Ump Blows Call as Phillies Lose Tough One

You be the judge.

So many things wrong here, that all stem from this moment.  First, Bourn appears to be outside the baseline.  MLB rule 7.08 says:  []

Any runner is out when – 
(a) (1) He runs more than three feet away from his baseline to avoid being tagged unless his action is to avoid interference with a fielder fielding a batted ball. A runner’s baseline is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely


Therefore, Bourn had three feet to work with, at the point of the tag, from his original established path to the base.  In this case, that was just outside the foul line (left).  Was he within three feet? Too close to call.  Charlie Manuel was ejected for arguing this very point, when umpire Greg Gibson wouldn't grant an appeal.  More on that in a second.

That argument may have all been for naught.  Look at the picture- Howard tug Bourn.  He appears to get his pant leg in the picture.  He said as much:


Gibson may have blown BOTH parts of this call.  Amazing.  I guess they can't all go your way.

As if that wasn't enough, ejecting Manuel caused acting manager Pete Mackanin to make an odd choice in the bottom of the 9th.  With Ruiz on first and no outs, he brought in Ben Francisco to pinch run.  Then had Valdez attempt a bunt and brought Polanco in to pinch hit for Lidge.  Why not bring Polanco in to hit for Valdez?   I don't care what you say about him (any player getting that many at-bats will have some moments), Valdez has come up small all season long.  Polanco has maybe the best bat control in all of baseball.  He could have come in and played third in Valdez's spot, and then Sweeney could have hit for Lidge.  Much better odds.

Perhaps the only positive takeaway from the game was Charlie's quote on why he was kicked out:

"I told him, that I didn't come out there to threaten his life. That's what they accused me of before one time."


That was his objection to being ejected.  Awesome.

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15 Responses

  1. not only that, why are they pitching to carlos lee? open base, 2 outs, rookie on deck, and you want to challenge one of their best hitters?
    mackanin making c.fuqua look like god’s gift to baseball managing.

  2. wow so the same ump made the same type of call in a Phils/Indians game this year against Victorino… except in the other game he called Victorino out.

  3. The most egregious thing wrong about this, is that it wasn’t the first baseman’s call. There’s no possible way he could’ve had the angle the way the play developed and by jumping the gun and making the call so quickly, he made it impossible for the home plate umpire to over-rule or make a call of his own. It was the home plate umps call to make in the first place though. When Charley came out to argue, he walked right up to Chase, Charley, and Gibson. He WANTED Gibson to ask for an appeal, because he SAW the tag, he saw just how far out of the baseline he was, he had a better view of the original line Bourn took. It’s just a case of an umpire doing a TERRIBLE job one play and then having too much of an ego to ask for help, which is all Charley wanted really.

  4. Yeah, but c’mon guys, this sucks, but how about the Gaby Sanchez Marlins hit. We love it when a bad call works in our advantage, but raise hell when it doesn’t. Yeah it sucked, yeah we could have gained some ground, but it’s all part of the game
    Do you want cameras all over the place, holding up every play as a review is being looked at. Holding up play even longer.

  5. Mike, you’re an idiot. There’s already cameras all over the place recording everything! They can take the time between plays to show viewers at home what some clowns in the audience are doing, they can just as easily cue up some footage of the play to review a questionable call. The officials are human, and prone to making mistakes. I agree with Matt 100%; this was all about the mans damn ego! Don’t give me the “it’s going to slow the game down” argument. Wouldn’t you rather every play be called correctly every time?! Give the coach a flag like in the NFL and allow him the chance to have a certain number of plays per game reviewed… Get with the times, we have the technology, why not use it?

  6. In the paper today, Charlie said that the same umpire had thrown him out in a game against Cleveland and gave him the exact opposite explanation. This really was because the umpire had too big of a head to be called wrong.

  7. Dan:
    You are right, he would have got the out if he had thrown to Utley. But there was no way to predict Bourn running 4-5 feet out of the baseline. If Bourn ran in the baseline, it is a tough but make-able tag for Howard.

  8. Mattknife, did you not see the photograph posted with this article? The first-base umpire had a clear view of the tag and that Bourn was running outside the basepaths, and it WAS his call to make. He also could have conferred upon the homeplate umpire, but clearly the photo shows the first-base umpire was right on top of the action and blew the call.

  9. I don’t have a problem bunting Valdez. But since you are pinch hitting Polanco next…meaning if they tie it up and it goes to extra innings Polanco will likely be at 3B after that, why not also pinch hit for Valdez with Oswalt – the best bunter on the team? It’s not like you would have had to waste another player just to bunt anyway since Valdez was coming out of game and 10th inning pitcher would go into his spot either way.
    I think the choice there is you either pinch hit for Valdez with a hitter and swing away or if you are bunting use your best bunter.

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