The Dodgers and White Sox are playing a tight interleague contest in Chicago, but no matter what happens the rest of the way, a blown call might end up being the key moment from the game.
It’s hard to miss a ball/strike call this egregiously, but check out the Dylan Cease knuckle curve to Cody Bellinger that seemingly froze both Bellinger AND home plate umpire Ed Hickox.
First, with the White Sox booth on NBC Chicago, which includes Steve Stone immediately suggesting Hickox is going to regret the call as soon as he sees it:
I don’t know if I have ever seen a worse call in all my time watching Major League Baseball.
— Vinnie Parise (@VinnieParise) June 9, 2022
Obviously the broadcast of the team wronged by a horrible call is going to note it, though Stone does a good job outlining exactly what happened and how bad the call was without devolving into outright homerism.
Sometimes, though, a call is bad enough that the team benefiting has to acknowledge it, too. This was one of those times, as the Dodgers booth on SportsNet was equally incredulous.
Joe Davis’s reaction to this horrendous missed strike is killing me… pic.twitter.com/1GM4vSj2jo
— CJ Fogler AKA Perc70 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) June 9, 2022
Joe Davis going with the long “Uhhhhh” is just about the perfect response.
In the end, Cease struck out Bellinger anyway, so there wasn’t a huge amount of harm done. But at a certain point, with the way we can immediately get information that’s more accurate than what an umpire can possibly hope to accomplish (even in the best of cases, much less situations like this one where something ridiculous happens) we should probably be moving towards some sort of automated system.
As of now, it’s just even more obvious and frustrating to viewers when they can see things being missed in real-time. Knowing how Rob Manfred operates, though, he’ll probably suggest strike zone graphics be banned before he makes any move to improve the product on the field in any real way.