Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/19/14

Umpire Tim Welke blew a call so badly in the Dodgers-Rockies game on Wednesday that it’s almost comical to see how much he missed it.

Dodgers infielder Jerry Hairston Jr. grounded a ball to Rockies third baseman Chris Nelson who made a diving stop and threw across the diamond in the top of the 6th. His throw pulled Todd Helton a couple feet off the first base bag, yet Welke gave the Rockies the call to end the inning.

As you can see in the image on the right, Welke isn’t even in position to see the bag. It was just an awful, awful call all the way around. What’s almost worse than the missed call is that none of the other umpires overruled him.

If this isn’t a great example for the need for expanded use of instant replay, I don’t know what is. Easily the worst call since Jerry Meals last year.

Here’s video of the play via MLB.com:

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  • NAH! The Red Sox/ Rays GAME! When LARRY VANOVER called ROSS out! Bottom of the Ninth, 2men on base for the Red Sox, 2outs and VANOVER calls ROSS, OUT on 5 outside balls!Score was 1 to 0!TTHAT COST THE SOX THE GAME! 5 BLATANT PITCHES! GUESS YOU CALL THAT BLINDING SPEED! HUH,DUMBO< LARRY!
  • Oh, a ***** Red Sox fan. I saw that game, and I thought the strike out should have come sooner, but it eventually came. Typical of Red Sox fans... cry about everything except when it's in their favor.
  • Typical Red SOX whiner. Think of the hundreds of calls the sox and yankees get just because of the name across the front of the uniform. Get over it.
  • UMPIRES need REPLAY! and theres plenty of FOOTAGE to PROVE IT!
  • TIME we take the BAT to some of these UMPIRES!CHRISTSAKES!
  • I think LARRY VANOVER was playing with his BALLBAG!
  • Another Don Deckinger, at least it didn't cost the Dodgers a World Series!
  • they dont need a umpire to call the pitiches or just maybe they like it that way?
  • Welke isn’t even in position to see the bag. It was just an awful, awful call all the way around. What’s almost worse than the missed call is that none of the other umpires overruled him.the way to correct the situation is at the end of the season the 10 worst calls those umpires present can not go to the playoffs. if you take money out of their pocket, they will make sure the other umpires make the correct calls
  • This is why I don't watch baseball anymore. There are so many blown calls each game including balls and strickes that my blood boils.
  • baseball wants controversy/bad calls to continue because they think it helps keep baseball in the conversation much like,in a smaller way,hockey dosen't stop the fighting.
  • Give me a break on instant replay...even if they DID have it, it wouldn't be used on ball and strike calls.

    As far as the rest of it goes, I'll say this:

    1) I don't see people being trampled to death in the rush to wear blue.
    2) Four billion people don't really care whether or not your favorite team wins or loses a GAME.
    3) I'm one of those four billion people.

    In the end, it's only a game. If you don't like the job the umpires are doing, then get the training and go out and do better. Otherwise, it's a pie hole situation.
  • There is a resolution for this situation. Technically, the Home plate umpire is supposed to follow the runner up the line, looking for the first basemans foot on the bag. BUT,,,it is the responsibility of the First base umpire to ask the Home plate umpire for help on the call. The Home plate umpire can't and won't reveal any information on what he saw until asked but the umpire that made the call. If he doesn't ask, his call remains as called. Now the opposing coach can ask the umpire, to ask the other umpire for help, but it is still his decision to ask for help. Their obligation to the game is to get the call right,,,not matter what! Realistically, umpires make the call right 95% of the time. The only time you ever hear about calls are when they are this bad.
  • Please don't compare strike zone calls to this egregious call. C'mon man!
  • Thanks stevo111. Anyone who has picked up a glove knows that usually is the way the call is made. Good chance Donny was so pissed he didnt even asked for help from the plate blue. Yeah as a dodger fan it sucked but the first base blue wont be allowed to ever get over it. Believe me when you make a blantly bad call it haunts you. Again it was a "bad call". Hey to get a taste of the fun of umpiring go blue a little league game. Talk about pissed fans!!

