I know Eric already covered it a bit this morning, but there are a few things that keep sticking in my mind as far as last night's blown call is concerned.
In case you missed it, here's a GIF:
- Those who defend the call will say that Nunez didn't actually run out of the baseline. That he was avoiding Beltre so as to not interfere with him fielding the ball. If people really believe that, then I've got to question if anyone has ever run outside of a baseline. Beltre clearly had the ball, and would have easily tagged the runner under any normal circumstance.
- Jerry Layne's explanation is garbage as well:
There was never an attempt to make a tag. If (Beltre) would have stuck his glove out to try to make an attempt, we have a different play. Ninety-nine percent of the time, they attempt to make a tag. He never made an attempt.
I suppose Beltre never "stuck his glove out" because he was too busy using that hand to catch himself from falling as Nunez ran outside of the baseline. The most disappointing part is that Layne undoubtedly had an opportunity to view the replay before making a public comment on it after the game, but took the cowardly way and made up a bogus excuse.
- I've seen it mentioned that Beltre should have simply thrown the ball to first for the "easy" out. I guess I don't understand what easier out there could be than a guy running right at you and into the tag. Beltre had no reason to believe that in any way could Nunez be ruled safe, and yet he was. Perhaps more disappointing is that Ron Washington, whose supposed strength is being a player's manager, failed to stand up for one of "his guys". If you're Wash, you argue until you get ejected there, and after the game, you certainly don't put the blame right back on Beltre for not throwing the ball across the diamond.
- Jerry Layne isn't a very good umpire to begin with. Of course, he was on the crew that called the 2011 World Series. In Game 1, he was the only guy to not see that Beltre fouled a ball off of his own foot. In Game 7, his 17 ball/strike errors behind the plate benefited the Cardinals a whopping 14 times. That's not to imply he's biased against the Rangers by any stretch. More than that, we're talking about a guy that, in the limited times I've seen him -- as I watch mostly Rangers baseball -- he's almost always all-around awful. Last night's call was just another example of it.
- I get that we can talk about the comedy of managerial errors and a failure to drive in more runs and, well, whatever else we want to blame the Rangers for. I get that, I really do. At the same time, the umpires aren't supposed to give a team an easy 4th out. I get that "it happens" and "it's always been that way"... but, well, that still doesn't make it acceptable. Like Eric pointed out earlier, with instant replay, we're getting even more of an opportunity to see how flawed the umpires are, as it seems like a daily occurrence that routine plays are being reviewed and overturned.
- Jerry Layne is at 1st base tonight. Hopefully we don't see too many early reviews because of him.