Last night, the Braves and Pirates were tied at 3 in the bottom of the 19th inning. Braves pitcher, Scott Proctor hits a weak ground ball to third. Julio Lugo charges towards the plate. Catcher, Michael McKenry grabs the throw, applies what appears to be a swipe tag and gets Lugo by 5 steps. However the plate umpire called Lugo safe. Braves win 4-3.Now, in today’s information age this play was immediately seen worldwide. I’ve seen it 25 times, from multiple angles, and I’m convinced Lugo was out. Did McKenry tag Lugo? I think so. The throw clearly beat him by a mile. However you look at it, this play fits right in with the “vicinity play” at second base. That’s the one where the shortstop or second baseman swipes his foot across the bag while throwing to first in a double-play attempt. Whether his foot is actually on the bag while he has the ball, is a different story. He usually gets the call because he’s in the vicinity. This unwritten rule should’ve clearly applied last night.While, I don’t want to make games longer, the use of replay clearly should’ve applied here. I mean, how do we let a game end on such an egregious call? What if the Pirates miss the playoffs by 1 game? I don’t think too many people would be against reviewing a call that could affect a teams’ season. It would’ve taken less than 5 minutes and the game should’ve continued. If this play happens in the first inning, fine he’s safe move on. But to end the game?
Come on Bud, it's 2011, change with the technology; don’t be afraid of it.
-- Lem Allen, BYB Freelance Writer
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