  • I totally agree with you greg. I just umpired a 9-10 y.o. little league minors game and talk about angry parents. I had one guy who was radar gunning his son, the sad thing was the kid self-desructed by the 3rd inning and crying by the fourth. The guy was such a douche' bag. Who in their right mind puts that kind of pressure on a nine y.o. boy?
  • We are ALL NOT WORRIED ONE BIT ABOUT TRADITION. That is the problem with all of you so called "PURISTS" of the game. I say "FIX IT",that's what intelligent coherent people usually do with something BROKEN! Isn't it TRADITION to get a call RIGHT?!? How about the ignorance and stubbornness an umpire portrays regardless if the call was RIGHT OR WRONG? How about asking one of the other half-dozen umpires for an opinion on a particular call?!? NO-WAY would an umpire change a call EVER!,that would be OBJECTIVE and CIVIL!. An umpire would rather force his will on a bad call and throw out of the game anyone WHO DISAGREES with him!! NICE "TRADITION" greg91040!!
  • I thought that I was watching a scene from "The Naked Gun," in that video clip. Wow...Great article but while I concur with the author's suggestion that this is "a great example for the need for expanded use of instant replay" I completely disagree with the use of Instant Replay. Wouldn't this recent F-up be yet another example of the need for better umpires and perhaps necessitate the need for MLB to go as far do random piss testing for umpire drug or alcohol use and require that they have 20/20 corrected vision or some reliable statistical measures of performance? Expanded use of instant replay makes sense if you're going to use that silly system but shouldn't MLB rather get to the root of the problem and crackdown on unreliablity in umpiring? The instant replay is one of the worst travesties to this sport...We are all concerned about preserving traditions and minimizing the length of ballgames so to find more reasons to delay a game to review a call is just pure insanity. Review a call for out/safe calls? Great slippery slope..why not review questionable ball/strike calls too? Why have umpires at all? Perhaps statistics should be employed for umps such as "Blown Calls (BC)," or "Call Accuracy Percentage (CAP)." I have a simple solution: Employ an umpire watchdog to use the instant replay video technology to review the accuracy of each call a particular ump makes. When the CAP falls below a certain percentage then consider giving the ump a warning and if there is no improvement then MLB should send THEM down to the minor eagues to work on their judgment calls. Or if an ump fails a drug test then suspend THEM for 50 games! Of course vetertan umps have a longer leash but they too should not be immune. I'm sure there are hundreds of other umps in waiting who are hungry enough to take an unreliable one's job! The instant replay feature slows the game down even more and a reversed call using that video technogy which was unavailable in the first half of the 20th Century and before more or less affects a given player's stats or the outcome in a close game and not fair to those who have played under the pre-instant replay system. Funny how you don't hear of too many blown calls throughout history of umpires during the time when instant replay was not utilized (only the 1985 World Series blown call comes to mind) because the quality of umps were better, perhaps. It has gotten increasingly WORSE since this system has been employed. Make the umpires accountable for their poor judgment calls and put the pressure on THEM to get their act together. It seems that since instant replay was employed there have been an increased rate of blown calls so obviously this system which tells me that this system is not working. If MLB insists on using instant replay, it would be silly to only use it on questionnable home run calls, I DO agree with that. But I DON'T agree with instant replay AT ALL! Either instant replay should be used on ANY questionable call or as I believe, should be outright taken away and used post-game to review the quality of existing umpires where they are given a statistic just like players. Umpires have been elected to the Hall of Fame yet there exists no reliable statistical criteria to assess their performance over their careers. Get rid of instant replay altogether and send the Frank Drebin's of this sport down if they're not cut out for the Big Show.

  • I have to agree with stevo1111. The umpire is in perfect position he is twelve to eighteen feet from the play and at a 90 deg angle to the throw. An obviously bad throw drew the first baseman body directly in line with the bag.He could not have seen the fielders foot the runners foot or the bag in this situation. He should have asked for help from the home plate umpire who should have been trailing the runner and would have seen the pulled foot or in the holding zone where he would have seen it as well.He probably knew the call was incorrect, why he didn't ask for help is beyond me. As an umpire I know the most important thing is to get the call right, even if it costs a little pride.
  • It's part of the game. I say no replay.

