When second-base umpire Dana DeMuth saw the crew converging on the infield during a stoppage of play in the first inning Wednesday night he knew he had an issue. "Yeah" he said later. "It's an awful feeling." Umpires have a signal that is very easy for them — and now everyone since they shared it publicly Wednesday night — to pick up. If there is a call in question and there has been an argument from one of the managers the ump who made the call can take clues from his colleagues. If they stay back the umps didn't see the play or don't have a different opinion from the call MLB executive Joe Torre explained. If they converge from their different spots in the field then they saw something different. On DeMuth's call in the first inning they converged. As the game started to spiral on the Cardinals and Adam Wainwright there was a play that could have offered the righty an escape. The Cardinals had the shift on to face David Ortiz and Boston's designated hitter complied with a grounder to second baseman Matt Carpenter. Carpenter flipped the ball to shortstop Pete Kozma. Kozma called it "a good feed" but it was off line and it floated. Kozma got the tip of his glove on the ball but didn't convert the catch. DeMuth who was looking at the base ruled runner Dustin Pedroia out on the force play. He assumed that Kozma caught the ball and lost it on the exchange. Boston manager John Farrell argued and ... the umps converged. In what many said was a first time the group overturned the call. "I've never seen anything like that" Kozma said. "They called what they called." Said Farrell: "I think we're fully accepting of the 'neighborhood' play but my view is that wasn't even that. There was really no entry into the glove with the ball. And to their credit they did confer and I think the one thing is we just strive to get the call correct. They overturned it and got the call right." Said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny: "Tough time to debut that overruled call -- in the World Series." Umpires including crew chief John Hirschbeck and DeMuth and Torre met with a pool reporter after the Red Sox 8-1 victory to discuss the play. The comments were provided by Major League Baseball to all the media per policy. Hirschbeck said the rest of the crew had to be "100 percent" certain. "I had crewmates that were giving me the signal that they were 100 percent sure that I had the wrong (call)" DeMuth said. "That they had it and I had the wrong call." Said Hirschbeck: "I hear all five of us say 'We're 100 percent.' And then I said 'All right we need to change this.' It's as simple as that." The call was overturned. Pedroia went back to second and the Red Sox had the bases loaded with one out instead of runners at the corner with two outs. Three pitches later Mike Napoli tagged Adam Wainwright with a three-run double and the rout was on. After the signal to overturn the call and bring Pedroia back on the field Matheny was beckoned by Hirschbeck. He was on his way out anyway. "I know you're not happy" Hirschbeck said he told Matheny. "It went against you. But you have to understand the play is correct."
Ump: 'Our job is to get the play right'
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Oct 24