Ump admits blown call in Rangers-Tigers game ... sort of
Tim Welke, plate umpire and crew chief during Sunday's Rangers-Tigers game, sorta-kinda admits that Texas's late-inning, run-scoring squeeze should have been ruled a foul ball.
As Trent noted and deftly GIF-ed, Alberto Gonzalez's "successful" squeeze bunt in the 11th inning of Sunday's Rangers-Tigers clash should have been ruled a foul ball because the ball quite obviously made contact with Gonzalez while he was still in the batter's box. However, none of the umps had the angle on the play, and the eventual winning run was permitted to score.
The Detroit Free Press reports that after the game plate ump and crew chief Tim Welke had a look at the replay in the presence of a FOXSports Detroit reporter. Welke was asked whether the ball hit Gonzalez.
Welke was then asked what should have been an even easier question: whether the bunt should have been ruled a foul ball.
"We did not see the ball hit anybody on the field. You can decide whatever you want and deduce from that. We called what we saw, and we didn't see him get hit."
The hedging and runaround in Welke's second response does not proceed naturally from the clear statement of fact in his first reponse. But there's an admission of sorts in there somewhere, albeit subtextually.
As for the victims of the missed call, the Tigers, their leader is characteristically taking the high and stoic road: "I'm not going to get all over the umpires about it," said manager Jim Leyland. "It's too bad. But that's the way it goes. And like I said, we didn't swing the bats. To put this all on the umpires would be totally wrong. I don't buy that."