Well, Marty Foster, that sure stunk
Well, it took us nine days, but we have our first major umpiring controversy of the season.
Congratulations, Marty Foster.
Here's the setup:
With the Texas Rangers holding on to a 5-4 lead at home over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night, closer Joe Nathan was far from dominating. Sitting on 299 career saves, Nathan had already allowed one run to score and had a runner on first and a full count on Ben Zobrist.
Nathan threw a breaking ball that nearly bounced and that catcher A.J. Pierzynski had to reach for. Seemingly rightfully so, Zobrist headed for first base. Then Foster punched him out to end the game and give Nathan his milestone.
Then Zobrist flipped out. Then Rays manager Joe Maddon flipped out:
After the game, Maddon was still flipping out (OK, he didn't flip out, but safe to say he won't be getting an invite to the umpires' ball this winter):
Heck, the Rays Live crew was so flustered, they couldn't figure out whether to be mad at the umpire, or an old Red Sox second baseman:
As you would expect, Twitter had some fun with it, too:
Marty Foster just congratulated Michigan on their national championship— jasoncollette (@jasoncollette) April 9, 2013
For what it's worth, Foster admitted after the game that he blew the call, saying, "I saw the pitch [on replay] and of course I don't have the chance to do it again. But had I had a chance to do it again, I wouldn't call that pitch a strike." FanGraphs.com shows you just how out-of-the-zone that pitch really was.
That's nice and all, but when it comes to admitting guilt after the damage is done, go ask Armando Galarraga how that works out.