Wednesday newsletter time: ‘It’s hard to block the plate when I’m behind it’
(AP photo/Nam Y. Huh)
In fairness to the umpires Tuesday night in Chicago, they got the call right on the field.
The replay umpire in New York, though, needs to be fired. He won’t be, of course. If Angel Hernandez still has a job, this guy isn’t going anywhere.
But the review needs to be reviewed.
Here’s the situation for those who missed it:
Elvis Andrus was attempting to score the game-winning run for the White Sox on a single to left field, but he was called out as Jonah Heim took Travis Jankowski’s throw home and applied the tag to Andrus.
The Rangers thought they had kept the game tied.
The White Sox challenged the call and also wanted replay to review if Heim had given Andrus a lane to slide into home plate. It appeared that Andrus, who didn’t even make contact with Heim, had that lane.
But the replay ump disagreed, the run scored, and the Rangers couldn’t counter it in the ninth inning of a 7-6 loss.
The call did not cost the Rangers the game, but it certainly didn’t help.
“I’m dumbfounded,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s absolutely one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen. I don’t care how many times they try to explain that. It’s embarrassing.”
The replay official believed that Heim’s original positioning was illegal and what he did as the ball traveled home hindered Andrus’ path to the plate.
The replay everyone else saw doesn’t indicate either of those two things.
Bochy was ejected for arguing a call by a replay official, which is prohibited, and he said he wasn’t mad at the guys on the field. Heim said the umpiring crew wasn’t given an explanation either.
He also made an excellent point.
“I thought I gave him the whole plate to slide into,” Heim said. “I was behind the home plate when I made the tag. It’s hard to block the plate when I’m behind it.”
The Rangers led 6-4 entering the bottom of the eighth, but the White Sox tied it against Grant Anderson on Andrus’ two-out, two-run single that found its way into right field.
The Rangers trailed by two runs twice, but Corey Seager almost single-handedly brought them back. He drove in five runs as the bottom of the lineup again did a nice job getting on base for the top of the batting order.
Marcus Semien continues to be the runaway leader at second base in voting for the All-Star team, but those pesky Canadian voters are making things difficult on a few deserving Rangers.
Josh Jung fell further behind Toronto’s Matt Chapman at third base, Adolis Garcia slipped out of the top six in the outfield as the Blue Jays’ George Springer leapfrogged him, and Seager has half the votes of Toronto shortstop Bo Bichette.
Bichette is having a very good year, but he’s not twice as good as the second-place Seager, nor is Blue Jays second baseman Whit Merrifield, in second place, having half as good of a season as Semien.
Heim fell out to third at catcher behind Salvador Perez, the Royals veteran who is perennial All-Star. Orioles star Adley Rutschman leads at catcher.
Phase 1 voting ends at 11 a.m. Thursday. The top two at catcher and in the infield, along with the top six outfielders, advanced to the final phase. Semien, Seager and Jung are going to advance, but Heim and Garcia need some help.
Fans can vote five times each day here.
Moving on up
Right-hander Owen White and outfielder Dustin Harris, top 10 Rangers prospects and members of the 40-man roster, were promoted Tuesday to Triple A Round Rock in a wave of moves throughout the organization.
Among others who were promoted was shortstop Sebastian Walcott from the Dominican Summer League to the Arizona Complex League. Walcott was the prize of the international signing haul in January.
Right-hander Jose Corniell and outfielder Yosy Galan were moved from Low A Down East to High A Hickory, where first bsaeman/outfielder Josh Hatcher was moved to Frisco.
Still awaiting bumps are righty starter Josh Stephan from Hickory to Frisco and righty reliever Alex Speas from Frisco to Round Rock. Hickory righty Dane Acker could also be on the move to Frisco once he has been stretched out a few more innings.
Acker threw 75 pitches in 4 2/3 innings Tuesday, and Corniell allowed one run in four innings in his High A debut in relief.
Fun, but hopefully no one gets a new rug with a yellow stain. Enjoy.
Parkour.. 😂 pic.twitter.com/9BveOsbtP8
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) June 20, 2023
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org