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.

“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.

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.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to