Thursday, April 18, 2013

Patience is Still a Virtue: Greg Gibson at Home (Part II)

Greg Gibson gave us a 50-50 out-safe call at home plate in Miami Wednesday night, just over eight months after first going out-to-safe at home in Los Angeles on a wild throw to the backstop.

Gibson points to the plate as Suzuki argues.
During Wednesday's Nationals-Marlins game, Marlins baserunner Chris Valaika attempted to score from second base on a Donovan Solano single as Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth attempted to throw him out at home as Kurt Suzuki attempted to apply the tag.

Though Gibson made a preliminary gesture as if to call Valaika out at the plate, Gibson reversed course and ruled Valaika safe—emphatically crowing, "Safe! Safe!"—ruling Suzuki had failed to tag the runner prior to his touching of home plate. Replays indicate Suzuki's glove may have barely grazed Valaika's helmet just prior to Valaika's hand touching the point of home plate, though other angles camera angles suggest Suzuki missed the tag.

Video: Gibson calls Valaika safe at home as broadcasters ponder replay evidence (4/17/13)


Gil Imber said...

Greg Gibson is a great umpire. He's one of those guys who sees everything in slow motion and is right on top of the unordinary situation. But sometimes that comes back to bite him, as in this case. An umpire has to be able to see close plays happen twice (once in reality, once in your head) before he lets his body do anything (such as make a call).

Gil Imber said...

I agree with Nate that Gibson is a great Umpire. One of the best balls/strikes guys in the league. But this is now the second time in less than a year he has done this. I am not doubting his abilities at all but he really needs to slow down a little bit. Look at the whole play and then make the call. It just looks sloppy, especially seeing it has happened twice to him. And it looks like Gibson was right originally. I believe Suzuki got Valaika on the helmet before he touched home plate.

Gil Imber said...

I think this is great work. He did see it twice in his head; and while seeing it the second time he stopped himself from following through with the "out" call. Don't you want the quick call on a bang bang play. We're trying to blast a guy for being a human being. Players don't get treated that way when they miss the throw by six inches from right field, do they?

On the down side, it appears the runner was out, so the call is incorrect. But...this was such a close play and to see the ump in great position, ready for the call and emphatic about what he saw and really selling the call--you can't ask for more than that. What's the real measure of success here? The manager came out to discuss and then left without going nuts.

Gil Imber said...

Neither Davey Johnson nor Kurt Suzuki are go nuts types, so this had all the ingredients for a well handled argument.

Gil Imber said...

No, I don't want to see a "quick call on a bang bang play". Umpires are trained to practice good "timing". This is an insider term which basically means you need to WAIT until you see the whole play and have all the information available and have appropriately processed it to make the right call. If an official (in any sport) begins a mechanic to suggest one outcome, then switches it, this tells everyone of his indecision. That's the worst-case-scenario. In this case, I think Greg would have got it right if he'd have waited. Because his body went into motion before he had made up his mind, he second-guessed himself, and got it wrong.

I am not blasting the guy; I completely identify with him. I did the same thing on a batter interference situation the other day.

Gil Imber said...

Good timing gets you out of trouble, bad timing gets you into it

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