Sunday, April 10, 2011
A Second Look at the Bob Davidson Incident
By Ian Hunter
For a reasonable, rational angle on the incident, take a look at Cole's post on Infield Fly. His point is that "good teams don't make excuses, they find a way to win". I agree with that 100% and the Blue Jays had ample chances and had the Angels on the ropes several times.
Also, the multitude of errors from the Blue Jays gave the Angels extra outs and ultimately cost them the game. The first was Edwin Encarnacion's errant throw in the 11th, and Travis Snider's misplay in the 14th inning.
Had it not been for an incredible escape act by Octavio Dotel in the bottom of the 11th, the game would have been over. However, the Blue Jays were not as lucky in the bottom of the 14th when J.P. Arencibia just barely missed the tag at home plate.
Basically, what I'm trying to say here is it's very easy to lay all of the blame on Bob Davidson. His reputation precedes him as a major league umpire, and he hasn't exactly been kind to the Toronto Blue Jays over the years.
Painting him as the enemy of the game is the easy thing to do because he can't fight back. In the end, it was the Blue Jays that handed that game to the Los Angeles Angels, not Bob Davidson.
In a way, I think this situation hearkens back to what happened with Steve Bartman and Game Six of the 2003 NLCS. Steve Bartman was immediately pegged as the scapegoat of the Chicago Cubs collapse because he was a defenseless fan.
It was easier to lay the blame on him rather than the Cubs themselves. And not only did the Cubs blow that game, but Game 7 of the 2003 NLCS as well. And it had nothing to do with Steve Bartman.
So in a roundabout way, I admit I was guilty of making Bob Davidson the scapegoat for that game rather than take into question the Blue Jays inability to put a run on the board past the 5th inning.
Travis Snider went 0 for 5 and committed an error. Edwin Encarnacion went 1 for 7 and committed an error. Rajai Davis went 1 for 6 and was swinging at anything and everything. Nobody wants to call out their own players, but each of these guys had ample chances to contribute and didn't.
Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying what Bob Davidson is okay. It's inexcusable and still baffles me that a call so blatantly obvious can be blown at the highest level of professional baseball. The fact that Davidson did not show one iota of remorse makes it even tougher to swallow.
At the end of the day, there's no sense in arguing or trying to change things because we'd just be wasting our breath. The call stands as is and the Los Angeles Angels won the ball game.
I can imagine the Blue Jays were livid in the clubhouse after that loss, but the season is 162 games and there's no sense on dwelling on just one game. Live and learn, and move on to the next one.