Remember the call in the Armando Galarraga perfect game from a couple years ago? That was at least a bang-bang play. Check out this call by first base umpire Tim Welke, which was much, much worse. Jerry Hairston grounds it to third baseman Chris Nelson, who makes a nice diving stop and throws over to Todd Helton at first. Not only does Hairston appear to beat the throw to the bag, but Helton is a good two feet off the bag, and never even had his foot remotely close to the bag while having possession of the ball. Of course, Hairston is called out and the inning ends for the Dodgers.
Man, I’m not one for robot umpiring, but something like this is absolutely hideous. The safe call was as clear as the day is long, and the announcers even picked up on it before even seeing a replay. If I were Don Mattingly, I’d be absolutely furious. The Dodgers lost the game 8-5 on a walk-off homer by Jason Giambi in the ninth inning after tying it up in the top half of the inning.