I Don’t Know Is on Third

How does Tim McClelland’s explanation square with what transpired last night?

When he tagged Cano, I thought Cano was on the base, and when Jorge touched the base and continued and tagged Posada out, I thought Posada was out….I did not see that for whatever reason.

Cano is 18 inches off the base, and McClelland is staring directly at the play. How could he think Cano was on the base?


4 Responses “I Don’t Know Is on Third”

  1. Devon says:

    At some point, someone’s going to bring up conspiracy theories…wayyy too many bad umpiring moments in these playoffs. This is just as bad as Mauer’s double being called foul a week or so ago in Yankee Stadium.

  2. Seth says:

    It actually seems pretty clear to me what happened. McClelland says “I was waiting for two players to be on the base.” So it seems like he was watching the play unfold with an expectation of the result, and scanning his brain for the proper call once that result occurred (Posada would be safe, Cano would be out). However, he presumably got thrown off once he saw Posada run up the line toward him. Moreover, in the replay, it’s pretty clear that both Posada and Napoli are blocking McClelland’s view of the tag on Cano. (On the second point, I don’t really blame him, because getting into a good position would’ve been difficult without knowing the outcome of the play in advance). So, in the moment, McClelland is both surprised at the development and unable to see what actually happens. So, he makes the call based on the part that he does see–Posada running past the bag–and the part he had been expecting–Cano already standing on third when Posada arrived.

    Unfortunately, umpires are supposed to make a call based on what happened, and not based on what they expected before the play. Presumably one of the other umpires saw what had happened, and McClelland should have asked for help. Between that and his terrible positioning on the Swisher tag play–he’s clearly not looking anywhere near the bag–he should not umpire another game this postseason.

  3. Aaron Whitehead says:

    I’m surprised that more people haven’t pointed out what a colossally stupid move this was by Cano. He’s very lucky that the bad umpiring upstaged his bad baserunning.
    And really, what was he doing? He was just standing there, watching. It almost looked like he stayed off the bag to give the other guys more room. I hope Girardi chewed him out over this.

  4. Dave says:

    I agree with previous comments that McClelland did not have a good view because of the bodies in front of him. However, if he asked for help from the other umpires one of them may have had a better angle. I also agree with Aaron that Cano has gotten a free pass on this. I actually stopped watching the game after this inning because I was frustrated that McCarver didn’t bring it up at the time. The only explanation I can give for Cano is that he doesn’t know the rules. He was behaving as if it is an automatic out for two runners to touch the base at the same time. He only made an attempt to touch the base once Posada came off base. McCarver could have at least explained that rule to all the viewers which would have made me feel better. Although, I guess all the ‘rule-ignorant’ parents that scream at little league games aren’t watching the ALCS.