Big League Stew - MLB

As the visual evidence above suggests, Jayson Werth(notes) should have been ruled safe at first base by umpire Phil Cuzzi.

He wasn't, and the blown call put a major crimp in a ninth-inning rally by the Washington Nationals at Citi Field on Thursday afternoon.

Watch Werth beat out the grounder, to no avail

And after the New York Mets escaped with a 1-0 victory, Washington GM Mike Rizzo reportedly took out his frustrations on the umpiring crew as it left the field. The New York Daily News reports that Major League Baseball — specifically Joe Torre — is launching a probe stemming from a report filed by the umps regarding a verbal altercation with Rizzo.

Immediately after the game, one of the umpires told Mets security guards outside their dressing room to "find the guy in the suit," apparently referring to Rizzo. Mets security VP Rob Kasdon arrived a few minutes later armed with a Nationals media guide to pore over headshots to identify Rizzo, sources said.

"Find the guy in the suit." Talk about a phrase that pays (and, hopefully soon, a Nats blog T-shirt will bear it). Even funnier: The umps didn't know it was Washington's GM yelling at them at the time.

But, seriously: While MLB is busy launching this probe, can it make sure Cuzzi is strapped to it?

Just off the top of this blog's head, it's at least the third time Cuzzi has egregiously influenced the outcome of a game in the past three years.

• There was the Joe Mauer(notes) non-double against the Yankees back in the '09 playoffs.

• There was the play at the plate in a San Francisco Giants game — also against the Mets — in July. Seriously, how did he miss this? And then Cuzzi's own poor behavior during that game, which warranted discipline from MLB, went unpunished.

And the play with Werth ... he not only beat the throw from third baseman Justin Turner(notes), but the throw pulled first baseman David Daniel Murphy(notes) off the bag. (If he had pulled David Murphy off the bag, the throw would have crossed a time zone.)

Anyway, as Nats pitcher Livan Hernandez(notes) said later:

"He beat him two times. He was safe because the guy was off the bag and he was safe because he beat the throw."

Pleas by Nats manager Jim Riggleman for umpires to huddle and discuss the play went ignored, though I'm not sure what Riggs could expect the other umps to do there.

And I don't know if this means we need more video replay, or better umpiring training, or more accountability, and I don't care at the moment. And yes, Cuzzi isn't the only umpire to make mistakes. He's just the poster child.

And I think we've seen enough. It's time to send Cuzzi down to the minors. There's no shame in umpiring in Louisville. Or Huntsville. Evansville. Best of all, he'll be out of major league business and we can stop complaining.

And get Mike Rizzo a new publicist.

Follow Dave on Twitter — @AnswerDave — and engage the Stew on Facebook

Related Articles

Big League Stew

Add to My Yahoo RSS

Related Photo Gallery

Y! Sports Blog