2010 MLB Playoffs: It's Time for Paul Emmel to Own Up to His Mistakes

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2010 MLB Playoffs: It's Time for Paul Emmel to Own Up to His Mistakes
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Paul Emmel Tosses Bobby Cox in the NLDS

One of my favorite umpires in the MLB is Jim Joyce. Not because I hate the Tigers (I don’t) and was excited to see someone get robbed of history when it was within his grasp.

No, I like and respect Jim Joyce because after everything that happened, he was “man” enough to throw his pride out the window and admit that he messed up and cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game.

Well, now it’s time for Paul Emmel to step up and admit that he messed up.

By now, most baseball fans have heard about Game One of the NLDS between the Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants.

In the fourth inning of a scoreless game, Buster Posey attempted to steal second base and was thrown out by Brian McCann. If you haven’t seen the play or don’t believe that Posey was out, click here for some photo proof.

Posey eventually scored the only run of the game, and the Braves fell behind in the series 1-0.

In Game Two, Emmel was at his finest again. Alex Gonzalez hit a ground ball that shortstop Juan Uribe made a diving play on. Uribe’s play was nice, but his throw pulled Aubrey Huff off the bag. Emmel called Gonzalez out anyway and then threw Bobby Cox out of the game for arguing.

In a crucial Game Three tonight, Emmel was behind the plate. Jonathan Sanchez was on top of his game, but Emmel felt the need to help out.

First, when Brooks Conrad was up, Emmel twice called Conrad’s attempted check swings strikes without even appealing to the first base umpire.

Then, in the bottom of the ninth with the Braves down by one run, Jason Heyward stepped in against Brian Wilson. After the at-bat, Fox brought up FoxTrax to show the pitch sequence. FoxTrax confirmed what most people saw in the at-bat:  Wilson threw four balls and one strike to Heyward.

Four balls typically means a walk, but with Paul Emmel behind the plate, it resulted in a called strike three on Heyward.

And before you criticize me for being a bitter Braves fan (which admittedly and deservedly at this point, I am), I’m not the first one to call Emmel a bad ump. Here’s a link from a Minnesota Twins blogger with about another game in which Emmel was behind the plate.

I understand Paul Emmel is human. I understand mistakes happen. I don’t wish harm on Emmel for what happened. I do, however, wish two things would happen.

  1. Paul Emmel can be a man about this matter and admit he screwed up. I don’t buy the logic that Emmel called it safe because he saw it was safe. If Emmel saw that Posey was safe then he shouldn’t be an umpire because he sees things that aren’t there. 
  2. The MLB needs to take action. I understand errors are part of being human, but this is his job, and he needs to do it well. When a doctor makes a mistake that kills a patient, he has his performance reviewed and could have his license revoked. Paul Emmel may have killed the Braves World Series dreams with his terrible umpiring, and Bud Selig needs to take action instead of turning a blind eye like he did during the steroids era.
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