MLB umpire call Mets Tigers Credit: Bally Sports DET

It might be Spring Training, but MLB umpires will still be criticized for obscure and mind-boggling calls like the one made Thursday.

The Detroit Tigers hosted the New York Mets on Tuesday at their Lakeland, Florida facility for an afternoon matchup.

The Mets, trailing 4-3, were in a predicament in the bottom of the 4th inning. With two men on, leadoff hitter Austin Meadows wanted to do damage. Mets right-hander Michael Tonkin dealt his pitch to Meadows on a full count.

Meadows swung and missed to strikeout while Tigers catcher Carson Kelly raced to second base to try and steal the bag. Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor received the hurl from his catcher and tagged Kelly, appearing to end the stanza. Not so much, however, as the umpire ruled otherwise.

The umpire deemed that Lindor had obstructed Kelly from reaching the bag and, after making that call, ruled that Kelly was safe.

MLB recently updated its rulebook to include newer definitions of obstruction. Per ESPN, “Umpires have been instructed to call the runner safe due to obstruction unless the infielder must move into the path of the runner to receive the ball.”

But the replay here shows that it’s kind of absurd to suggest Lindor obstructed anything. His foot is in the bag, but if this is the interpretation of the new rule, and how it might be carried out, you’re giving so much of an advantage to the baserunner and the offense. Sometimes it feels like it obsessively happens everywhere, but the incessant catering to offense and lack thereof for defense is jarring sometimes.

Many took to social media to weigh in. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone on this umpire’s side.

MLB is not making any friends with these rule changes. It’s a wonder if they’ll make any new fans, either.


About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022