lugos at the end of the play, you will see his surprise at being called safe even though he had not touched the plate yet.He remedied that at the end of the play when he finally stepped back to the plat to make contact with it.

  • Anonymous

    I'd of called him safe too if I had to sit through 19 innings of baseball!

  • craig

    Send that umpire to T-Ball league!

  • Anonymous

    If there was a “review” rule, the decision would have been “After further review…. there is inconclusive evidence to overturn the call of the umpire that was 2 feet from the play”

  • Anonymous

    All of you who are jumping on the crucify bandwagon…look closely…he didn't tag him on the leg or arm.

  • Anonymous

    tag or no tag a real catcher should not tag like a shortstop. The ball could have easily come out. He should have buried the runner 2 feet into the ground and 3 feet short of home plate. Real catchers live for that. Only reason the ump said he messed up the call was because of MLB (Major League Bawlers)

  • Anonymous

    He WAS out; but the swipe COULD look as if he missed, because the catcher did not stay with the tag ! A good catcher, knows how to assure that the tag is made, by taking his free hand to cover the ball in the mitt hand, and use both arms to push the glove into the leg or body of the sliding player. When the glove and player collide, there is no doubt whatsoever that the runner is out !

  • Anonymous

    I looked at the video replay several times and the picture on this site and I still am not certain if McKenry's glove touched Lugo's leg. I can't really blame the ump for making the call that he did. Sometimes they have to make tough calls and sometimes they're wrong. He is certainly not blind or incompetent…

  • Anonymous

    How many of you “haters” have ever strapped it on and actually put your body in an umpire uniform? Probably none of you. Yeah – let any person look at multiple replay angles and they might second guess their decision. But at the speed of major league play the decisions need to be made in an instant. The fact that the pant leg never moved and the swipe of the glove was never “disrupted” by the leg, leads to believe in that short amount of time – SAFE! So, unless you have done the training and put yourself through the actual job of umpiring above HS ball. Keep your traps shut!

  • Anonymous

    “Anonymous said…
    I think replays would be inconclusive. I'm a Phillies and Mets fan, too. It was a good call and we need to give the umpire a break. He's got feelings. I'd liked to give him a hug. Go Phillies and Mets!!

    July 27, 2011 4:13 PM”

    You're a dumbass and not a fan of baseball. You can't like the Phillies and Mets they have been rivals since forever. As a Phillies fan with season tickets I would know. Now stop being a frontrunner cause the Phils are stacked.

  • Anonymous

    runner was safe look at the super slow motion pics!! on.fb.me/qFFz8i

  • Anonymous

    Yanks Fan here…that was the WORST call I have EVER seen an umpire make! HORRID way to end a great game of baseball. That guy needs to be suspended or something…terrible. If that happened at the Stadium (hell, or at Fenway), the Ump wouldn't have made it out of the building alive (unless he was in a Sherman Tank).

  • Anonymous

    Im a braves fan and I for one thought he was out, and should have been called out. I agree everyone was tired and im sure wanted to go home, but come on, dont sit there and say thats the reason why he called him safe. Things look different LIVE than on video. We wont ever know what he saw because we werent there. all we will ever have is this video and speculation of “what might have happened.” I recall some bad calls last year in the NLDS games against the braves. 2 games in a row…people called safe that were out and people called out that were out. its the game of baseball, bad calls are going to happen, after all we are all human and make mistakes!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    There was no definitive camera angle therefore this would never or could never have been over-ruled. Remember, YOU weren't there, the umpire was, and HE saw it just as it happened and it looked to him, that the catcher missed the tag (note the only conclusive photo where the runner appears to slide under the tag – the catcher is leaning backwards away from the sliding runner.

  • Anonymous

    Don't know why in some of comments you mention that Meals should be vindicated and apologized to when MLB, Joe Torres and Meals himself admitted making wrong call and he has apologized for it