Justin Turner Aug 15, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter Justin Turner (2) talks with home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman (R) after being called out on strikes against the Washington Nationals to end the fourth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s be honest here, Major League Baseball has an umpiring issue. Major League Baseball has had an umpiring issue. Maybe it all seems a bit worse because every blown call is on social media for the whole world to see, but at the very least, this season is one of the worst we can remember, at least from a correct calls standpoint.

And on Tuesday, veteran umpire Bruce Dreckman made the worst call of the season. Just see for yourself below:

At the top of the fourth inning of Tuesday’s game between the Red Sox and Nationals, Boston designated hitter Justin Turner stepped to the plate. On a 3-2 pitch, Turner was rung up on a ball that was in the other batter’s box. In fact, the pitch would’ve brushed him off the plate if he were a left-handed hitter.

The NESN Red Sox broadcast was understandably in utter disbelief, as both play-by-play voice Dave O’Brien and color analyst Kevin Youkilis sort of laughed off the terrible strike call.

“No, this is not a strike.”

“It sure wasn’t.”

Even the MASN broadcast, which has been known to wear Nationals pom poms in the booth, couldn’t believe how terrible the call was.

“Oh, my goodness…That was awful,” analyst Kevin Frandsen said. 

Good on Frandsen for telling it like it is. It was refreshing to hear from an opposing broadcast, even if the direct implications of the blown call benefitted Washington. This isn’t the first time he’s taken an issue with the umpiring in the league. Just a few weeks ago, he was fed up with Ángel Hernández. Aren’t we all?

It’s not too often that commentators go completely in on umpiring or officiating like that. Appeasing the broadcast partners is often thought in the back of everyone’s mind while they call a game. So, it usually results in criticism, but nothing scathing. But this, however, was an instance where it was the opposite.

The audible displeasure from both broadcast booths over Dreckman’s horrible missed call was something no doubt felt by the audience at home. While bias is sometimes something people bemoan over when you’re a local announcer, you have to know your audience. Knowing that fans probably don’t like the calls just as much, if not more, expressing that dissatisfaction can get you places. At least among the fans watching at home.

And it seems like we were all Frandsen and Youkilis, as we sat with our jaws on the floor, wondering if Ashton Kutcher was going to come out and tell us all we were being punk’d. Needless to say, we were not being punked and if there was any comedic value in Dreckamn’s call, well we’re still searching for it ourselves.

[Awful Announcing on Twitter]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.