Umpiring controversies will endure even after the anticipated expansion of instant replay next year.
Consider Saturday's events at Comerica Park, which surely will serve as a case study for baseball officials studying the issue.
In the fourth inning of Detroit's 6-5 win over Kansas City, Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar checked his swing on a 2-2 curveball in the dirt. Even though Escobar didn't bring the bat around, he tipped the pitch after it bounced off the ground.
It should have been ruled a foul ball. Tigers catcher Brayan Peña figured it would be, so he didn't retrieve the ball once it skipped away. But home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski saw it differently, ruling the pitch a ball because he didn't notice Escobar had made contact.
Muchlinski conferred with the other umpires, but the original call stood. Detroit manager Jim Leyland argued and was ejected. Peña protested and was tossed, too. The umpires' mistake affected the inning, because Chris Getz advanced from first to ...