Here’s something you don’t hear every day: A Major League Baseball umpire admitted he was “dead wrong.”
Those are the words of Jim Wolf, the home-plate umpire in Wednesday night’s Game 4 of the National League Championship Series between the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers. Wolf was in the middle of another fiery Joe Maddon ejection after the Cubs manager frantically objected to an appeal ruling on the field.
If you missed the moment: It appeared that Dodgers outfielder Curtis Granderson struck out in the eighth inning. Granderson said he foul tipped the ball and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts asked for an appeal. The umpires on the field then reversed the call, saying it was a foul ball and Granderson was still at-bat. (Under MLB replay rules, the play wasn’t reviewable).
That’s when Maddon lost it — and was ejected for the second time in the postseason. (Which, hey, that’s a record). Maddon was proven right, though, as Wolf admitted it was the wrong call. He told reporters:
“After looking at it (on replay afterward), I was dead wrong,” Wolf said. “I talked myself into the whole thing.”
The whole thing was ultimately harmless. Granderson struck out on the next pitch. The Cubs won the game, forcing a Game 5 in Chicago on Thursday night. And Maddon will be back in the dugout this time.
If it didn’t turn out that way, though? This is what Maddon had to say after the game:
“If Granderson hit the next pitch out, I might come running out of the clubhouse in my jockstrap. It was really that bad.”
Sounds like we got the best possible outcome on all fronts — the Cubs rightfully won, Granderson rightfully struck out, the umpire admitted he was wrong and we didn’t have to see Joe Maddon blow a gasket in his jockstrap.
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