C.B. Bucknor punches out Seth Smith with two strikes

Blair Johnson
Yahoo! Sports Minute Blog
C.B. Bucknor punches out Seth Smith with two strikes
C.B. Bucknor punches out Seth Smith with two strikes

Do a quick search on the internet for Major League Baseball umpire C.B. Bucknor, and you will quickly learn he isn't necessarily a fan favorite. There are two separate Facebook pages - MLB Needs to Fire C.B. Bucknor and Fire C.B. Bucknor - dedicated solely to his ouster. So the bonehead move the veteran of 18 big league seasons pulled Thursday shouldn't come as a surprise.

With the Oakland Athletics hosting the New York Yankees in a game that ended up being the longest day game in the history of the Coliseum, Seth Smith was at the plate in the 11th inning of a 2-2 tie. The A's left fielder faced a 2-1 count with two outs when Yankees reliever Adam Warren tossed an 85 MPH pitch that caught the inside part of the plate for a called strike by Bucknor. The only problem? Bucknor thought it was a 2-2 count and emphatically punched out Smith for taking what Bucknor believed to be a called third strike and the end of the inning. Upon hearing the ump's overly-enthusiastic call behind him, New York catcher Chris Stewart momentarily glanced up at the scoreboard to make sure he had the count right. Bucknor quickly corrected his error and stuck out two fingers to Smith - but the damage was done. The umpire laughed off the embarrassing moment and Oakland eventually won 3-2 in 18 innings. But mistakes like that should not happen at the Major League - let along Little League - level.

Dwyane Wade poured in 32 points in Game 4 of the NBA Finals - the most he's scored in a game since he had 32 against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 4 - as the Miami Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs 109-93 to even the series at two apiece.

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