A-Rod Contributes to Umpiring Controversy By Allowing Umps to Get One Right

Alex Rodriguez was the subject of the first replay review over a home run in Major League Baseball, and last night, he was the subject of the first replay review in World Series history.

By hammering a ball to right field that hit a FOX camera, A-Rod once more became an unwitting pioneer in the use of instant replay. The trick, in a game played on Halloween night, was that he treated the officials to a rare opportunity this postseason to get a call right.

Sort of.

⇥⇥Phillies fans will surely scream of the injustice that was done when umpires reversed their initial call, giving Rodriguez and the Yankees a two-run homer that cut the lead to 3-2. But in the end, it was the right call.⇥⇥

⇥⇥As crew chief Gerry Davis later explained, the umpires survey the field every time they go to a new ballpark, and during their tour of Citizens Bank Park, they determined that any ball that hit the camera over the outfield fence would be called a home run.⇥⇥

⇥⇥⇥

⇥⇥“Because we cannot control what the cameraman does with the camera, one of the specific ground rules is when the ball hits the camera, home run,” Davis said.⇥⇥

If that's the ruling that was agreed upon before the game and adhered to during it, it's hard to fault the umpires for consistency. But the video shows that the ball hits the camera as it hangs over the field, and may have, unimpeded, fallen to hit the fence. That's a rather unfortunate placement, no?

The umps may have done everything right on this one, finally. But I shudder to think about what could happen if FOX starts getting more things wrong. Isn't pairing Joe Buck and Tim McCarver enough?

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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