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Run, somebody, run?
2007-07-13 08:04
by Bob Timmermann

Last night's abbreviated schedule had three unusual running plays.

In the first one, Mets outfielder Lastings Milledge scored from first on a single by Ruben Gotay to center against Cincinnati. Milledge's run proved to be the difference in the Mets' 3-2 win over the Reds. You can pull up video of it here.

Skipping over to the Metrodome, Torii Hunter of the Twins got an RBI single-DP against Oakland. With Michael Cuddyer on third and Justin Morneau on first, singled to left to score Cuddyer. Morneau was caught in a rundown between second and third and was tagged out by Mark Ellis, who then threw back to Bobby Crosby at second where Hunter was tagged out, for the 7-6-4-6 DP. In theory, the video should be here, but it seems to be a little balky this morning. It should be under "Video Top Plays" and is called "Hunter starts DP."

Then, to top off the day in Seattle, Adrian Beltre of Seattle bats with two outs in the fifth and the bases loaded against Andrew Miller of Detroit. Jose Vidro is on third, Jose Guillen on second, and Richie Sexson on first. Beltre singles to right and Vidro scores easily. Magglio Ordonez throws home, but is late trying to catch Jose Guillen at the plate. Tigers catcher Mike Rabelo (who had replaced the ejected Ivan Rodriguez), throws down to shortstop Carlos Guillen covering second to catch Beltre trying to move up. Beltre appears to slide in safe around Guillen's tag. Umpire Bruce Froemming throws his hands out indicating safe.

But Beltre overslides second and Carlos Guillen tries to tag him. But Froemming says he missed him. So Beltre runs to third and Guillen tries once, twice, and three more times to tag Beltre, apparently to no avail. By this time, Sexson is heading home and Carlos Guillen drops the ball and Beltre goes to third. The Mariners plate three.

Jim Leyland argues the play. Carlos Guillen argues the play. People are flummoxed. Leyland tells Miller to appeal the play at second saying that Beltre missed the bag. And Froemming rules that Beltre missed second and is out. Sexson's run counts since the appeal was on a trailing runner and Beltre was not out for missing first.

Replays showed Beltre touching second with his hand. And it's possible that Carlos Guillen got two tags on Beltre. Judge for yourself here.

Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times was very harsh on Froemming in his blog.

Beltre made it all the way to third as Guillen threw up his arms in frustration, disbelieving that Froemming missed the tag call so many times. But then, before another pitch could be thrown, an appeal was made by the Tigers at second and Froemming ruled that Beltre had missed the bag and was indeed out. More arguments followed. A replay appeared to show that Beltre had touched the bag with his fingers before sliding on by it. In which case, he would have to be tagged to be out. Not 100 percent sure Froemming missed both calls. Maybe Beltre did miss the bag. But the bottom line is, Froemming was out of position on both of the calls. By several feet. I hope MLB is paying attention to what's going on. That's all I'll say about one of the game's very veteran umpires.

In Froemming's defense, the action that was taking place was quite unusual and it's pretty hard for any umpire, who is trained to stand in certain places to look at particular plays, has some idea of where to stand to watch a play where the shortstop is chasing the baserunner close to the edge of the skin of the infield. Unless Baker expected Froemming to start umpiring the game like Lt. Frank Drebin/Enrico Palazzo did in "Police Squad" when he was trying to delay the seventh-inning stretch, I don't know what Froemming was supposed to do.



2007-07-13 10:37:22
1.   bryanf
I thought Donnelly was the only windmill who sent runners on questionable plays. All hail Sandy Alomar!
2007-07-13 12:46:35
2.   El Lay Dave
If Froemming thought Beltre never touched second, then why did he signal safe on the initial play there? Safe at what base exactly? If the player doesn't touch a base and a fielder doesn't tag him, doesn't the umpire make NO signal?
2007-07-13 12:48:34
3.   Bob Timmermann
I think Froemming was just indicating "no tag". He likely never said "safe."

I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt here.

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