When an umpire blows a call in a baseball game, critics are always quick to forgive. Many argue that is just the human element of baseball.
But when an umpire like Tim McClelland and his crew mess up more than one call in a single game, let alone a playoff game, fans and baseball critics start to wonder whether the umpiring crew is even qualified to call certain games.
On Tuesday night, Tim McClelland blew two calls.
The first blown call was calling Nick Swisher out, when he was clearly not even looking at Swisher. Later on in the game, Yankees players Jorge Posada and Robinson Cano were on base. Right in front of McClelland, Angels third-baseman Chone Figgins tagged the two Yankees. Neither of the two players had a foot on the base.
McClelland ruled Posada out and Cano safe at third. The crowd at Angels Stadium went wild. Angels fans, Yankee fans, and baseball fans all over the world knew and acknowledged how bad a call that was.
After the game, McClelland commented on how bad his calls were: "I'm just out there trying to do my job and do it the best I can."
The odd part about all of this was that he later commented on the possibility of being behind the plate in game five of the American League Championship Series.
McClelland said, "If I am given the opportunity of calling balls and strikes in game five, I will call the game blind-folded to show that I can make really good calls without my eyes. I believe deep inside that I made a great call by saying that Nick Swisher left the base too early and I had the right to call him out without even looking at him. If I could make that call without my eyes, calling balls and strikes will be a breeze."
Tim McClelland has been in many big games throughout history that involve a team trying to get an edge. He was part of the Sammy Sosa infamous "corked bat" game and George Brett's "Pine-Tar" game. But it seems even more unfair for a team to get an edge from the umpires. If an umpire keeps messing up calls for one team and not so much for another, many would call that an edge.
Game five will be entertaining to watch, especially if Tim McClelland is chosen as the home plate umpire. Umpiring with eyes seems difficult enough for McClelland, so nobody can wait to see how he'll do without any sight at all.
All most people have to say to McClelland as he heads into game five is, "Good Luck!"