Sixth inning of a tie game- 1 out- runners on 1st & 3rd- Elvis Andrus hitting. He attempts a squeeze bunt and pops it up. I run in, dive and catch it. Then I throw to third base to complete the inning ending double play.
Except, that’s not how Laz Diaz saw it. He said that I “trapped it”, and then all hell broke loose. I went nuts, Bob Melvin came out to defend me (and argue the horrible call) and went nuts too. Over and over Laz continued to say that he saw me “trap the ball”. And that’s what pushed me over the edge. I cannot stand being accused of something I didn’t do- or someone telling me that I’m wrong when I am 100% certain that I’m in the right. So this was the perfect storm for me to be pissed off.
I try to never be angry on a baseball field, especially over an umpire’s decisions. That’s mostly because you can’t change anything and because my focus is so singular when I’m pitching, that worrying about anything else becomes destructive.
This one was different for all the reasons I listed earlier. That point in the game was extremely high leverage. If he correctly rules that I caught it, then I’ve completed six innings (helpful for saving the bullpen) and we’re tied. After that play, Texas were now up 4-3 with runners on 1st and 2nd and one out. That is two massively different scenarios as a result of that decision. Combine that with another grown adult telling me that I trapped the ball (when I knew for a fact that wasn’t the case) and I exploded.
Usually I enjoy swearing, but only on much friendlier terms. I was swearing at Laz like he had personally tried to screw me and now the more I look back at it, I was being an asshole. I could’ve sworn at him until my cerebellum melted, but what would that have solved? Nothing.
In the future, I think I’m going to start going for the much calmer discussion/debates. Raging can be fun, but nothing gets accomplished. I’m very aware that Laz did what he felt was correct. I don’t know how he didn’t see me catch that ball, but he says he did and under his job title, I’m obligated to abide by that. He’s just doing his job as best as he knows how, and I stood there and screamed and belittled him for it. That’s not how I want to carry myself going forward.
Of course this brings up the Replay debate, of which I’m sure I’ll write about in the future.