Scioscia critical of umps' calls during Green at-bat
September 17, 2009, 1:08 AM
BOSTON -- Whether it's real or imagined, there's a belief among some players that umpires simply will not make certain calls that go against the home team at places like Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park.
Put four-time All-Star reliever Brian Fuentes in that category. Fuentes suffered his fifth loss of the season after he gave up a fly-ball single to Alex Gonzalez with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. But it was while facing the previous batter, pinch hitter Nick Green, that Fuentes became frustrated with what he, and several other Angels, believe were non-called third strikes.
"You hear it from other guys,'' Fuentes said. "Especially here at Fenway. I don't know if it's human mistake or they're scared. But you definitely hear it around the league. They missed a call, a couple of calls. I don't think they meant to, but they're going to see it and they will realize it.''
First, Green appeared to go too far on a checked swing, but first-base umpire Jeff Kellogg didn't see it that way and ruled that Green didn't swing. A few pitches later, Green let a pitch at the knees go by that home plate umpire Rick Reed called a ball. Angels catcher Jeff Mathis immediately protested, as did manager Mike Scioscia.
"What was the count to Green, 3-and-4?" Scioscia mockingly said afterward. "I thought he had him a couple of times. I was surprised. That's usually a good umpiring crew. Our guys were upset, no doubt about it."
Asked if he saw replays of Green's at-bat afterward, Scioscia quickly snapped, "I did not need a replay. I did not need a replay.''
ESPN's Pedro Gomez covered the Oakland A's from 1992 to 1997 and then became the national baseball writer and later a general columnist at The Arizona Republic before becoming an ESPN bureau reporter in 2003.