Let’s just say if it weren’t an exhibition game, you probably wouldn’t have seen it. But Major League Baseball umpire Tim McClelland called balls and strikes from behind the pitcher’s mound Tuesday.
Let’s explain how it happened. In the spring training contest between the Angels and Brewers, a Wily Peralta pitch clipped Albert Pujols and home plate umpire Seth Buckminster. Unfortunately, Buckminster suffered a broken bone in his left hand on the play and had to leave the game. So what to do? Down to only two men in blue while fellow ump Anthony Johnson changed into his behind-the-plate gear, McClelland set up behind Peralta while Jim Joyce handled the bases. It was a scene straight out of a reenactment league game, back in the days before padding and masks were around. Luckily, McClelland’s awkward positioning only lasted three batters. "Just keep it moving," said the veteran ump of the odd move. "Both managers agreed to it and I knew it wasn’t going to be long." Those umps are an industrious lot.
And while the Heat have won 23 in a row, what about those Nuggets? Denver has ripped off a nice little winning streak of its own. The team won its 13th straight thanks to a 114-104 victory over Oklahoma City.
Finally, from cutting down the nets in the Superdome last year to losing a first round NIT game to Robert Morris in 2013, it’s been a startling about-face for the Kentucky men’s basketball program. The Colonials beat the Wildcats 59-57.