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Blog Entry

Did umpires botch Adrian Beltre's last at-bat?

Posted on: October 20, 2011 1:24 am
Edited on: October 20, 2011 1:38 am
 


By Matt Snyder


ST. LOUIS -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre came to the plate in the ninth inning with one out and his Rangers trailing by one. He had already gathered two hits and scored one of the two Rangers' runs to that point. Even against rock-solid-of-late Cardinals closer Jason Motte, the Rangers were certainly not buried with Nelson Cruz and Mike Napoli set to follow Beltre in the order.

And then Beltre grounded out to third. And he and manager Ron Washington argued. The reason? Beltre believed he fouled the ball off his foot. Replays showed it was entirely possible. Beltre could clearly be seen saying "it hit my shoe."

Via MLB.com, here is the play -- including the thermal imaging video:



Now here is a good slow-motion of the shot, including again the imaging:



First of all, Beltre fell to the ground immediately. It's not like he saw it was a rather weak grounder and decided to play possum. He was down before that entire thought process could have taken place. Secondly, Fox evidently has some thermal imaging in their broadcast and used it to show that that ball did graze his foot. 

"(Beltre) said he did (foul it off his foot), and he has those Velcro-type shoes," Washington said after the game. "So (Beltre) asked (home plate umpire Jerry Layne) to check the ball; couldn't find anything on it. (Layne) said none of the umpires recognized it, so that's what it was about."

So did the umpires botch this? If you believe so, understand how utterly difficult it would be to see this in normal speed, with no help from slow-motion. And slow-mo doesn't even give anything definitive here. It looks like it may have hit Beltre's shoe. Thermal imaging? Maybe MLB needs to institute instant replay with thermal imaging. Then, instead of being behind the technological curve, MLB would be ahead of it.

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Comments

Since: Aug 16, 2009
Posted on: October 20, 2011 12:52 pm
 

Did umpires botch Adrian Beltre's last at-bat?

As a general rule, if you have to use heat maps in order to determine if the ump made the right call or not, you have to give him the benefit of the doubt of making a mistake.



Since: Feb 6, 2008
Posted on: October 20, 2011 12:41 pm
 

Did umpires botch Adrian Beltre's last at-bat?

WRONG!!!



Since: Jun 26, 2011
Posted on: October 20, 2011 11:36 am
 

Did umpires botch Adrian Beltre's last at-bat?

My friend, you need to learn the rules of the game before making an idiot statement like you have. It doesnt metter where the ball hits, as long as it doesnt hit the batter in foul ground. It matters where the ball crosses the first and third base bags, to determine fair or foul. So although the ball did hit right outside the foul line at home plate, it clearly crossed the first base bag in fair terriorty, making it a fair ball. The rules of the game are very important.



Since: Sep 11, 2010
Posted on: October 20, 2011 11:02 am
 

Did umpires botch Adrian Beltre's last at-bat?

Everyone is missing the bigger blown call.  BERKMAN'S 2-RUN SINGLE IN THE 4TH INNING WAS FOUL!!!!  Th ball came off his bat and hit the ground foul by about 3 inches just outside the batter's box prior to bouncing into the outfield.  Look at the video.  It's obvious. 
The ball came back into play before it crossed 1st base so you're wrong sorry.



Since: Jul 25, 2009
Posted on: October 20, 2011 10:56 am
 

Did umpires botch Adrian Beltre's last at-bat?

Everyone is missing the bigger blown call.  BERKMAN'S 2-RUN SINGLE IN THE 4TH INNING WAS FOUL!!!!  Th ball came off his bat and hit the ground foul by about 3 inches just outside the batter's box prior to bouncing into the outfield.  Look at the video.  It's obvious.



Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: October 20, 2011 10:52 am
 

Did umpires botch Adrian Beltre's last at-bat?

It is what it is....calls are going to go both ways in this series.  It happens all the time.

Let it be, can't do anything about it.

Rangers Fan



Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: October 20, 2011 10:41 am
 

Did umpires botch Adrian Beltre's last at-bat?

I think on this one you could use all the technology available--including the thermal imaging--- and not come up with a definative answer.  I am not totally opposed to using more instant replay on close calls, but in this case you would not have got "indisputable" proof to overturn the umpire's call (or non call).  If it hit Beltre's foot, and I tend to think it did by the speed of his reaction, it was only grazed and just happened too fast to be visiable to the naked eye or even show up definatively in the replays in slow motion.  Bad break for the Rangers but I don't think replay would have changed anything.



Since: Oct 2, 2007
Posted on: October 20, 2011 10:32 am
 

Did umpires botch Adrian Beltre's last at-bat?

I am a Rangers fan, and I am more bothered from a baseball perspective.  Why will baseball refuse technology to help with the game?  We had a chance to see the Rangers three power hitters face an electric closer.  Maybe Beltre gets a hit, maybe he doesn't.  It just happened at a horrible time in the game.  if this happens in the 2nd inning it's a non-issue.  This call did not lose the game.  Questionable decisions by Washington and timely hitting by the Cards won it.  Hope every game is as exciting as game one was!



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: October 20, 2011 10:32 am
 

Did umpires botch Adrian Beltre's last at-bat?

I disagree about the ball "not" changing direction.  It clearly looked from the angle of the videos I see that the ball was headed well foul prior to hitting the tip of his foot.  Should have been an easy call for the ump but he simply blew it.
Problem is they have been blowing calls in the playoffs left and right.
I have no problem if this is a regular season game but when we are talking playoffs any play that has implications like this should include a replay and if the ump still thinks it was a fair ball then fine.
The reason is that these umps are asked to judge a play in real time and then make split second decisions.  Too much to ask for a human being. 



Since: Aug 31, 2011
Posted on: October 20, 2011 10:23 am
 

Did umpires botch Adrian Beltre's last at-bat?

I think they missed the call but it was one that could have easily been missed.  It took the Infered camera to show that it barely caught the tip of his shoe.  Umpires look for a couple of things when watching a play like this.   They will listen, then watch the way the ball bounces and most will see the batters reaction as well.  This is where they missed this one.  There wasn't a sound loud enough to judge, the ball barely hit so it didn't change directions, but Beltre immediately went down.  It happens but it was unfortunate for the Rangers.  He could have easily grounded out on the next pitch but i'd have blown up if I was Washington because it should have been obvious to the umps because of his immediate reaction. 


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