As many of you may have seen last night, the Seattle Mariners were robbed, pure and simple, of a victory at Yankee Stadium by an incompetent umpire last night. Jorge Posada hit a hard grounder to second that Jose Lopez made a nice play on, then whirled to first, and threw out Posada by a half-step. But umpire Mike Reilly called him safe, which sent the Mariners into a rage, and manager Mike Hargrove got thrown out for his trouble. It was an unbelievably god-awful call. All the replays showed that Reilly blew it and blew it badly. I watched the play with some friends at Professor Thom's, and as soon as it happened, I knew Seattle would not win this game. Sure enough, the Yankees won it in 11 innings.
Sure umps make mistakes. But when they happen at such critical times, and in the middle of a pennant race that hands the Yankees a cheap victory, that sticks in my craw.
Johnny Damon hit a fly ball to center that scored the tying run, and it should have been the final out of the game. And to add to the stupidity, Reilly let the game continue in the middle of a downpour as Alex Rodriguez came up. Finally, in the middle of the monsoon, Reilly signalled the game halted, and after a two-hour delay, the game finally continued again.
Let's see if Reilly has the guts to come out and say he blew the call. He of course won't, as most umps are so pig-headed that they won't admit a mistake even when the replays clearly show they've made one. Back in 1996 when that punk kid Maier interfered with Tony Tarasco during the ALCS, at least ump Richie Garcia admitted the next day he blew it.
I've been saying for years that it is time for Major League Baseball to institute a system like the NFL has. Umpires should be reviewed like NFL officials are. The truly bad umpires should be weeded out. The umping, especially behind home plate, has gotten so bad over the last few years. It's time to stop treating umpires like Supreme Court judges, where they only leave when they retire or drop dead. The game will be better off in the long run.