That man is Scott Barry, who was the third-base umpire in last night’s Phillies-Astros game.
I hadn’t watched the first nine innings of the game, having been occupied with other things. Once again, the Phils gave Cole Hamels very little run support, though they did actually score one run for him, which was better than the previous 25 innings Hamels had pitched. But then Jimmy Rollins tied things up with a ninth inning homer.
As the kids were finally heading to bed, I turned on the TV to see if the game was still on. It was, in extra innings with the score tied 2-2.
So instead of sitting down to write a blog entry, which had been my plan, I ended up watching the 11th inning, and then the 12th inning, and so on, until finally it was the bottom of the 14th. With two outs and runners on first and second, Howard came to the plate. Mind you, he’s been absolutely sucktastic since coming off the DL, but I suppose it takes a while to get back in a groove.
Anyway, Barry rules that he went around on a check swing for strike two. It was close, but he probably did. Howard looked upset, as much at himself as at Barry. Barry, however, pulled an attitude, glaring at Howard with his hands on his hips (see above). After a pitch in the dirt moved the runners to second and third, and brought the count to 1-2, another checked swing was ruled a strike by Barry, ending the inning.
This one wasn’t even close. It was so obviously NOT a swing (watch the replay, and decide for yourself). Howard flipped his bat, and Barry tossed him.
Ultimately, the Phils ended up losing 4-2 in 16 innings.
OK, so it’s not like this play directly lost the game, but with a runner on third, any base hit would have scored the winning run. Secondly, the Phils were out of position players, so Roy Oswalt ended up in left field, with Ibanez moving to first.
What annoyed me, in addition to Barry copping an attitude on the field, is that it turns out he’s not even (some would say) a “real” umpire, rather he’s a minor-league replacement ump! He hasn’t earned the right to have an attitude yet!
Next time, someone please toss him out of the game! Or at least send him back to triple-A!