Saturday, December 1, 2012

Instant Replay Series: Yankees Robbed!

For many years, the Yankees have been the beneficiaries of many poor and controversial calls.  I'm sure it started back before the Babe was calling his shots, but we didn’t have high-def instant replay or twitter, so not as many of us were up in arms about it.  But just in the expanded post-season era there have been several examples of calls that were made that almost seemed like there was a memo from the top to ensure the Yankees got whatever breaks they needed to win the World Series.  This started in the 1996 ALCS when in the 8th inning of Game 1, Yankee fan Jeffrey Maier reached over the right field fence at Yankee Stadium to prevent Tony Tarasco from making a routine catch on a deep fly ball.  Instead of being ruled spectator interference, the Umpiring crew ruled it a game tying home run. Yankees went on to win that game, the ALCS and their first World Series since 1978.

In 1999 in the ALCS against the Red Sox, the Yankees were again helped when a phantom tag helped Chuck Knoblauch turn a double play in the 8th inning of a 1 run Game 4.  Instead of the Series being tied at 2 games New York took a commanding 3-1 lead, and again went on to win the World Series - their third of four in a five year span.

In 2009, they got help in both the ALDS and ALCS to ensure they made it to the World Series. In Game 2 of the ALDS, in the 11th inning Joe Mauer hit a ball down the left field line that looked to be clearly fair.  Amazingly the Umpire who made the call had a perfect view and was only a few steps away as can be seen here.  Instead of the Twins tying up the Series at 1 game apiece, the Yankees went on to win and sweep the Series.  Then in the ALCS against the Angels, in Game 4 Mike Napoli clearly tags both Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada as they were both off 3rd base, but only one runner was called out.  And of course, you know how this turns out, with them finally able to win their only championship of this century.

After all these breaks going their way, this year's ALCS saw some calls going against them which may have robbed them of a chance to return to the World Series.