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 -
#jerrymealssaysitssafe for playstation 3 users to type in their personal info for online play.
And the winner for both most timely and most insensitive goes to -
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?