Do The Right Thing… Unless It’s Not Reviewable
Michael Conforto stuck his arm into the strike zone and won the game when he was hit. Good play or cheating… or failure by everyone responsible for getting a simple, stupid call correct?
It usually hurts if you get hit by a pitch… unless you’re the New York Mets’ Michael Conforto. Conforto won the game… or rather the umpires took it from the Miami Marlins Thursday night after Conforto stuck his elbow in the strike zone. The game was tied 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded at the time. With no place to put Conforto and his recently whisked appendage, the Luis Guillorme scored from third and the Mets won the game.
“There may have been a little lift to my elbow,” Conforto said after the game, sounding like a 10-year-old just caught winging oranges at a neighbor’s window. I can just hear little Mikey now, “Well, Dad, my elbow may have lifted a little.”
Most kids dream of hitting the grand slam. Conforto dreams of giving the baseball a butterfly kiss with his elbow pad on the way by and walking off the field a winner. In the win column, this is exactly the same damn thing.
Marlins’ catcher Chad Wallach gets to play the role of angry neighbor, Doris Finklefoot, who now has a hole in the front window and the knowledge of who is responsible without being able to do a damn thing about it.
“We all know what happened,” Finkle… Wallach said after.
This could have all been avoided, of course, if home plate umpire Ron Kulpa had realized at the time that the pitch was a strike and Conforto should not have been awarded first base. What is maddening about the play is that it isn’t reviewable, because, well, you know, um, it isn’t.
Which leads us to the question, “What the hell is the point of having 73 cameras on the field and not be able to use them when it’s pretty obvious that an entire team has a pretty good argument that they got cheated? Also, where is umpire with the rule book who is supposed to call down and say, “Hey there, Ronnie. You gotta back this thing up.”
Neither thing was a thing because several “baseball people” and “fans” once complained, “We can’t have the game stopped every five seconds for reviews!”
Here’s the rule from mlb.com: “Strikes supersede hit-by-pitches, meaning if the umpire rules that the pitch was in the strike zone or that the batter swung, the HBP is nullified.”
After the game, Newsday Sports reporter Anthony Rieber tweeted a mea culpa from a chat with the man who now goes by Mea Kulpa in Marlins country, “The guy was hit by the pitch in the strike zone. I should have called him out.”
Guessing the odds of Conforto’s manager, Luis Rojas, marching him down to Finklefoo… the Marlins’ clubhouse and apologizing are slim and none. Oddly, Rojas didn’t look the least bit apologetic after the game. “A win’s a win,” he said. I’m sure the guilt will eat at him later.
Maddening when someone has the ability to do the right thing… and they don’t.