Blog Entry

Davidson's blown call costs Marlins a W

Posted on: August 5, 2010 10:30 pm
Edited on: August 6, 2010 1:48 am
Bob Davidson After the Marlins' bullpen blew a lead, third-base umpire Bob Davidson blew the game against the Phillies.

With a runner on second and one out, Sanchez hit a hard grounder down the third-base line. The ball bounced twice -- in fair territory -- before going over the bag and as it passed Davidson near the end of the infield dirt, Davidson threw his hands into the air and called a foul ball.

Just as he started to raise his hands, the ball bounced again -- six inches or so inside the line. Davidson was looking straight ahead and not at the ball as it bounced in fair territory. Rules state it doesn't matter where it lands, only where it crosses the bag, but it's kind of hard to believe the ball bounced twice in fair territory, went foul and curved back fair.

Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez came out to argue the call, but didn't get tossed.

Ryan Madson struck out Sanchez on the next pitch and after an intentional walk to Dan Uggla, Cody Ross struck out to send the game to extra innings.

Carlos Ruiz homered in the top of the 10th to give the Phillies a lead.

UPDATE: It's final, 5-4. The Phillies sweep the series, with a little help from Balking Bob.

UPDATE: From Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post : "#Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria on the blown call -- The ball never landed in foul territory. Dreadful"

And if anyone knows "dreadful" it would be the most dreadful owner in MLB.

UPDATE: Remember how Jim Joyce turned his negative into a positive by accepting responsibility and reminding us umpires are human, too? Well, Bob Davidson has the exact opposite and reminds us of the arrogance of some umpires -- from Capooz via Twitter : "Umpire Bob Davidson -- Im very confident i got it right... i understand that's the winning run but in my opinion it was foul"

UPDATE: So, Davidson's arrogance knows no bounds. He watched the replay and is unrepentant. Here's the transcript of Davidson's meeting with a pool reporter, courtesy of Capozzi :

“I was right on top of it and it was wide of the bag, that’s all. I had it foul.”

He said he watched replays and stands by his call.

“In my opinion, where it goes over the bag, you can’t tell,” he said. “After a bounce, it came an inch or two on the fair side, but … it was very close. But I’m right there. i know what I saw.

“I’m very confident I got it right. What the ball did when it went past me is irrelevant.”

“As I’m looking at the base, it was just to the right of it.”

“I understand that’s the winning run, but in my opinion it was foul and there’s no replay that you can really see what the ball does over the bag — and that’’s what’s important. But I know what I saw.”

Rodriguez brings up replay again, telling reporters: "I think that if a play is going to decide who wins or loses the game, i think they should check the play, any play."

The problem with that is who is to say what happens after the ball goes fair -- does the runner automatically get two bases? Is it treated like a ghost runner? Sure, in that situation, the runner would have scored easily, but what if the runner's on first? Does he score or just get rewarded two bases and put at third, as he would on a ground-rule double, even if he'd likely score on the play. There are so many what-ifs that brings in more judgement calls and chances for errors.

There's room for reasonable debate, but there's little room for debate that Davidson once again comes off as a pompous ass.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 6:41 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 6:34 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 12, 2011 8:34 am

Davidson's blown call costs Marlins a W

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 12, 2011 8:26 am

Davidson's blown call costs Marlins a W

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Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: August 6, 2010 5:07 pm

Davidson's blown call costs Marlins a W

Hanley already passed third base dude. He was not going to trip and with his speed it was game over. umpire needs to put his head down. He was not even looking at the ball so to make a call foul or fair doesn't matter. The fact of the matter is he was caught on camera not even paying attention to the play. The last bounce before going over the bag was on the chalk which means it is fair according to rules at all levels of basebal. It skipped over the bag and into fair territory. If it skipped foul after going over the bag then it is foul, but it did not.

