I don’t have to tell you how the umpiring of Vic Carapazza gave the win to the Texas Rangers in Game 2 of the American League Division Series. There was lots of reaction on social media from Blue Jays fans during and after last Friday’s game. A large majority were incensed of Carapazza’s inability to call a baseball game. There were also a number of bleeding hearts who looked the other way and instead criticized the Blue Jays for arguing about the calls. And they accuse people like me of blaming the victim.
Carapazza in that game showed what a complete idiot he was with his calling of balls and strikes. There are others like him in Major League Baseball but when this stuff happens in the playoffs, it gets magnified 10 times. Cardinals fans in 1985 would have loved it if Don Denkenger umpired his last game after his blown call in Game 6 of the World Series that year. If I was in Commissioner Rob Manfred’s shoes, umpires who clearly make mistakes in games (especially during the playoffs) would be sent down to the minors regardless of seniority, just like the players. They would never officiate another game in the Majors until they shape up.
Recently there have been calls for a police investigation into the matter. If you saw the game on TV, you could see that Carapazza called pitches differently when Marcus Stroman was on the mound. While you can accuse Carapazza of being incompetent, intent is entirely different. Unless there is evidence to the contrary, I don’t believe Carapazza’s actions were intentional. This reminds me of former NBA referee Tim Donaghy who was convicted in 2007 of fixing NBA games especially during the playoffs. To make the case for intent you have to provide motive like connections to individuals with a history of criminal activity. That maybe difficult to prove. But we’ve seen it before where evidence will come from out of nowhere and implicate people.
The Blue Jays players did what they were suppose to do in that situation. Express their opinion and then go back to the dugout. To Carapazza’s credit, he didn’t eject any Blue Jays players or Manager John Gibbons out of the game. He seemed to have a thick skin, unlike many of his colleagues during the regular season. It will be interesting to see how Blue Jays fans at Rogers Centre react when they see Carapazza patrol 3rd base in Game 5.
Frankly, Carapazza isn’t worth wasting our time. I like to point out other people’s faults. But I’m also one who doesn’t hold a grudge or beat a dead horse. So let me call off the dogs and say move on, people. We have bigger fish to fry. I know Carapazza owes us one but there will be a time and place where he will answer to us. Right now, the Blue Jays have a series to win and our focus should be on that.
Before I go, how about those Blue Jays? The American League Division Series is now tied at 2-2 after winning the two games in Arlington. The series goes down to a 5th and deciding game on Wednesday with Stroman starting for the Blue Jays. As I’ve been saying all along, the team must play flawless defense and stay patient when batting if they intend to go far in the playoffs. They didn’t do that during the first two games in Toronto. Everything is going so well for us that I bet the Rangers are calling Taylor Swift’s people to see if they can stage a snap concert at Rogers Centre the night before.