Making the call on tag plays
Maybe it’s just coincidence, or maybe I’m just noticing it more. But it sure seems like umpires are judging tag plays more by when the ball arrives than by whether a tag is applied.
I saw it several times over games the last weekend. On a few bang-bang plays going into bases, the ball arrived, the runner slid in, and the umpire called the runner out. The problem is the tag was applied after the runner’s foot was on the base.
My friend and assistant Rich says making the call that way is the easy way out. You don’t have to see what actually happens, or focus on the entire sequence. You just look for the ball to come in around the same time as the runner and call the runner out.
Now, I could be wrong about it. All those runners could’ve been out. But I don’t think so. I’m pretty good at judging these sorts of things with a fairly unbiased eye, and I know what I see.
What do you think? Are umpires depending more on the arrival of the ball than seeing the entire play through? Or is it my imagination?