Right Field

Agile Umpiring

Another baseball once-in-a-lifetime moment: The ump reverses his call twice and is right all three times.

In the bottom of the eighth in the first game of yesterday’s Jays–Yanks doubleheader, Andruw Jones pops out to Omar Vizquel at first. Vizquel snags the ball just fair. First-base umpire Toby Basner signals out.

But, as Vizquel falls to the ground from his knees, the ball pops out of his glove. Basner signals safe.

But then Vizquel kicks the bag while still prone, and since Jones never bothered to run (Michael Kay whines that Jones thought the ball was foul — as if that’s an excuse), Basner immediately signals out.

The camera cuts to Jones, dumbstruck, still standing at the plate. Girardi, of course, puts in an appearance, but Basner explains the play to his satisfaction. (While this was going on, YES ran several replays clearly showing that Basner was right.) Maybe that’s why Joe Girardi finally decided to bench Jones and play Ichiro against lefties, which produced happy results for the Yanks in the second game.


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