After the Blue Jays had a few difficult calls from the umpiring crew on Sunday, things didn’t get a whole lot better on Monday evening.
The Blue Jays just can’t catch a break, and it most certainly doesn’t help that the umpiring crew isn’t doing them any favours lately.
I’m not one to attack officials, but what I witnessed on Monday night was nothing short of a mistake from home plate umpire Toby Basner. The rest of the crew including crew chief, Jerry Layne had an opportunity to make things right, but instead let the call stand.
In case you missed it, Chris Coghlan was attempting a steal of second base in the 7th inning with nobody out and Devon Travis at the plate. As Travis swung at the pitch, his follow through contacted Angels’ catcher Martin Maldonado on the back. In a moment of ineptitude, Basner called Travis out, and made Coghlan return to first base, who was initially called safe on the steal attempt.
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After DeMarlo Hale came out to ask for an explanation (and didn’t get one, at least a logical one), the call stood. Only to embarrass themselves further, as crew chief Layne pointed that Coghlan was allowed to return to second base, except that nobody paid attention to him other than Sportnet’s camera crew. The whole thing was completely botched, and frankly, they should be embarrassed that it happened, and that they didn’t end up getting things right.
Basner had also made a name for himself earlier in the night by ejecting Blue Jays’ manager John Gibbons. After Russell Martin had struck out, he walked back to the dugout, with Basner reportedly watching him as he returned. Gibbons noticed and then commented, and Basner promptly ejected him (all of this according to the account of Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler). The announcers openly expressed their displeasure with Basner’s handling of the situation, and that was before the botched interference call.
Of course, Basner isn’t brand new to controversy with the Blue Jays either, as he and his wife Rachel drew some negative attention after a post she made on Facebook, bragging about her husband tossing Josh Donaldson from a different contest last year.
As I said earlier, I’m not one to openly criticize officials very often, but this was flat out garbage. Basner made a mistake, refused to admit it, and his crew chief wouldn’t’ correct the situation. Hell, who cares about getting the call right, your pride is much more important.
For what it’s worth, Wilner’s tweet explains why the call was . You could point to rule 6.06 (c) as justification for Basner’s call (below), and that’ll be his weak argument, but it’s just wrong and 6.03 is the relevant point to make here.
"6.06 (c) If the batter interferes with the catcher, the plate umpire shall call “interference”. The batter is out and the ball dead. No player may advance on such interference."
Unfortunately the Blue Jays dropped another close one, no thanks to the potential rally killing mitsake by Basner and Layne. Thankfully, this series is over and they’ll move on to a fresh crew on Tuesday, hopefully one that John Gibbons can get along with a little better.