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Yeah, that just happened. Major League Baseball umpire Tim Welke made arguably the worst call ever in the history of baseball.
With two outs in the top of the sixth inning, Los Angeles Dodgers’ Jerry Hairston Jr. hit a chopper in between shortstop and third where Colorado Rockies third baseman Chris Nelson makes an incredible diving stop and guns it to Todd Helton at first base for the out. It was a typical routine play, right? Well, not exactly. The problem is Helton was at least a foot and a half off of the bag when he caught the ball from Nelson, which means Hairston should have been ruled safe.
The worst part about this play is it is not even close. Nelson’s throw was a little off so Helton and to step off the bag in order to at least prevent the ball from being tossed away. This alone should have been evidence enough that there was no way he was touching first base.
I guess I understand how Welke could have messed the call up. From his angle, and apparently if he is only half paying attention, it looks like Helton is touching the bag. I understand this might be a bit of a stretch, but I am sure that is exactly what went through Welke’s head. Obviously, looking at the play from any other angle shows that Hairston was indeed safe. The other frustrating part about this is Welke is a 27-year veteran when it comes to umpiring professional baseball games, not to mention the fact that he has been a part of four World Series crews.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly knew right away Hairston was safe and bolted out of the dugout to question the call. He showed Welke with his hands how far Helton was off the bag. Mattingly also probably told Welke to watch the replay when he gets home after the game.