Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I don't really like piling on our TV announcers here, because I think there's enough criticism of them out there in the ether. But they made a pretty egregious mistake last night, one that absolutely boggled my mind.

As you may recall, Orlando Cabrera attempted to steal second base with one out and Tim Salmon at the plate. Predictably, Bengie Molina's throw to second was not in time, and The OC was ruled safe.

But then home plate umpire Mike Winters ordered Cabrera back to first. Phys and Hud immediately concluded that this was due to batters' interference, and proclaimed it a bad call.

It wasn't such interference, of course, because when interference is called, the runner is called out. You probably remember us losing a game earlier this year when Jeff Mathis interfered with a catcher, making the final out of the game. If no one is called out, it ain't interference.

Amazingly, our TV guys even mentioned the Mathis incident, but somehow failed to realize that the fact that Cabrera wasn't called out was a big honking hint that interference had not been called on Salmon.

Now, I watched this game on DVR, fast-forwarding between pitches, so I don't know if this was ever corrected. I did watch the postgame interviews, where Lindsay Soto (and don't even get me started on her) asked Bengie Molina what the call was, and he said that he had stepped on the umpire's foot while pivoting to make his throw, which rendered the ball dead, meaning Lando had to return to first.

I don't blame our broadcast crew for not figuring that out immediately; it didn't occur to me -- my best guess was that the ump called it a foul tip or something, though he never signaled same, and I was rather confused. But I knew damn well it wasn't batters' interference. Everyone makes mistakes, but viewers at home shouldn't be more informed than the announcers on the goings-on of the ballgame.

Of course, the game overall was terrific, as we got some offensive production up and down the lineup to support a solid start by Ervin Santana. It's a hopeful sign that our offense is starting to get in shape and make baseball fun again.

Not to mention being in the stadium - Why was the runner returning to first? They didn't even announce Hinske replacing Glaus, let alone why.

Scoreboard is too busy with shots of ugly fans making faces. Oh, and Corona commercials for all of the "familY" atmosphere fans in attendance...
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