Game 5 was last night, and the Astros won their third straight, taking a 3-2 lead in the Fall Classic, as they head back to Houston for Game 6. But as I’m sure you know, the three 3-run homers by Houston weren’t the only “bombs” people are talking about.
I, of course, am talking about an incident (or should I say a pair of incidents) in the area behind home plate late in the game. To be honest, I didn’t catch them at first, but with all the buzz all over social media over the last 15 hours, I just can’t stop watching. It’s almost amazing to me that this took place on National TV, during the World Series, and while I’m not personally offended by it, I do worry about the fact that kids could’ve been watching. I wouldn’t want their young, impressionable minds to be tainted by this type of egregious behavior right out in the open like this. So, I feel a responsibility to whip out the lap top, and address the situation head on.
Lance Barkdale was absolutely terrible last night, and something needs to be done about tit…It. About It.
If you didn’t watch the game, I’ll let you know: Lance’s strikezone was all over the place all night. Barksdale appeared to be aware of it too, as he seemed to be embarking on a real tit for tat, with a stream of make-up calls as the game wore on. But he couldn’t help it, his faults were out in the open.
Then, in the 6th inning, the issue really ballooned up. One exchange really shined a pair of high beams on his incompetence for everyone to see.
Nats’ pitcher Tanner Rainey threw a pitch that was clearly strike 3, and the catcher hopped up to head to the dugout, but Barkdale called it a ball. Gomes turned and asked him why that was a ball, and Barkdale said “because you were taking off on me”…WHAT A BOOB. And the crew chief did nothing to help matters either. A couple of Bobbsey Twins on display.
Now look, umpiring home plate is a handful. And, I know it’s a big stage and maybe Lance isn’t used to that many people staring at him making all of those calls. It was cold in DC last night, too, so maybe that made them even harder. But this is the World Series…you can’t be flashing that type of poor umpiring, and expect not to get any bounceback.
MLB faced a lot of criticism all season about Juiced Balls, but that uproar has kind of flattened out during the post season. I think it helps that the BBWAA has carried their water (jugs and jugs of it) all season on that front, but also the mammoth blasts we saw during the regular season haven’t been occurring as much during the playoffs. But as soon as baseball put one controversy to bed…here come the umpires poking their heads out.
Robot umpires may be the only way to go at this point. I’ve largely held back on providing support for this move. I’m a traditionalist, I like the real thing. There is something beautiful about watching the game in it’s natural state, and even as they age, the umpires are largely up to the task. But in the other hand, we can’t have WS games decided by these bad calls on balls and strikes. It might be time to bring in the robots…or “fakies” as some in the industry refer to them.
Whatever happens, I hope MLB can get this resolved, because I’m sick of watching these Bongo brains mishandle these situations, and have them look like major yabos.