It's A Dutiful Play In The NeighborhoodS

You know it's one of those postseasons when the umps are getting ripped even for getting the calls correct.

The good old neighborhood play. It's a given, 99 times out of 100, but last night Jerry Layne called Melky Cabrera safe when Erick Aybar's feet were merely in the vicinity of second base. To give FOX credit, they went back over the game's previous double plays and found there hadn't been any other neighborhood plays that game, so the umps were at least consistent.

Also consistent: reactions from New York and L.A., taking sides:

The New York Daily News:

...the Yankees nearly got a huge break in the 10th, as Aybar never touched second base on a potential double play...

The New York Post:

Shortstop Erick Aybar, who misplayed Hideki Matsui's popup in the 4-1 Game 1 loss, never touched second base on what should have been a Jorge Posada double-play ball in the 10th...

Chad Piscaner at Large:

Apparently Aybar and the Angels learned that the "neighborhood" play doesn't mean just being in sight of 161st street in the Bronx.

Meanwhile, SoCal outlets were a little less tolerant of the umpires calling the rulebook.


The O.C. Register:

Umpire Jerry Layne tried to show everybody how smart he isn't, and held Angels shortstop Erick Aybar to a standard that few, if any, infielders are asked to while turning a double play.

Halos Heaven:

Once again, fighting the rain, the cold, the Yankees and their umpires...

6-4-2:

...an especially horrible call by second base umpire Jerry Layne that erased a double play when Erick Aybar failed to touch second base, or supposedly failed to do so; the video I saw was inconclusive (his left foot never did, but his right foot might have).

All month, the umpires have been excoriated for missing calls, and the one time they get a controversial one correct, they're excoriated for it. It's gotten to the point where the calls have been so bad, the umps are overcompensating. If they actually start calling strikes from the letters to the knees, we're in for a category 5 shitstorm.