August 19, 2008
The walk ultimately had no bearing on the game's result, but you can bet umpire Andy Fletcher might be getting a call from the league after it catches wind of this umpiring mishap.
As noticed by an observant YouTube user (click here for the video, while it lasts), Fletcher awarded Coco Crisp first base during Monday night's eighth inning after only three balls from Baltimore's Rocky Cherry. (Somewhere an official from that Missouri-Colorado "Fifth Down Game" just felt a phantom pain in his whistle hand.)
For what it's worth, only Crisp, who flipped his bat toward the dugout but then slightly paused as if he had made a mistake and the Red Sox announcers seemed to notice that something wasn't right. No one — from Cherry to Dave Trembley to the Baseball Reference box score page, which lists a six-pitch AB instead of five — noticed that one of baseball's most fundamental rules was being ignored.
Then again, considering Crisp's .308 OBP, maybe Fletcher was just cutting him a break.