As you can see in the photo below, the standard for being called out on your way to first base has changed a bit. Now, apparently, not only must you tag the runner, but you must also tackle him before he reaches the base and tie his feet, rodeo style. At least if the umpire is C.B. Bucknor.
Red Sox Nation is a little miffed this morning over a couple of blown calls by Bucknor, who not only inexplicably missed this tag by Kevin Youkilis, but botched another call at first in the sixth. And within minutes of the conclusion of the Angels’ 5-0 win in Game 1, the assault on Bucknor’s Wikipedia page had begun. Fun!
“During the offseason, Bucknor, who is legally blind, speaks at the Helen Keller Institute for Sensor Impaired Children.”
Then there was this:
C.B. Bucknor has to go. Two incredibly missed calls. What is he doing in a game of this magnitude? – Peter King tweet at 11:45pm on Oct 8, 2009
Yeah, there’s more.
And our own Brooks, who has been everywhere and seen more blown calls than just about anyone, checks in with this observation:
“I actually called dozens of his games in the minors going back to Class A ball! He was BRUTAL back then. A joke.”
But I’m sure all of these are gentle brickbats; said with love.
Yes, umpires blow calls. But what’s particularly galling to many is the perceived lack of consequences. Bucknor has twice been voted the worst umpire in the majors, yet he still gets a playoff gig. Strong union? Or just Selig’s sick sense of humor?
And most of all, you don’t upset Red Sox fans during a loss. They never forget.