The Bourn Ultimatum

Dave Raymond and Brett Dolan call the game for Houston flagship KTRH and on Saturday openly challenged manager Cecil Cooper’s decision to leave in Roy Oswalt to face the Cubs in the 7th and especially Derrek Lee, who tied the game with his fourth hit of the afternoon. Overall, I found the pair mostly even-handed, tho they did question a couple pitches called strikes by home plate umpire Kerwin Danley when Kosuke Fukudome doubled two runs in.

This was tame, however, compared to Sunday’s game when Danley called the plays at 3rd. Eighth inning, one out, the game on the line and up comes Michael Bourn. On a full count Bourn attempts to check his swing. Assuming it was a ball, he sprints to first. Henry Blanco assumes it to be a strike (or a swing) and throws the ball around the horn. But no call from Brian Runge, home plate umpire.

At this point no one knows what’s going on. Lou Piniella comes screaming out the dugout and then Runge appeals to Danley who rules that Bourn didn’t check his swing enough. Carlos Marmol gets credit for another strike out. Back to the Astros booth. “That’s atrocious!” “Not even close.” “That’s terrible.” “If you’re gonna appeal, then do it right away.” “That’s crazy.” “a bad sequence for Danley and Runge.” “He did not swing.” “My goodness.” “I’m officially annoyed.”

So what was the view from the WGN side of the booth? What do you think, Pat Hughes? “It looked like a swing by Bourn. The delayed appeal was why there was confusion.” And now, Mr. Santo, did Bourne swing? “He went, he went, (adding, moments later) I couldn’t tell. I thought he did check and thought it was a called strike.” Hmmm, that muddles it up a wee more.

OK, let’s go to the video and Len and Bob’s view. One slight replay of the swing and a whole lot of discussion on the umpire and Lou. No help there.

Well there you have it, folks, another inconclusive situation, made even more so by the biased views of the respective teams’ announcers. Why is this relevant? Again, we fans form our opinions partly based on the information we receive from the announcers, especially the radio announcers. We trust them to bring us the game as is because many of us cannot see the game on television. As I watched Bourn, one angle seemed to suggest he held up while another angle suggests he didn’t. Close call.

Next up: On the road in Pittsburgh

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Regular writer for View From The Bleachers in 2005-06; Turns 50 this summer; Met Ernie, Billy and others back in 70-72; AKA VFTB Chaplain; Pastor in Pennsylvania when not obsessing over the Cubs; Wishes no harm to any opposing player; Married 26 years to a wonderful woman. Favorite player is Ryan Theriot