Blind Umpires and the Red Sox Fans That Hate Them

blind umpires  the red sox

 

Blind umpires and the Red Sox fans that hate them. What is going on, and where is Oprah when we need her? (Is that too old a reference. It might be.)

During Sunday’s game the ball was clearly caught by Daniel Nava, then he transferred the ball to his throwing hand, and threw it to the infield. It was ruled an error by the umpire. I guess because the catch didn’t look clean. This is not Nava’s first rodeo. The caught ball was not ruled an out, and the Detroit Tigers’ player took second base for a double. How could one of the infield umpires see the catch from where he stood? I think the ump took far too much creative license. If this guy wants to express his artistic side, he ought to take a painting class.

How can these umpires get away with this? Managers can ask for umpires to look at a replay of a particular situation, but the umps don’t have to do what the managers order. The decision to challenge a call must come from the umpires. This is unfortunate because that call cost the Red Sox the game. While it would be beneficial in these situations for the managers to have the ability to challenge calls, the players and fans would probably be further aggravated by long games becoming even longer. Also, the challenge aspect may be overused.

The lack of control is startling in a game where every moment is carefully measured. This is why John Farrell went ballistic. Rarely, do you see him lose his cool. I think I have seen him ejected twice this year, both over bad calls. When you know you’re right, you’re right, right?

The question remains: how do you employ some checks and balances, some objectivity, without delaying the game? How do you prevent things like this from happening again?

I’ve lost faith in humanity. Bring on the robots.

A Catch Reminds Us of the Great Fred Lynn

fred lynn

Fred Lynn (L) and Jim Rice (R) Courtesty of Fenwaypark100.com

Remember Fred Lynn? Or at least have you seen footage of him play center field like a wild man, bouncing off the wall with the full brunt of his body to catch a ball? Surely I did as I watched Jackie Bradley Jr. make that incredible catch on Opening Day against the Yankees. The catch was nearly identical to the one Lynn made in the short clip below:

Lynn says the hardest part about a catch like that is not grabbing it, but keeping it in the glove. Lynn ended his first season, 1975, earning two honors, the Rookie of the Year award and MVP in the American League.  Bradley Jr. and Lynn are both graduates of the University of South Carolina and are outfielders, preferring the center field position.

 

fred lynn

Courtesy of garnetandblacktraditions.com

After yesterday’s start, the question remains whether Bradley Jr. will continue to follow in Lynn’s footsteps. Will he score Rookie of the Year honors too? Will he be an MVP? I do not know. I do know that watching that catch over and over last night, after a much too long day, gave me great hope; a hope that only baseball and spring provide.

It also made me smile and think of my father, as Lynn was one of his favorite players during that 1975 season. I hope the Red Sox do better than the projected 80 plus wins some sources reportedly hope for, and earn 95 as they did in 1975. I hope we reach the ALCS as they did that year, too. Though a sweep and a World Series berth, may be asking too much of the baseball Gods.

For right now, for this moment, we caught a glimpse of hope in our proverbial baseball gloves. Let’s hold on to it as the season unfolds.