Phil Cuzzi is lucky his horrendous call benefited the New York Yankees and hurt the Minnesota Twins. Had it been the other way around, those big meanies in the Big Apple — who don’t share our tempered Midwestern disposition — may have made things real unpleasant for him.
Cuzzi, a veteran umpire, blew a call in the top of the 11th inning when he ruled a ball of the bat of Joe Mauer foul.
It was nowhere near foul.
The ball bounced into the stands and would have been a leadoff double if called properly. Mauer proceeded to single in an inning that saw the Twins load the bases with no outs and then fail to score.
Mark Teixeira’s walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the frame ended the game and gave the Yankees a 2-0 edge in the series as it heads to Minnesota.
It’s the latest in a string of botched umpiring decisions that has some on these here Interwebs grumbling about expanded instant replay. First, there was the no call on Brandon Inge’s hit-by-pitch in the AL Central tiebreaker. Then, it was CB Bucknor’s forgettable night in Anaheim. Now this.
It’s getting harder and harded to defend the guys in blue, who on the whole do a heck of a job. A part of you has to feel for them, but another has to expect them to get it right the first time.