The first full week of baseball is finally behind us and over the last few days, there have been a lot of opinions on the umpires. There have always been different viewpoints about the umpire problem within Major League Baseball but just throughout the first week of the season, there have been multiple bad calls.
On Friday, the Mets played the Marlins and outfielder Michael Conforto was at-bat with the bases loaded. Conforto leaned in when the pitch was thrown and was hit on the elbow. This hit-by-pitch forced a run in the bottom of the 9th inning and the Mets won.
The Marlins lost to the Mets in what might be the strangest ending you'll ever see
— Bally Sports Florida & Bally Sports Sun (@BallySportsFL) April 8, 2021
Umpire, Ron Kulpa later admitted that he blew the call:
Mets-Marlins umpire Ron Kulpa admits after the game that he should have called Michael Conforto out instead of awarding him first base.
The Mets won on a bases-loaded-hit-by-pitch walk-off. pic.twitter.com/Ci4J7HgwLE
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) April 8, 2021
There are no takebacks once the game is over. An umpire working for the MLB should be able to make the right call. And, perhaps more importantly, if an umpire egregiously blows a call — whether he admits to it or not — there needs to be ramifications and/or punishment.
Enough is enough of the protection major league umpires and the umpire union seems to get.
Moving on, now it’s time for the game that everyone is still talking about. On Sunday, the Braves played the Phillies and it was a tied game at the top of the 9th inning. The Phillies were at-bat and Didi Gregorius hit a sac fly to shallow left field. Philly third baseman Alec Bohm tagged on the play and scored on a bang-bang play at the plate. The problem was, he never touched home plate. The umpire, Lance Barrett, called Bohm safe and the replay later confirmed it.
Feel free to judge below.
Alec Bohm scored on this bang-bang play in the top of the 9th.
It proved to be the winning run. pic.twitter.com/lEft3iW0S9
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 12, 2021
Atlanta tweeted this after the game ended:
Final: Phillies 7, #Braves 6, apparently.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 12, 2021
Umpire Scorecards gave Barrett an overall 95% accuracy on pitches called behind the plate, but what does it matter when he cannot call the biggest play of the game correctly?
These just a few examples of what we have seen so far this season. And there haven’t even been any Joe West or Angel Hernandez mentions yet…
The league really needs to explore something to remedy this growing issue in the game. Fast.