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Arizona's First Political Blog

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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007
What Would You Do?

The Colorado Rockies and the San Diego Padres played 1-game tiebreaker to decide who would be the NL wildcard entry in the playoffs; 1 game for all the marbles, winner goes on, loser goes home.

The game's context was fascinating for a number of reasons. The Rockies had one of the great all-time season finishes of all time, winning 13 of their 14 games. Also both teams were divisional opponents, so they had already played 18 times during the season. Familiar with each other indeed.

Game goes into the 13th inning, the drama builds as the Rockies send in former D'back pitcher Jorge "Gas Can" Julio who immediately donates a 2-run lead to the Padres. The Padres counter in the bottom of the inning with perhaps the greatest reliever of all-time who quickly gives up 2 runs to tie the game and has men at first and third, no outs. Any ball to the outfield probably wins the games and ends the Padres' season.

Jamey "The Hammer" Carroll hits a looping line drive to the right fielder, game over right? Nope, Brian Giles whips the ball into the plate and it's going to be a close play. If the runner is safe, game and season over. If the runner is out it's now 2 out and runner on second and perhaps the Padres live to see the 14th inning.

Padre catcher Michael Barrett blocks the plate, Rockies runner Matt Holliday goes to sweep the corner with his left hand, and the umpire.... hesitates to make the call.

It is said that there are times when a man's life flashes before his eyes. It was a tough call but as it happened, I couldn't believe that Holliday got has hand in. Barrett blocked the corner of the plate with his left foot; Holliday couldn't get his hand around the side of Barrett's foot and unless the runner could undo the laws of time and space there was no way he was getting his hand over that foot and drop it right onto the plate.

My wife thought that the ump hesitated to get the call right.... I saw it differently. The ump in that brief moment of time realized that:

1) A safe call means the Rockies win, an out call could well prolong the game until a different outcome was reached.

2) He was in a stadium surrounded by 48,000 screaming Rockies fans

3) An out call might mean the animosity of those 48,000 fans would be directed toward him and the possibility that they would find his body up int he hills after the Spring thaw.

What would you do? After all they expected to get every call right they would have instant replay.