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Jerry Meals’ Braves/Pirates Call Controversy Spawns Amazing Twitter Trend

Umpire ends 19 inning marathon with highly controversial call

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Jerry Meals’ Braves/Pirates Call Controversy Spawns Amazing Twitter Trend
[ Social Media]

We all know that officiating error is a part of most popular sports. Whether it is a poor strike three call on the outside corner, a referee missing an obvious traveling violation or a back judge calling a ridiculous offsides, human error is part of professional sports.

In a way, it adds more excitement to the game. Would you want a robot calling balls and strikes? I sure wouldn’t.

The latest sporting controversy involves a call by a home plate umpire in last night’s marathon MLB game between the Atlanta Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The game ended in the 19th inning with a much disputed “safe” call at the plate on a runner that appears to be out by at least 3 or 4 steps. Many on the internet are calling this the “worst call in the history of sports.”

Here’s the situation: Game tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the 19th inning. Men on 2nd and 3rd with one out for the Braves. Chopper to third base, the runner goes. The throw to home clearly beats Julio Lugo by a mile. The sweeping tag appears to get Lugo’s leg, but to everyone’s shock the umpire calls him safe.

The Pirates appear perplexed, quite understandably.

Here’s the video from the final play of the game –

What do you think? Did the tag get Lugo, making this a comically horrible call? Or did Lugo escape the tag, making this one of the better calls I’ve ever seen?

Lugo said he didn’t feel the tag in the postgame interviews. “He made the right call, I got in there,” he said.

Either way, the Twitterverse is decidedly holding the belief that home plate umpire Jerry Meals made the wrong call and an incredible trending hashtag has emerged: #jerrymealssaysitssafe.

Here are some of the best tweets –

I’m playing Oblivion. I’m going to take off all my armor, discard my weapons and attack guards. Why? #jerrymealssaysitssafe 25 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® · powered by @socialditto

#jerrymealssaysitssafe for playstation 3 users to type in their personal info for online play. 38 minutes ago via Twitter for iPhone · powered by @socialditto

Letting Casey Anthony babysit your kid #jerrymealssaysitssafe. 43 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Gonna cross these mountains with my new friends the Donners #jerrymealssaysitssafe 1 hour ago via Twitter for iPhone · powered by @socialditto

An island full of dinosaurs in captivity? Count me in! #jerrymealssaysitssafe 1 hour ago via HTC Peep · powered by @socialditto

Gonna wait until the last minute to raise the debt ceiling cuz #jerrymealssaysitssafe 3 minutes ago via TweetDeck · powered by @socialditto

Sure NewsCorp, buy MySpace for 580 million dollars. #jerrymealssaysitssafe 1 minute ago via web · powered by @socialditto

And the winner for both most timely and most insensitive goes to –

Amy Winehouse doing drugs. #JerryMealsSaysItsSafe 1 minute ago via Twitter for iPad · powered by @socialditto

The game last night, despite the controversial ending, made history. Clocking in at 6 hours and 39 minutes, it was the longest ever for both the Braves and the Pirates.

Do you think it’s safe for Jim Joyce to come out now?

Jerry Meals’ Braves/Pirates Call Controversy Spawns Amazing Twitter Trend
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  • Mooseman

    What kind of bullshit article is this? There’s certain things, like video evidence, that you allow you to be completely nonobjective.

    Prefacing with the ‘human error is part of the game’ story? For real?

    Bring in the replay!

    • http://www.ientry.com/ Josh Wolford

      Human error is part of the game. Are you saying it isn’t? If you’re saying that it shouldn’t be part of the game, then that is an entirely different argument

  • Jeff

    I’m glad the twitterverse is now the arbiters of truth. If you’ll watch carefully, the umpire waited until the runners foot made contact with the plate, and then called him safe. Had the catcher not tried to make a swipe tag, he would have certainly gotten the out. This was player error. Absolutely none of the replay angles that I’ve seen show with even a modicum of certainty that the call was wrong. (Of course, the only people who would watch it and come to that conclusion are those who are biased in favor of officials, namely other officials.) (Then again, since everyone else seems to be biased against officials, perhaps we should all take a fourth look.) Put a camera on the umpire’s hat, then you will have the best angle from which to determine the call. (Yes, that would be the angle from which Jerry Meals made that call)

  • artuvaas

    Josh-Back Judges don’t make offsides/encroachment calls, (Head
    Linesmen and Line Judges do, but we get your point).

    Jerry Meals-a 50 year old man-most likely missed this call because
    he was either physically or mentally fatigued. You try calling balls-and
    strikes for over six hours and let’s see how you do.

    Your point about not having robots officiate the game of baseball-or
    any other sport for that matter-is also well-taken.

    I also believe that each team should have at least one challenge-possibly two-to rectify obvious incorrect rulings.

    Nevertheless, for those that want robots. Nobody will ever umpire
    a minor-league game, again. No upward-movement, why put up with
    lousy pay and vituperative verbal abuse if you can’t make
    “THE SHOW.” You’ll have high school and college umpires working
    the minors. If that’s what the coaches, players, fans, and management
    want–GO FOR IT. Unfortunately, the twenty;thirty-and-forty year old
    adolescents who watch sports today-and act like know-it-all obsequious
    sycophantic; horn-rimmed wearing gad-abouts must realize that officiating team sports is an amalgamation of rules knowledge;
    positioning-and-judgment; “common sense”; and communication and
    public relations’ skills.

    How will your technology handle a pitcher “doctoring” the ball or
    breaking up a fight between teams? What about “safety issues,”
    especially football. Not everything happens at the point-of-attack.
    What about rough play-away from the ball-in a basketball game–THOUGHT SO…

    positioning-and-judgement;

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