SCREAMIN’ FROM THE CHEAP SEATS – APRIL 13
By Leo Haggerty

ANOTHER BODY BLOW FOR MLB

Just when you though Major League Baseball had weathered the storm of media haymakers that it absorbed from the truly bad decision to move the 2021 All Star Game out of Atlanta, a couple of body blows came out of nowhere.  The crazy part is that both revolved around, of all things, instant replay.

The first took place in the tilt last Thursday between the visiting Marlins and the Mets.  Home plate umpire Ron Kulpa rule that the Mets Michael Conforto was hit by a pitch with the base loaded giving the home team a walk off win.

Miami Manager Don Mattingly protested the call and it went to the replay booth for review.  The replay ruled that he definitely was hit but that’s not the gist Mattingly’s complain.  The head honcho of The Fish made the case that the batter was hit by a pitch in the strike zone and should have been called out.

Here’s where the the problem starts.  The MLB rule states that only whether the batter was hit is reviewable.  Issues such as is the pitch a strike or that Conforto made an effort to get out of the way are deemed judgement calls making them not renewable.

Now, to make matters worse for MLB, after the game Kulpa stated, “The guy was hit by a pitch in the strike zone.  I should have called him out.”

Even Gary Cohen, a member of the Mets broadcast crew, thought is was a bad call as he declared, “He made no effort to get out of the way.  It was a strike.  He stuck his elbow right into the pitch.

The second took place last Sunday night where the Atlanta Braves were hosting the Philadelphia Phillies.  On a play at the plate in the ninth inning, the Phils Alex Bohn was called safe and the replay seemed to show he was out.  The call was not overturned and that gave Philly a 7-6 lead and closer Hector Neris notched his second save with a perfect bottom of the ninth for the victory.

When the call was sent to New York for further review, the safe call stood after five minutes of examination.  The official ruling from MLB was that the replay official “could not definitely determine that the runner failed to touch home plate prior to the fielder applying the tag.”

After the game, when Bohn was asked if he thought he was safe, he responded, “I was called safe.  That’s all that matters.”

Braves starter Drew Smyly had a different perspective as it applied to the reasoning behind the decision.  He declared, “They said there was enough evidence.  There were five different angles.  It was clear.  He didn’t touch the plate.”

There you have it.  Two more examples of the ineptitude as well as the poor decision making that is recently plaguing MLB.

Memo to Commissioner Rob Manfred.  You need to get it right in a hurry because the fans are deserting the sinking ship in droves.