review replay overturned call "brendan donley" "big inning" "shame tour"

Game 125 // Ninth Inning // The Walk-Off Umpire

Two days in a row, a game has ended with a walk-off replay review.

Same umpire, both days.


Cory Blaser… what’s going on?




On Monday night, in Houston:


Bottom of the ninth, two outs.

Gurriel dashes to third on a pitch in the dirt, trying to advance. The catcher whips a throw down the line. Valbuena catches it, tags him.


And our man Cory Blaser settles into a crouch. Looking down at the tag. Peers as the glove, the hand. 

He makes a call.



Valbuena makes a motion to challenge.

They challenge.




The umpires gather. Don their headsets. 


“That’s not even close!” they say on the Angels’ telecast.

“How do miss that, if you’re Cory Blaser?”


And the umps come back with a verdict, announcing the end of the game:





It happens, Cory Blaser. It does.

But then you see this, an email from Dad.

“Third base ump who blew call right in front of him and got reversed to end game is same ump who blew call, again right in front of him, at home and got reversed to end cubs Rockies game. Got to be first time two games in a row end on blown/reversed call by same ump. Get that guy some glasses!”


You look up the video. 

One day earlier. Ninth inning, two outs. Rockies vs Cubs.

Wild pitch, and Arenado sprints home from third…


And right there is our man. Cory Blaser. Staring at a glove and a foot and home plate.

“Safe!” he calls.


Then the challenge. The reversal. The game ending.




You check the box score, to be sure. This can’t be real.



Cory Blaser, two days in a row.

Blundering his way into a walk-off replay review for the away team.


And then you see he ejected two Cubs coaches, earlier in the game.

Andy Haines, spewing rage the umpire’s way in the form of a full cup of coffee.




So you’ve had a bad two days, Cory Blaser.

Pray that the masses never get word of this. Because they’ve been throwing their coffee cups for years now, this online mob of keeping-umpires-honest.


April 22, 2018:



July 1, 2017:



April 6, 2017:



June 9, 2015:



And now, for the coup de grâce. April 15, 2014:




We know what comes next.


Next game with Cory Blaser behind the plate.

The ballpark PA guy loads up “Three Blind Mice” on the speakers, and lets it sing.


Risk the ejection, my friend. You’ll go down as a legend.