Bad umpiring now means always having to say you're sorry to Motown.
Gary Cederstrom — a crew chief with 15 years of experience — conceded to the Detroit Tigers that he blew a call Saturday night. The botched ruling cost the Tigers dearly in the Atlanta Braves' 4-3 victory at Turner Field.
The Tigers had the bases loaded with two outs in the ninth when Cederstrom rung up Johnny Damon(notes) on a full count. TV replays indicated Peter Moylan's(notes) final pitch missed the plate. By a lot. A correct ruling for a walk would have tied the score and kept the inning alive. Instead, the game ended.
[Photos: See Detroit's Johnny Damon in action.]
Tigers manager Jim Leyland called Cederstrom after the game to see if he had seen a replay. Cederstrom had, but said he didn't need a TV to know he'd made a mistake.
"I knew it right away," Cederstrom added. "But it was brutal on TV."
Watching the replay, Cederstrom does seem to realize his mistake immediately. It's surreal to watch Damon express disagreement with the umpire, literally seconds after a brutal loss, and Cederstrom doesn't even try to defend his call.
So, if he "knew it right away," why didn't Cederstrom change it on the spot? It might have been unprecedented. It definitely would have been awkward. But if the umpire knew he had made a bad call, why didn't he overrule himself?Cederstrom's mea culpa. From MLB.com:
"That's just not acceptable in those situations," Leyland said. "It's just not acceptable. That's just the way it is."
We already know umpires are human. If umps apologize too frequently, we'll begin to think they're extremely flawed humans who need to be replaced with Extreme Robot Umpire Overlords who are fitted the latest QuesTec software.
So, just get the calls right in the first place — that way you have no need to say you're sorry.
Or fix the call if you make a mistake and then apologize for messing up. That would be an apology with some value.
Or just make the call and live with it. Keep your mea culpas to yourselves, please.
No more Mr. Sorry Guy.
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- Gary Cederstrom
- Jim Leyland