Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Out of position umpire

In a strange series of events today, umpire Tim McClelland ended up standing about twenty feet behind Brewers pitcher Wily Peralta for a portion of the first inning after an errant pitch took out home plate umpire Seth Buckminster.

Buckminster left the game and was attended to by Brewers training staff, and another umpire, Anthony Johnson, left the game briefly to don home plate umpiring gear. This exodus left just two umpires, McClelland and Jim Joyce, to cover the entire field and call balls and strikes, leading to McClelland's bizarre field position.

On the players' side of things, how long must it have been since Peralta pitched to a catcher without the looming presence of the umpire behind him? Even in Little League, where games often have just one umpire, that umpire is always behind the plate.

Everyone involved handled the situation admirably, and when Johnson ran out to take his place behind the plate, the crowd showed its relief with a round of applause. If you'd like, you can watch a video of the incident here.

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