    Except my brother still holds a 40 year grudge on me. When he was in Little League, the field ump didn't show, so they asked me to do field umpiring. Well, I called my brother out. He was so angry, he had to leave the game. To this day, he brings it up (at least once a year) as a joke, and we argue about that call.
  • This is why I don't watch baseball any more. I went to graduate school with some baseball umps that officiated in triple AAA and they reveled in their ability to affect the outcome of a game. This clown should be fired on the spot for such an egregious **** up. Anyone outside a union would be. Time for the umps to join the 21st century and be held accountable. I won't even go to watch a game when I get free tickets, which I get offers for all the time: home plate in Reliant Stadium. Professional baseball sucks. From a life long baseball and softball player. They are all money grubbing ***** especially the Umps.
  • I think the worst part is that Todd Helton knows his foot was not on the bag, and said nothing. The nest worst part is that the home plate umpire could plainly see that Helton's foot was not the bag and did not reverse the call. These tow men have no honesty.
  • TW has been a bum for 27 years, his miss-calls are in the thousands.
  • This is a clasic example of the umpire being straight lined. He was in the right position untill the crappy throw pulled this first baseman towards right field causing the straight line. The problem here is not that MLB needs to us instant replay. Everyone else in the stadium saw the 1st baseman come off the bag. The break down happens when you have enormous egos that are more concerned with being shown up by a coach than addmiting he was wrong and needs some more information from his partner. It is not the job of the plate umpire to "over rule" his partner at first but rather to tell him "I think you must have been straight linend and he was like a foot and half off the bag" and the resond by coming back to the coah and saying a"my bad coach you were right I was out of position, he's safe. After all evryone else in the staium allready knows it. I work highschool ball and we have a mechanic to let the other guy know "I saw somthing that you didn't" Some of these guys have become to full of themselves (just like some of the players) and have forgotten why they are out there. You can't trow a blanket over all of the MLB umpires 90% of the are the best there is and are comittied to getting it right but this guy is a prime example of ego getting in the way of doing the job correctly.
  • how about three strikes you're out rule is applied to the umpires! or at least a pink slip like the rest of the working americans when they don't do a good job.
  • Another very bad thing about this is that Welke knows he can not see Helton's feet and makes the call any way. Welke did not ask for help from the home plate umpire.
  • what i don't get is why people say that this kind of play is a good reason to use instant replay , when it's just a good reason to get umpires who can actally move an inch to get into position to see the play who aren't blind as bats!
  • god awful, if I was the first baseman, I would have been laughing my ass off and telling the ump how far he was off of the bag. I think they need to pee in a bottle in the future.
  • Just another reason why FOOTBALL has become the #1 SPORT in this country!!....if there's a PROBLEM; ya just challenge it and it goes under VIDEO REVIEW, no big deal....Baseball is RUN by a bunch of STUBBORN OLD MEN,that call themselves "PURISTS" to the game! Guess what GRANDADS it's time to WAKE-UP and get all the calls RIGHT!,the INTEGRITY of the SPORT IS AT STAKE!!
  • I guess we know where he bet went.
  • Here we go again.
    I still love this game.
    Even when the pros embarrass me.
    I have been an umpire for 21 years now.
    To set the record straight for the reporter of this story....
    Umps don't "overrule" each other on calls, unless a rule is obviously kicked.
    Then, they get together and talk about it.
    I am sure Mattingly asked him to "ask for help".
    There is where the problem started.
    Not wanting to talk and reverse the call.
    Bad day at the office for sure.
    We all can agree on that.
    Instant replay on judgement calls involving balls/strikes?
    Fair/foul? (exception: home runs)
  • The umpire was out of position and made a bad call. I'm sorry, but these umpires get paid very well for what they do. Anyone can made a mistake but to compound it by not asking for help is unexcusable. The umpire should be suspended and demoted back to the minors. As far as the other umpires overturning the call, they couldn't. The only thing the other umpires could do is offer what they saw if the umpire making the call asks for their help.
  • Are umpires fined, demoted or punished in some way for such clearly awful calls? Another question...replays are NEVER shown in the ballparks, do the umpires have something in their contracts?
  • Honestly, I watched this video four times. Absolutely astounded and shocked. The first baseman was, at most, 1-1/2 feet off of the first base bag...and the umpire took up the wrong position. He was actually, in line, with the first baseman and the runner. He could not see where the first baseman's foot was...and was obstructed by the player's position to make the correct call. Totally the wrong call; totally out of position; and he should have corrected himself for asking for an appeal from the home umpire. This was a good call for instant replay...and they desperately need it.

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