Baseball hangover

You know how you feel when you wake up after you’ve had a few too many drinks? I didn’t touch a beer last night during the game, but had that same feeling waking up this morning after last night’s 6-5, 14-inning lose to the Angels. A baseball hangover, ladies and gentleman.

In a game that featured a little bit of everything, it would be easy to just point the finger at the blown call by third base umpire Bob Davidson and leave it at that, but it shouldn’t be that easy.

Well played, Bob


I’ve coached baseball for 10 years, at every level from coaching four year olds to adults. My mantra has always been that good teams don’t make excuses, they find a way to win.

As soon as you’ve found an excuse in a game, you’ve lost focus on what the actual job is – winning the baseball game, regardless of things you can’t control like the umpire’s discretion.

Who here thought the Jays were going to lose the inning immediately following that blown call? I sure thought it. It’s just the way baseball turns sometimes.

Blaming umpires has never been a reasonable excuse for any team I’ve coached and it shouldn’t be for the Jays either.

If they want a reason why the game was lost, here it is: 18 runners left on base.

Like clockwork the Jays put the runners on and left them out to dry. At the same time, the bullpen made Houdini-like escapes like it was cake, in what will likely be the best performance turned in by any bullpen in the major leagues this entire season.

So, as much as it might be easy or convenient to blame the umpire, sorry, but I’m putting this one squarely on the shoulders of the Blue Jays hitters.

On the flipside, I know how deflating a game like this can be.  Here’s to hoping they can turn it around today, despite what on paper looks like a mismatch with Jered Weaver going up against Jo-Jo Reyes.

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4 thoughts on “Baseball hangover

  1. Cole, I appreciate your rational approach to this angle. 18 men left on base is inexcusable. The Blue Jays squandered multiple chances and all but handed the ball game to the Angels on a silver platter several times.

    But when an official gets involved and takes back a run that crossed the plate, that’s inexcusable. Nobody’s to say if that run would have even stood as the game-winner, but Davidson cannot just make a call like that.

    I don’t want to sound like Chicago Cubs fans that blame Steve Bartman for them losing Game 6 of the NLCS and subsequently the series. That’s one small play and the Cubs ended up losing Game 7 anyway. But that was a fan on a foul ball and this was an MLB sanctioned umpire on an interference call.

  2. But Ian, these things happen. Human error is a part of baseball and occasionally umpires will blow calls.

    Look at it this way, earlier in the game Davidson called an Angel (I forget who it was) out at third base to end an inning. It was a bad call in the Jays favour, as replays showed the tag was late and quite high. What if the Angels would have scored three or four more runs in that inning?

    Also, take the same botched intereference call and put it in the second inning of the ballgame and no one makes that big of a deal about it. It was magnified by the situation.

    Do I think the botched call likely cost the Jays the game? Without a doubt.

    Do I think it should be as easy as “blaming” it on Davidson? No.

    There are only certain things you can control in baseball and an umpire’s calls aren’t one of them. The Jays plain and simple didn’t take care of the things they can control – how they execute with runners in scoring position.

    Davidson shouldn’t have even have been in a position to botch that call if the Jays had just taken care of business.

    • I hear ya, Cole. I think it was that throw from Bautista who gunned down Hunter at third base. Hunter was safe, but the call went the way of the Blue Jays. There was also another play (can’t remember exactly) where it appeared that Davis was out at second base, but he was called safe. So both teams received lucky bounces that night. In the end it will all even out, but that one in particular stung a lot.

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