Jerry Meals blew the call at the end of the Braves-Pirates game a few nights ago, I don't think he figured that there would be some fans that would take their outrage a bit too far. Yes, he blew the call, but hell, he's only human. I'm still bitter over the blown call in the 1985 World Series, but I've never let my fandom get in the way of human error. What is happening to Meals and his family is absurd.
According to Meals' daughter the family has received threats and harassing phone calls. This is a bit much. Jim Joyce didn't catch this much flack for ruining Armando Galarraga's perfect game.
A source who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation told ESPN.com's Amy K. Nelson that Major League Baseball’s security division is investigating apparent threats made against the family. Among them were calls made to the family and people showing up at the Meals’ home. The exact nature of the threats is still unknown.
MLB Vice President of Baseball Operations, Joe Torre, delivered a lenghty apology.
“Unfortunately, it appears that the call was missed, as Jerry Meals acknowledged after the game. Many swipe tags are not applied to the runner with solid contact, but the tag was applied and the game should have remained tied. I have spoken with Jerry, who is a hard-working, respected umpire, and no one feels worse than him. We know that this is not a product of a lack of effort.
“Having been the beneficiary of calls like this and having been on the other end in my experience as a player and as a manager, I have felt that this has always been a part of our game. As a member of the Commissioner’s Special Committee for On-Field Matters, I have heard many discussions on umpiring and technology over the past two years, including both the pros and the cons of expanding replay. However, most in the game recognize that the human element always will be part of baseball and instant replay can never replace all judgment calls by umpires. Obviously, a play like this is going to spark a lot of conversation, and we will continue to consider all viewpoints in our ongoing discussions regarding officiating in baseball.
“We expect the best from our umpires, and an umpire would tell you he expects the best of himself. We have to continue to strive for accuracy, consistency and professionalism day in and day out.”
Listen up Pirates fans. Everyone makes mistakes. I understand this is the closest you've been to a pennant race in the last 20 years or so. Get over it. If anything you guys should be bitching about MLB not having a replay system that can make a proper call on a close play. I understand that it could possibly cost you in the standings at the end of the year, but it's not that serious. It's BS and 99% of them probably couldn't referee a checker match.