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, 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.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Since: Aug 26, 2010
Posted on: October 20, 2011 10:18 am

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

Yeah it was a foul ball. Seems like the Cards are a team of destiny this year. Sometimes you get the breaks, and this year in the post season the Cards have gotten the breaks more times than not. Just like against the Phillies in game 4 when the Phillies were up 2 runs in the 1st inning... and had Pence at 1st with Howard at the plate on a 3-2 count. The pitch was taken high and outside for ball four... oh wait, instead the ump called it strike three... and then Pence who was actually safe at 2nd was also called out.

While there is no way to tell if the Phillies would have scored more... or if that would have made a difference in the outcome, you can't deny that 1st and 2nd with nobody out is vastly different than two outs and nobody on. The Phillies were close to chasing the starter (Jackson?) in the 1st inning... and could have had one of their biggest innings in the post season. Plain and simple... the momentum was taken away from that play. You can sit here as a Cards fan and act like it's no big deal, but had that happened to the Cards, I'm so sure you all would have been up in arms. Bottom line is the Cards played well enough to win and if the series was that close to hinge on just a simple play or two... they deserved to win. The Cards have gotten the calls overall this post season... similiar to the Giants last year... and so you have to ask the question... is it luck... is it destiny or something else? I will tell you, I'm not slowing down for squirrels darting across the street anymore.

So yeah... I think just about everyone would say it was a foul ball... but would it really have made the difference in a win or loss... not likely... not likely at all. I could see if there had been someone in scoring position... then I could see this being a bigger deal.

Since: Aug 10, 2010
Posted on: October 20, 2011 10:15 am

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

I have to echo some of the other comments here:  Umpires are human and miss calls.  Some missed calls are obvious and others, like this one, are tough to see from any angle, much less the ump's.  The truth is every game World Series or regular season) has calls that go against both teams.  The good teams play through and win anyway.

What about the other 26 outs that the Rangers failed to capitalize on?  They simply lost the game.  The Cradinals were better.  On to game two.

Since: May 15, 2009
Posted on: October 20, 2011 10:10 am

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

Sounds like Beltre has a problem with hitting himself when he is at bat.  Remember in the Detroit series, he hit himself twice in the same game.  once in the knee and once in the foot

Since: Oct 25, 2007
Posted on: October 20, 2011 9:53 am

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

If you watch the replay from the first base side (which the umpires don't have that angle) you can clearly see the ball would've been foul if it hadn't hit his foot. It was a difficult call, but the ball definitely hit his foot. Botched? Nope, that to me means it was a call that was easy and still missed. This call was not easy, but it was missed.

That's the thing about baseball, there are always going to be missed calls, it's a part of the game and nobody is perfect.

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: October 20, 2011 9:50 am

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

Yawn.  This is a non-story.

Baseball is inexact.  It relies on human opinion to from the fabric of the game.

No human being could ever ascertain the truth.  It was so fast.  The ump missed a call that was impossible to call without high tech support.

Even with thermal imaging and super slo-mo it is still not readily apparent.

Most Ranger fans don't even seem to be all that upset.

Since: Oct 20, 2011
Posted on: October 20, 2011 9:44 am

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

read the story they did check his shoe

Since: Oct 20, 2011
Posted on: October 20, 2011 9:41 am

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

Beltre is a phony loser crybaby. There is no way that ball would have bounced that high if it had gone off his foot!! LMAO

Since: Jun 1, 2007
Posted on: October 20, 2011 9:07 am

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

As an umpire, if you didn't see it you can ask for help from the base umpires to see if they saw it from their perspective.  However they are at a greater distance and probably a snowball's chance in hell for them to see it.  The Home Plate umpire can't call it if he didn't see it. Simple as that. 

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: October 20, 2011 8:55 am

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

Yes they blew it but that was a very tough call to make.  THe only thing they copuld go by is the player reaction or REPLAY if it was allowed.

Regardless, it did not matter in the game, the Cardnials shut the Texas hitters down.

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: October 20, 2011 8:49 am

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

You would be reading the Cardinals won 3-2, the US Government is still in debt, and there are wild animals Ohio. This call was a none factor in the game, there was no way to tell if the ball fouled off Beltre's foot in real speed. However, that thermo scan did look like it hit his foot. In all this should be a good series to watch.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or