You're the next contestant on The Blue Is Wrong. James Hoye's home plate umpiring was nothing short of abysmal and a miscarriage of justice in today’s 63 Rays loss to the Rangers. I mean, we're talking Bob Davidson/Hunter Wendelstedt bad here. He made an embarrassingly bad call on a sixth inning 22 pitch to Eric Hinske that was at least six inches outside. Hinske flew into a fit of rage, and that call was so bad Hinske should have gotten himself run from the game (which he did), yet he still almost didn't do enough. That call was horrendous, and the Rays commentators lit into him for it. Hoye, according to Joe Magrane, is “nowhere near the top of the umpires in ratings.” The next inning proved just as fatal for the Rays. Akinori Iwamura was up in a 42 game, two outs and runners at second and third bases. A 32 pitch went low and outside… strike three, says the incompetent one. Magrane immediately said “that's terrible,” and believe me, he was right. A little low and a little outside. The bases should have been loaded for Carl Crawford. Instead, the Rangers caught a break.
James Hoye, I sincerely hope I never see you behind home plate in a Major League game ever again. Those two calls were a disgrace to the game and to the Rays and could have affected the momentum of a close game, and even the outcome. Apparently, you have a reputation for these bad calls. (Just search for James Hoye and bad call on Google.) It's time for baseball to just blackball you before you screw some team out of a championship. Wait a minute, that will never happen. You're not good enough to work the playoffs. You suck as an umpire, so please find another career, and make it quick. You can take up the side work of Joe West, a much better umpire than you, and become a country singer. Texas already loves you.
OK, so that tangent may have been a bit overblown, but it was just my first instinct. I erased my original harsher comments. But, truth be told, this guy wasn't even the only reason the Rays lost the game. Matt Garza was below average for the second consecutive start and couldn't hold himself together, even getting into shouting matches with Dioner Navarro, who only wanted to keep him in check. Anyone who lets German Duran hit a home run is having an off day. The Rays made two critical baserunning mistakes, with B.J. Upton getting caught stealing to end the first inning and Gabe Gross getting doubled up on a lineout a few innings later. There was little production with runners in scoring position, with Upton's home run providing their only runs of the game. Crawford struck out representing the tying run at the end of the game (on another borderline, at best, call). Doug Mathis didn't have great pitches working, but the Rays offense was just inept. Though, as Magrane said, two hitters were “punished for having good knowledge of the strike zone.”
We don't take losing or umpire injustice lightly anymore. This is a new team that needs to fight these bad games off or face tumbling out of the divisional race. Now it's time to go and face an Angels team that has been nothing short of en fuego lately, winning seven straight games before getting burned with a walkoff grand slam today by Oakland's Mark Ellis. Maybe that will turn the momentum around. I am not responsible for any damages this post may have caused, and until the next one which I'm sure will be on a lighter note go Rays.