Baseball has a human element. There is a certain beauty in this human element. There is an obvious ugliness. Especially when it comes to major league umpires! Of course, it just depends on what side of the field you are standing on when a called is missed.
*please note this paragraph above is clear and utter bull manure. the baseball gods clearly hate detroit sports and its fans. this is all because leyland bunts, raburn is playing second everyday, and jose valverde has a bleached blond goatee*
Yeah, commentary and GIFs after the break. I’m just trying not to throw up at this point.
I’m not sure what Bill Welke thought when he woke up today. It probably had nothing to with the Tigers. It probably had nothing to do with the Red Sox. If he did think about either or both of them, I highly doubt that any thoughts were of the negative fashion.
Bill Welke probably enjoys his job. I don’t know this, but I assume this because there are not very many major league umpires and there are many minor league umpires who would jump at the job if presented with an opportunity.
Since I don’t know very much about Ole’ Bill, I turned to my friend Wikipedia,who has this to say about the professional umpire:
William Anthony “Bill” Welke (born August 22, 1967 in Coldwater, Michigan) is an umpire in Major League Baseball. He joined the major league staff in 1999 and wears uniform number 52. Bill Welke is the brother of fellow umpire, Tim Welke, and is an alumnus of Western Michigan University.
Welke previously worked in the Appalachian League (1991), the Midwest League (1992), the Florida State League (1993–1994), the Southern League (1995), the Eastern League (1996), and the International League (1997–1998).
Since joining the Major League umpiring staff in 1999, Welke has worked the 2003 American League Division Series and the 2006 National League Division Series. He was a part of the crew that worked in the 2003 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.On May 29, 2010 he officiated when Roy Halladay threw the 20th perfect game in MLB history.
What. The. Hell. You’re a Michigan Man, Welke! How can you do this to your home state!?!(1)
(1)I kid. *I think.
Most of you know that Bill Welke missed a third strike call on Mike Aviles’ at bat in the second inning. The score at that point was 1-1. The count was 1-2. Aviles swung and tipped Doug Fister’s pitch into Gerald Laird’s glove. The home-plate umpire, Jeff Nelson, said that Aviles swung and missed but Aviles claimed he fouled off the ball.
Bill Welke jumped in and overruled Nelson’s call. He said the ball wasn’t caught. Replays showed Laird not only caught the ball but Aviles might have missed the pitch entirely. It was a flat out blown call. Laird didn’t drop the ball, he couldn’t have. His glove was under it.
So, with Sweeney standing on second, Aviles then took advantage of what should have been the third out of the inning. He singled Sweeney home, Daniel Nava doubled, and Dustin Pedroia singled to make it 4-1. Or rather, Tigers 1, Red Sox 1, Welke 3.
In between the end of second inning and the top of the third Gene Lamont and Jim Leyland were both ejected for coming back out to argue the play, and rightfully so.
Almost as soon as the inning ended, Lamont had some specific words with third-base umpire Tim Tschida and was promptly ejected. Leyland stormed (literally flew) out of the dugout and picked up the argument, waving his arms at Tschida, who did not eject him.
Once he returned and kept arguing from the dugout, Welke ejected Leyland. But frankly, there’s no way a coaching staff can stand by and let that call happen without a proper argument.
Of course, we do get a bit of joy out of this:
The umpires weren’t done, as Danny Worth lined a Felix Doubront pitch into the outfield gap that very inning. Ryan Sweeney fielded and threw into second base. Worth slid and made it safely, but his momentum pulled him off the bag. Mike Aviles tagged him and the second base umpire, Chris Guccione, called him out. Replays clearly showed that Worth got his hand back into the bag, Aviles had missed him on the tag attempt.
The Tigers were 0-for-2 on horrible blood-boiling, witch-brewing, blown calls.
Of course, there was more game to play. Fister allowed a home run to Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the third. He allowed 11 hits in five innings and allowed six runs. While many people will suggest he had a poor day on the mound how much stock do you put in a starting pitcher being affected negatively by an obvious blown call? Fister certainly didn’t have his best stuff on Monday afternoon, but he was clearly flustered by Welke’s antics. Those three runs should not have scored., that’s plain and simple. What’s worse, those effect his ERA and his chance to get the team a win. His day was inevitably cut short by those extra runs in the second inning.
Six earned runs is hard to look at, no matter how they happened to appear on the oppositions scoreboard and there’s not much anyone can say to justify it.
The Tigers offense was cast under the Doubront Spell for most of the afternoon as well, aside from solo home runs by Delmon Young (whose ball went over the Green Monster and out of the park) and Gerald Laird.
Jhonny Peralta walked, Danny Worth hit that single/double, Quintin Berry had a single that should have also been a double.
Then the ninth inning happened. Prince Fielder doubled and Jhonny Peralta homered. The game was 7-4. I hate to play ‘what would have been’ but the Red Sox were given three runs.
It’s a game where you feel cheated as a fan, not just because the umpires screwed your team over, but because it’s the kind of game that could be easily avoided with instant replay.
For those complaining it would make the games longer; how long was the game delayed because of the blown call in the second that snowballed into the third? Twenty minutes?
A replay conference of that call would have taken two.