If you caught Game 5 of the series between the Rangers and Blue Jays, you saw what may have been the most ridiculous way anyone has ever scored in a playoff game. With Rougned Odor on third and Shin-Soo Choo at bat, Toronto catcher Russell Martin threw the ball back to the pitcher, but he hit Choo's hand and the ball rolled into the infield. Odor jumped on the opportunity and took home. You can watch the whole play below.
While the play itself is crazy and weird, it's made worse by the umpire behind the plate who calls the play dead prematurely. And who was that ump? None other than Dale Scott, who handed the Dodgers a triple play against the Padres three years ago when he did the same thing. When he screwed up that time, MLB had the decency to issue a (half-hearted, mealy-mouthed) apology, explaining that Scott had used an "incorrect mechanic," like he got ripped off getting his oil changed. It's not even his first screwup in the playoffs. While working the 2009 ALCS between the Yankees and Angels, he called Nick Swisher safe at second when Erick Aybar had clearly tagged him out.
So what has changed in that time? The massive expansion of instant replay has meant we're getting more correct calls, but it hasn't done anything to make the process more transparent. It would be great if MLB could do more to rein in the worst umpires (looking at you, Joe West and Angel Hernandez), but that would involve a huge fight with their union. But maybe they could do a little something to help clear up these messes as they happen. How many calls have left you baffled, even after the verdict comes down from New York? When something weird happens, crowds are left without an explanation. Broadcasters speculate, but even they're forced to guess at what's going on. So when Dale Scott inevitably does something dumb once again, instead of an 18 minute delay where everybody is befuddled, maybe someone should take another cue from the NFL and explain the call on the PA system.
Barring that, I'd settle for Dale Scott finding a new mechanic.