The (missed) call

Revs fans heckled home plate umpire Delfin Colon for much of Game 1 of the Freedom Division Championship Series. Much of the fans’ ire had to do with balls and strike calls. Colon is probably the most respected umpire in the Atlantic League, having worked in the big leagues. So the anger might have been just hometown fans looking for more favorable calls on borderline pitches.

But Colon may have missed a key call in the sixth inning.

Lancaster’s Stephen Douglas came home to score from second on a bloop single to center field. Looking like he would score easy, York center fielder Scott Grimes made it a play by firing a strike to catcher Octavio Martinez. Douglas still could have been safe easily, if he opted to slide. But Douglas bowled over Martinez.

No call came from Colon.

Douglas rose to his feet and attempted to touch home plate, but relief pitcher — backing up Martinez — tug Douglas before he scooted around Martinez in an attempt to reach the plate.

Colon then signaled Douglas safe.

York manager Andy Etchebarren argued the call at home, pointing out that if Douglas touched home plate during the collision why did he come back to touch the plate again? And if Colon thought Douglas drug his foot across home during the collision, why didn’t he immediately signal a safe call? Martinez would say after the game he didn’t think Douglas touched home. In the midst of a collision a player can not contort their body to also drag a foot. (Martinez has a few pounds on Douglas, so to knock down Martinez Douglas needed to use some force.)

The run was a pivotal play, allowing Lancaster to take the lead and remain in the lead until the eighth inning. But Etchebarren said he didn’t want to get ejected in a game that could go either way.

About Jim Seip

Jim Seip wore a cookie monster costume to help close out the Spectrum on Oct. 31, 2009.
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