No more perfect example...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

No more perfect example...

...of what I refer to as a "'Let's go home!' Call" was on display in Atlanta last evening courtesy of home plate umpire Jerry Meals.

Last evening? It was actually 1:50am this very morning in the 19th inning of a 6:39 marathon at the Braves' Turner Field.

The surprising first place Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves were locked in a 3-3 tie when pitcher Scott Proctor hit a ground ball to the right side of the infield with runner Julio Lugo on third base.

Lugo took off on contact, third baseman Pedro Alvarez threw a strike to home where catcher Michael McKenry appeared to apply the tag well before Lugo touched the plate.

(Video of the game-ending play.)

Umpire Meals, however, didn't see it that way and signaled Lugo safe, putting paid to the longest game in either team's history.

For his part Meals told pool reporter Mark Bowman of

"I saw the tag, but he looked like he oléd him and I called him safe for that."

Upon review and reflection, Meals added:

"I looked at the replays and it appeared he might have got him on the shin area. I'm guessing he might have got him, but when I was out there when it happened I didn't see a tag. I just saw the glove sweep up. I didn't see the glove hit his leg."

O, okay... and the fact that it was 1:30 am and 91° weather had nothing to do with it.

But, hey!, everyone was able to go home.


1. Hampton West said...

Oy vey!!! not even close. A gift to the Braves - shame, the Pirates are finally making noise after being asleep some 15 + years

2. Champ19 said...

I love that quote: "...he looked like he 'oléd' him." Now that is a new one I have to remember. Only an ump would come up with something like that.

Actually. it comes from the NFL back in the '60s, and referred to a defensive player who avoided physically hitting the runner or pass-catcher. I first saw it used in George Plimpton's wonderful "Mad Ducks and Bears."

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