During Friday night’s Red Sox and Yankees game, home plate umpire Ron Kulpa made a controversial pair of strike calls costing the Red Sox the tying run and potentially a win. If you didn’t see it all transpire, here it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrWVxh-UKV0
I was watching the game live and the 3-1 pitch which got Big Papi all riled up, looked like a strike to me but New York backstop Brian McCann botched the presentation of the pitch. When a catcher messes up the framing job, whether it is a bobble or a drop, typically the pitch gets called in the favor of the hitter but Kulpa had other ideas. Then the 3-2, clearly a ball while some reports had it over five inches below the strike zone was simply just a vindictive jab at Ortiz after he showed Kulpa up after the 3-1 pitch. Ortiz ended up being ejected along with manager John Farrell and long story short, social media exploded.
George Brett on the other hand had just hit a two run homer against the Yankees when the Bronx Bombers complained about the amount of pine tar on his bat. It is not as though pine tar helps you hit the ball further, the only reason that the rule was made was to prevent baseballs from being ruined due to the stickiness of the actual pine tar. After the umpires got together, they ruled Brett out and then the craziness ensued. Watch it happen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbEHAsZxRYo
As for who did it better (or worse?) … I’d vote for George Brett. Although David Ortiz looked extremely distraught, I didn’t think that Ortiz would physically hurt the umpire, at least not too badly. Where in George Brett’s case, it legitimately looked like Brett had the intent to tackle the home plate umpire and if he wasn’t restrained by other umpires, he might’ve gotten a right hook in there before all was said and done.
Cover Photo via ESPN
GIF via Reddit