Worst. Call. Ever.

This is a still of Jerry Hairston getting called out by first base umpire Tim Welke at Coors Field in Colorado this afternoon to end the top of the sixth inning.

I know what you’re thinking. This has to be one of those optical illusions or visual phenomenons, like when the empty pop can looks like it’s rolling uphill. Or, when you look at one of those grids and you think you see black dots at all of the corners.

Here’s another angle of that very same play:

And here it is, in motion:

I’ve waxed poetically before about why I like human umpires calling a non-standardized strike zone, but the same romantic grey area simply doesn’t exist when it comes to safe and out calls.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s always room for interpretation and some understanding for limited perspectives, but … Todd Helton is like three freaking feet off the bag. Come on.

At least some good came out of this horrible call. Most notably, this tweet:

Comments (12)

  1. That Tweet is pretty much worth whatever blow was dealt to the credibility of Major League umpires everywhere. Seriously.

  2. only know did i realize i can retweet tweets you post in your articles. top notch. also, that is rediculous, wish I could see the umpires positioning on that play, there must of been some runners on or else hed be right behind that bag

  3. Hey Parkes,

    I don’t know if you care about this or not. But last night during the Jays games telecast they announced “blackberry fan of the game” from people sending in a picture. And the guy who won sent in a photo of all his Jays merchandise. But if you looked closely almost 90 percent of the merchandise he had was clearly counterfeit stuff from one of those China jersey websites.. Just thought it was funny the Jays were rewarding someone for stealing from them… I think it happened at the top of the 2nd…

    • Side note: I love those Chinese Online Stores. I’ve bought two jersey’s from there, both look well enough (one is proving not to be quite as durable as I’d hoped), and they both combined cost me less than my Rasmus jersey. Win. Also, this call was bogus and the ump should be fired. Instant Replay, please. No “integrity of the game” crap, no “human element”, human’s are flawed and aren’t getting any less so.

    • Ha, I saw that too. Kind of pissed me off considering I spent $200 on an authentic Bautista jersey, while this guy spends $40 on a clearly knockoff Lawrie jersey (among others) yet he’s the fan of the game. Not that I tried to win or anything, just saying.

  4. How about the fact that Tim Welke was also the home plate ump involved in that blown call in the Texas-Detroit game not even two weeks ago



  5. The most offensive thing to me is that the crew won’t work together to get it right. Every ump but Welke had to have seen Helton a whole area code from the bag. Call time and get it right. Instead we get the infallibility act.

    • Part of the problem is that a lot of umps just come off as really arrogant guys. You’ve seen it happen before where a guy kind of glances at an ump and then the ump turns on him and starts chewing him out, telling him “just say something so I can throw you out of the game”. A lot of umps have this attitude of “I dare you to challenge any of my calls”, and it shows quite a bit. The more they get disciplined for bad or incompetent behaviour, maybe we’ll see this kind of thing improve.

      • I prefer the “don’t even look at me or else…” attitude to the one in soccer where players swarm the ref when they don’t like a call. I guess somewhere in the middle is the right way to go, as usual.

  6. What’s even more inexcusable is that Welke isn’t even in any of the pictures or the video. How could his view have been. Isn’t that his job – to get in position to make those calls!?

  7. Still not as bad a call as the triple play that you defended…

  8. On a similar note, am I the only one who noticed how far off 2nd base Ian Kinsler was for at least two double plays against the Jays on Monday and Tuesday (didn’t see Wednesday’s game)? Can’t remember exactly when these occurred, but on at least two occasions, Kinsler was definitely not touching the bag before or after relaying to 1B to complete the double play – from the camera angle, he looked to be more than a foot off the bag. I know the umps give a bit of leeway here, but come on. They’ve gotta be closer than that…

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