“It has been one of my points of contention of this rule — when a guy is running basically down the baseline, a straight line, if the guy’s foot is on the line, that’s blocking the plate,” Girardi said according to MLB.com. “Everything is here to protect the players and catchers, and I’m all for it. But in that situation, he has no place to slide.¨
Making matters worse is that Ellsbury was injured on the play. Since I am a Yankees’ fan, you are probably not surprised that I feel Ellsbury should have been ruled safe. Surely I must have blinders on. I must be looking with my heart, instead of with my eyes.
So let´s put this play aside and look at some cold, hard facts. According to a recent ESPN The Magazine report, ¨No Safe Place,¨ of the 924 reviewed calls as of August 10, 47.3% of them had been overturned after further review. So umps might just as well have been flipping a coin. Heads he is out and tails he is safe.
Think about it for a second. Would you take your car to a mechanic if you knew there was about a fifty-fifty chance you would get it back with a screwed up transmission? Would you hire a plumber if you knew before hand that your floor might wind up being flooded every time you flushed the toilet?
Well, Major League umpires are suppose to be professionals. Now, they could make the excuse that I am only including the difficult calls in the calculation. Because those are the only ones that get reviewed. But that is what we need them for. We don´t need them to punch a guy out that we can see for ourselves is out by three steps.
To be fair, not all of the umpires are bad. Scott Barry had only 14.3% of his calls overturned at the time of the ESPN report. The list included five umps who had an overturn rate of 22% or less. But there were also five who had 71% or more of their calls over turned. That is inexcusable.
Every school, from Harvard to Nancy´s Nursery School, rates 47.3% wrong as a grade of F. So that´s the grade that MLB umpires get. And one more thing. Ellsbury should have been safe!