Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tim Welke Apologizes for Dodgers-Rockies Missed Call

When MLB Umpire Tim Welke missed an out call at first base during a Dodgers vs. Rockies game earlier this month, he was assailed for blowing a seemingly obvious call, a phenomenon one UEFL commenter referred to as, "an opportunity for the all-too-familiar ump bashing on TV."

In what drew comparisons to Jim Joyce's infamously missed call in 2010 that ended Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga's attempt at a perfect game, the casual sports observer or fan demanded an immediate mea culpa from crew chief Welke.

For the adversely affected player back on May 2—Dodgers infielder Jerry Hairston, Jr.—Los Angeles' weekend series vs. the Astros provided a stage for a reunion of sorts, with Hairston and Welke meeting at home plate on Friday night.

Hairston has the call:
He said he was sorry. He's been a really good umpire for a long time and, you know what, obviously because of the angle he didn't see it. It's over and done with. But I told him if I get stuck on 2,999 [hits], I'm calling him. He got a kick out of that.
Hairston concluded his remarks with praise for the veteran crew chief, demonstrating a sense of sportsmanship not generally seen between players and umpires, at least not since Joyce and Galarraga:
[The apology] shows character, but [Welke] always had the highest character. I've been dealing with him for 14 years. People lose sight of the fact that one play doesn't change that. It's amazing, we as players make errors and, obviously, umpires do too. It's the human element of the game. People don't realize how fast the game moves. Everybody else has the benefit of watching the replay on TV. The umpires don't have that. It was just one of those freaky plays.
It is unclear whether Hairston and Welke will meet again to present the ESPY Award for Best Sportsmanship Moment of 2012. The duo has likewise not announced whether a book deal is in the works.

News: Tim Welke Admits, Apologizes to Hairston for Missed Call Weeks Earlier
Video: Tim Welke rules Jerry Hairston, Jr. out on Incorrect Call; First Baseman Todd Helton Missed the Base

15 comments :

Anonymous said...

I heard there were a couple of ejections for runing over the catcher in college softball which got pretty heated. I believe it was on espn but thats all I know. Anybody got more information or video?

UmpsRule said...

Love that last paragraph. Kudos to either Gil or Jeremy, depending on who authored this post.

UmpsRule said...

Does anyone notice how the MLB.com article falsely claims that Welke ejected Mattingly?

Jeremy Dircks said...

Anonymous,

yes. If you see our @SportEjections twitter account (https://twitter.com/#!/SportEjections), University of Oregon's Kaliee Cuico in Game #2 of the Super Regional versus Texas. Lisa Dodd, Oregon's pitching coach, was ejected for arguing about the call later. Texas's first basemen also made strong contact with Oregon's catcher, but it was not ruled Malicious Contact.

In the Big 10 Baseball Championship game, Eric Charles for Purdue was ejected for Malicious Contact (though others say it was for a punch after a brawl ensued after the contact at third base with Indiana's shortstop-covering third).

UmpsRule,

Credit goes to Gil on this one. I got a kick out of the last paragraph as well.

SJR said...

I'm not bashing Welke here, in fact I love his strike 3 call, but I think the apology comes a little late. If we are truly to draw parallels to the Jim Joyce situation, Welke would have watched the replays after the game, saw that he was wrong, and then sought out Jerry Hairston in the Dodgers' clubhouse to apologize. Instead, he chooses to publicly apologize more than 3 weeks after the incident occurred. I guess the adage "better late than never" could apply, but I just see the apology as pointless given the span of time that has elapsed.

Anonymous said...

It is entirely possible that Welke silently ejected Mattingly. Its happened before where an umpire either doesn't signal, or makes a weak signal to indicate an ejection, so the Official Scorer misses the ejection.

mnhopper1s said...

Jeremy, I don't really know what was wrong with the slide. It appeared to me he tripped or something going into the bag. That field was also ejected, correct?

I saw at least a few punches thrown in that brawl..

UmpsRule said...

@ Anon 8:32

That was a good theory, but as you can see in this video, Mattingly was in the dugout later in the game: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=21095677&c_id=mlb (The blown call ended the top of the sixth)

@ SJR

I'm not really sure you could say Welke apologized publicy. He personally apologized to Hairston and Hairston was the one who made it public. At least, that's how it seemed to me.

Anonymous said...

Good timing. Some fans were starting to turn baseball into a players vs. umpires, them vs. us type of relationship. Good to see some humility shown by a prominent MLB umpire and a player who in turn pays a nice character/personality compliment to the umpire who wronged him. Regardless of whether the play happened weeks ago, this is the story of a player-ump rapport that people need to see. Remember Roberto Alomar and umpire John Hirschbeck? The incident happened in 1996, the umpires union threatened to strike because the League didn't give a harsh enough suspension/punishment, and the AL had to go to court to force the umpires to work, ending up with Jeffrey Maier/Richie Garcia helping eliminate Alomar's Orioles from the playoffs. Well, Hirschbeck & Alomar years later became friends and do charity work together.

Anonymous said...

Is there anyway I can see those ejections from twitter without having it? I hate twitter.

Anonymous said...

Marty Foster, you're next.

Gil Imber said...

Yes, the most recent ejections across all sports post under the "Most Recent Ejections in Sports, @SportEjections" header on the right side column of each CCS page.

Jeremy Dircks said...

mnhopper1s,

There was a lot of confusion about what happened to the Indiana player. But it seems as if the third baseman for Indiana was ejected from the game. Hard to know, as the official scorer either didn't provide such ejection or it is just that the NCAA gamecast/boxscore doesn't say as much. Reports said that the third baseman was indeed ejected, however it was the shortstop for Indiana covering third on the play and grabbing and punching Charles. It is hard to confirm because it happened after the 3rd out of the top of the 9th inning, so he was no longer in the field and his at bat never came up in the bottom of the 9th.

It seems that the umpires lost track that F6 was covering on the play because of the fracas. The 3B Umpire Mark Ditsworth was injured in the scuffle as he had no chance to get out of it. His leg was injured during the fight, and he wanted to continue. However, the training staff advised him to stay out of the game, and he was replaced by an onsite alternate umpire.

Anonymous said...

Are there ever video's for those college ejections that you post on twitter?

Gil Imber said...

Occasionally, but rarely. Often times, video availability depends on whether the rightsholder has posted the footage online or if it has been captured by another source and uploaded, such as 3rd party fan footage on YouTube or Vimeo.

For instance, our most recent non-MLB ejection, "1B Umpire Doug Del Bello ejected BlueClaws (A Phillies) Manager Mickey Morandini for arguing time play, #MiLB Baseball," has a video attached because a fan in the stands shot video and posted the footage to YouTube.

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