VIDEO: Umps Use Instant Replay; Still Botch Easy Call in Rays-Twins Game
We knew there were going to be some bumps in the road this season as Major League Baseball worked to institute wider use of instant replay to assure umpires made the right calls during games.
But it seems one point remains crystal clear: even instant replay can't keep bad decision-makers from making bad decisions.
Case in point: the officiating crew at Tuesday night's Tampa Bay Rays-Minnesota Twins game rang up Tampa shortstop Yunel Escobar AFTER he'd received four balls and AFTER the umps had a chance to review the at-bat on video.
As reported by Crave sports site NESN, the trouble began when home plate umpire Paul Schreiber apparently mistakenly thought Escobar fouled off a pitch during his 5th inning AB, leading to an incorrect ball-strike count. The phantom foul tip was also recorded by the scoreboard operator, furthering the confusion.
So, no problem, right? That's what replay is for. I mean, the announcing team for the Rays were easily able to watch back the pitches and make the right call, as evidenced by the video above. One quick look at the video and the whole thing gets cleared up, right?
Schreiber and the crew stopped the game and after a 2-minute delay, STILL miscounted the balls and strikes and called Escobar out. On a 4-2 count.
The situation was so thoroughly botched that Major League Baseball issued an apology statement after the game, saying:
''An error was made when replay officials and supervisors mistakenly thought one of the pitches was a foul ball when it was actually a ball.''
So, that sorts out that…Thankfully, the Rays still won the game 7-3.