During yesterday’s Tigers-Red Sox game, Mike Aviles appeared to strike out swinging for the third out in the second inning. But home plate umpire Jeff Nelson appealed the call to first base umpire Bill Welke, who ruled that the ball hit the dirt before landing in catcher Gerald Laird’s glove. Numerous replays showed that this was the incorrect call. Aviles would later hit an RBI single that at bat, and it was followed up with an RBI double by Daniel Nava, and a run-scoring infield single by Dustin Pedroia to give the Red Sox a 4-1 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish the entire game.
Post-game, Tigers manager Jim Leyland (who was ejected in the third inning for arguing the call, along with third base coach Gene Lamont) absolutely went off, mostly on the media for not holding the umpires accountable for their bad calls. Truth be told, in the ESPN recap of the game, the call is called a “mistake” as opposed to what it actually was: a complete and utter travesty. Leyland has a pretty good point with his rage, in that the umpires are rarely held accountable by the mainstream media for making rather obvious mistakes like that one. And because Leyland is criticizing the media mainly, and generally left his criticism of the umpires to “it was an awful call”, he’ll probably avoid punishment, too.