It certainly looks to me like Andres Torres touched first base on "the double that wasn't" in the ninth inning on Labor Day. But I'm not going to go Zapruder on Dave Rackley's call. It was very close. But I'm of the mind that if you make a call like that in a spot like that, it had better be damn obvious that Torres missed the base. I hope it was obvious to Rackley, as he claims it to be. It sure as hell looks from the picture on the right that Torres' left spike is elevated. But far be it from me to argue with Rackley's eyes with my 46 inch high definition television that I can rewind and watch the play over and over again.
But here's the quote that made me laugh:
Crew chief Dale Scott said he noticed on the replay Torres stopped to look down as he rounded the base, signaling that the player was unsure. Both umpires also mentioned that if Torres touched the base, why didn’t he or first base coach Tom Goodwin seem surprised and protest the call?
Nice detective work, sherlock. How about instead of looking at reactions and playing CSI: St. Louis, how about looking at the foot and the bag. Christ that sounds like the Mike Piazza back acne defense.
But what broke my heart was the entire reason that the appeal went down:
"When he hit the ball, he was running and looking at the ball. He never looked at the bag. I saw the sand coming off around the bag area. . . . It looked like he didn’t touch first base. Normally when you touch the bag you don’t see sand coming off. I told Mike, 'Just give it a try.'" -Carlos Beltran
Yup, Carlos Beltran, watching on television in the clubhouse while having the day off, came up into the dugout and gave the fateful advice. On the Cardinals' broadcast, you could see the Cheshire Cat smile on Beltran:
It's as if he had been planning his revenge for that hit he never got during Santana's no-hitter for months. The thanks we get for voting him greatest Mets center-fielder of all time. "Hey thanks guys. Let me plunge the knife a little deeper into your backs." When they make the movie about Beltran's Mets career, this is going to be the first and last scene.
It's just like when Paul Orndorff turned on Hulk Hogan in that tag team match, except that took ten minutes ... while this took close to seven and a half years.
"This is one of those surreal moments you don't know if it's really happened or not." Oh it's real, Vince. Carlos Beltran is officially the enemy. And it's heartbreaking.
Although the appeal made the Cardinals' job easier, I'm not sure that's why they were victorious on Labor Day. Honestly, when the Mets stepped up in weight class from the Marlins to the Cards, and starting pitcher Collin McHugh stepped up in class from the Rockies, that spelled doom from the beginning. McHugh only went four innings and gave up four runs. It was the bullpen that held the Cardinals close enough to enable the Mets to be in a position to have their guts squashed. (And yes, the bullpen included Manny Acosta's two scoreless innings ... talk about a surreal moment that you don't know if it really happened or not.) Bobby Parnell was the lone scratch on the armor, coming in and giving up two hits to allow Robert Carson's run to score. (So much for Kelly Shoppach unlocking something in him.)
Tune in next week, Matt Harvey gets busted for steroids on a tip from Oliver Perez.