It’s been a Major League Baseball season full of truly terrible balls and strike calls by umpires. Tuesday, we might have seen the worst one yet.
Eric Haase of the Detroit Tigers was staring down Minnesota Twins pitcher Devin Smeltzer on a 3-2 pitch in the bottom of the fifth. Smeltzer’s pitch was low and clearly out of the strike zone so Haase started making his way to first base. And that’s when umpire Hunter Wendelstedt called it a third strike, which shocked, well, everyone.
Pretty sure this is it. The worst strike three call of the season pic.twitter.com/jmCay1Lvmv
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) May 31, 2022
“I’m not sure this ball was even close,” said the analyst, speaking for everyone.
As you can probably guess, this one got a lot of baseball fans going about what a truly terrible call it was and how robot umps are starting to sound better and better.
This might be the worst call of the season pic.twitter.com/0485jHwchR
— Welcome to the Ump Show (@umpjob) May 31, 2022
The answer is: Hunter Wendelstedt. https://t.co/A3m6xOSMO9
— Jay Posner (@sdutPosner) May 31, 2022
This is just absurd. Robo umps aren’t starting to sound too bad now are they? 🤔 https://t.co/gNhPUAM9oc
— Joey DeBerardino (@JoeyDeBerardino) May 31, 2022
— Sportscasting (@Sportscasting19) May 31, 2022
MLB umpires seem to be in rare form this season as we’ve seen staggeringly bad blown calls that invariably come with unfair ejections for arguing those terrible calls. Technology and social media have made it so much easier to spot these truly bizarre missed calls, but that doesn’t mean they’re excusable. There’s also been plenty of strange call reviews that feel like ump power trips getting out of hand.
It’s not just the big leagues either as we recently saw a Triple-A ump on a power trip as well.
MLB has always been reticent to punish or call out umpires’ blown calls, but this really does feel like it’s getting out of hand.