One, Two, Three Strikes, You’re Out
After Lance Barksdale’s zone became the story of World Series Game 5, umpiring once again took center stage in Game 6.
This time it was a controversial call at first base involving Nationals shortstop Trea Turner. Turner hit a swinging bunt that Brad Peacock fielded between the mound and the plate. Peacock made the throw to first, where Turner ran into the arm of Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel.
Turner was ruled out for batter’s interference.
After the umpiring crew consulted with officials in New York for more than four minutes, the call on the field was upheld. That sent Washington manager Dave Martinez into a furious rage.
In between innings, Martinez went after home plate umpire Sam Holbrook, who made the interference call, and third base ump Gary Cederstrom. He had to be held back by bench coach Chip Hale and eventually became the first person ejected from a World Series game since Braves manager Bobby Cox in 1996.
It was a tense scene as it played out on the Fox broadcast, but the footage doesn’t include one hilarious detail.
If you compare that video to the broadcast version, you see that Holbrook ejected Martinez essentially right after the final note of the most wholesome song in sports. Baseball is incredible.
Let the kids play
The other big “controversy” from Game 6 was over how long you’re allowed to hang on to your bat after hitting a home run.
After Alex Bregman homered to left to put Houston up 2–1 in the first, he carried the bat all the way to first base.
There’s nothing in the rulebook that says you can’t do that but not all of baseball’s rules are written down. Former big league slugger Mike Napoli was among those who took issue with Bregman’s anti-bat-flip.
Bregman wasn’t the only guy to do it, though. When Juan Soto put the Nationals up 3–2 in the fifth, he also held onto the bat all the way down the line.
Soto wasn’t trying to get back at Bregman or anything. He just thought it looked like fun.
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Good job, everybody
A good song
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