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: August 6, 2010 2:27 pm

Davidson's blown call costs Marlins a W

They could have awarded him homeplate if they had judged it that no play could have been made at the plate. Technically, if a ball in play is interfered with they can award a runner on first home plate if they judged he would have scored. It has just become customary to award two bases for a dead ball but that isn't the rule in the book. So in this case had he bothered to seek the opinion of the home plate umpire, who had the best view of the ball going down the line, they could have given Sanchez home if they had changed the call. But I agree with the final point of the blog post in that Davidson's arrogance right after the call and after viewing the replay is completely off-putting. For him to continue to argue his call without even a hint of doubt is the definition of hubris.

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: August 6, 2010 2:04 pm

Davidson's blown call costs Marlins a W

@ youce - missed the point entirely as far as the 3rd bounce in the OF.  They don't watch where the ball lands after the bag.

@ Suicidaire - Awesome post and I stand corrected!  I completely "misremembered" the rules on grounders and your example of a foul roller touching the outer edge of the bag snapped immediately into place. 

What Suicidaire says is 100% correct.  A ball is not considered to be "foul" in the infield until it actually "settles" in foul territory.  Settling can mean it comes to rest, or has it's progress interrupted by another object (fielder, umpire, baserunner, etc). 
For unimpeded balls traveling beyond the 1st/3rd base bag on the ground, the ONLY determining factor is where it is in relation to the bag itself. 

In this example then, we can see on replays that the ball is clearly fair and there can be no debate; it was the wrong call. 

The argument that he should have asked for help gets a bit dicey though.  First, I completely agree that umps should conference whenever something is in doubt.  However, that can only happen on a play they have a chance to reverse.  In this case, even had he asked for help and the other 3 corrected him, the only thing they could have done would be to award the batter 1st base and placed the runner on 3rd.  The play is immediately dead when he rules "foul", and there would have been no way to simply award home plate to the runner as he hadn't yet touched 3rd base.  It's no different than the NFL rule that the play ends at the whistle (see SD/Denver w/ Hochuli). 

Since: Apr 13, 2010
Posted on: August 6, 2010 1:45 pm

Davidson's blown call costs Marlins a W

I have watched the video many times and I am not sure that the call was bad.  It is hard to tell where the ball was when it crossed the line.
The problem with replay is that using the NFL rule there would have to be "incontrovertible visual evidence" to overturn the origional call.  I just don't see anything that would lead to the call being overturned.  It's a judgement call-kinda like the old receiver being pushed out rule.  The NFL was forced to eliminate judgement part of that rule.  If replay was allowed in baseball a lot of those rules that lead to judgement calls would either be rewitten or not reviewable.
In this case I don't think that replay would have changed the game-
The home plate ump would just stand on the picher's mound and said "The call stands.  The Marlins will be charged a time out."

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: August 6, 2010 12:34 pm

Davidson's blown call costs Marlins a W

First bounce, second bounce, whatever, that ball was fair no matter what kind of spin you put on it !! It was a terrible call and for him(Dickason - misspelling intentional) not to ask for help is asinine. Not only did it cost the Marlins a win, but it kept the Phillies from dropping a game in the standings. This one call has huge implication on the entire NL East standings. It is pathetic !

Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: August 6, 2010 12:08 pm

Davidson's blown call costs Marlins a W

2 - I'm still not convinced he got the call wrong.  Everyone is focusing on the 2nd bounce (on the line), trajectory of the ball near the base, and the 3rd bounce (inside the line in the OF).  But very few people are discussing the FIRST bounce that landed in the dirt around the batter's box.  I haven't seen a definitive camera angle on it, but that bounce looks very much like it's in FOUL territory.  Which makes everything else irrelevant.

The first bounce being in foul territory does NOT make everything else irrelevant. The ball can be foul the entire time and hit the corner of 3rd base and it's a fair ball.

The only bounce that matters is when the ball goes past 3rd base. I think we can safely assume that if the ball was fair prior to crossing 3rd base and landed fair on the subsequent bounce, it was a fair ball. The physics of a ball ball changing direction that drastically in such a short period are damn near impossible.

Balkin Bob blew it and his ego won't let him admit it.

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