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Sunday, August 09, 2009

What Was Ed Rapuano Thinking?

The umpire ejected Phillies' CF Shane Victorino in the middle of the game.

Victorino was standing in center field at the time; Rapuano was umping behind home plate.


Apparently, the arbiter was miffed after Victorino raised his right arm after Rapuano called a close pitch from Phillies' pitcher Rodrigo Lopez a ball. So, Rapuano tossed Victorino, who ran toward home plate faster than he goes from first to third on a triple. Fortunately for the Phils, Ryan Howard (and others) kept Victorino away from the ump. This after Rapuano, with two on and two out in the previous half, blew -- yes blew -- a called third strike on Howard that was halfway his shinbone and his ankle. For the Phillies, who admittedly are in a stupor, having to face Marlins' pitcher Josh Johnson is bad enough. Having to face Ed Rapuano (whom Phillies' broadcaster Chris Wheeler says is a good umpire) is double trouble.

The Phillies' fans joined in the debate by heaping boos on Rapuano; the fans in the tony seats behind home plate (those who were still there) were letting him having it on no uncertain terms. Fans throughout the park were chanting Victorino's name.

What was Ed Rapuano thinking? Good ump or not, you just don't eject someone from center field, especially in a 3-1 game, and deprive a team of a pinch hitter because they have to substitute for the ejected player. The supervisor of Major League umpires needs to review this game closely and scrutinize Rapuano's behavior. If he's a good ump, he's had a bad day (and not just on this call).

I'd also like to question the calmness of Phillies' skipper Charlie Manuel. The call from Rapuano was so stupid that I would have expected more animation from Manuel. Manuel remained calm, got an explanation, chuckled a bit, and went back to the dugout. Perhaps then Rapuano had a good explanation, but I would have thought an ejection would have served a purpose -- to fire up an uncharacteristically sleepy team.

It just goes to show you that unlike when you're winning 19 of 22, when you're losing say 8 of 11 or so, you notice each ball and strike call as if it were game 7 of the World Series. At any rate, the Phillies -- and Ed Rapuano -- need to do better.


Blogger Doug said...

Are the Phillies about to blow this thing? The Marlins and Braves are creeping up in the standings.

I also noticed Chipper Jones and the Braves complaining about an ump a few weeks ago when they were losing far too many games. Maybe big league players have to have someone to blame and the umps are easy targets.

8:52 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Well, the Braves are up next for a really big series. And now you have Michael Vick. Good luck!

10:57 PM  
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11:21 AM  

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