Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dunce Cap Award: Alfonso Marquez

The stereotype against baseball umpires is that they're "blind". That's not always true, but their senses do betray them from time to time.

Case in point is this week's Dunce Cap "winner", umpire Alfonso Marquez, who, perhaps unwittingly, went out of his way to try to tip Tuesday's Mets-Phillies game in favor of the visitors from Philadelphia.

In the 3rd inning, Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis was hit by a pitch from Mets starter Matt Harvey. Mets manager Terry Collins hemmed and hawed, but was late in calling for a challenge. As I understand it, since I didn't see the play live, it was one of those deals where the ball barely, if at all, grazed Galvis' shirt. Given that the Phillies have gotten the benefit of some dubious calls in New York in the past, this wasn't a surprise.

2 innings later, Marquez incorrectly called catcher's interference against the Mets' Travis d'Arnaud, awarding Ryan Howard first base. Replays clearly showed Marquez was wrong as wrong could be, but he refused to ask for help, which Collins apparently had asked for. Collins instead was ejected. The end result? The Mets won their 3rd straight game, 6-5. The arrogance of Marquez, refusing to seek a 2nd opinion, if you will, was just glaring.

The arbiter finally did something right, however, when he warned both benches after Chase Utley was plunked by Harvey. Utley, who has a reputation for leaning into a pitch to get hit, was cool with Harvey's old school approach. He finished the night going 3-3 with the HBP, 2 HRs, 2 runs scored.

Major League Baseball, like the other major sports leagues, doesn't usually allow game officials, such as umpires, to be made available for post-game interviews, unless it's something really major. It's time they stopped catering to the umpires' union and held the men in blue accountable for egregious errors in judgment. Marquez's lack of clear vision nearly cost the Mets the game. If he checked his ego at the door, he'd finally realize the game ain't about him or his fellow umps, and own up.

No comments: