Mike DiMuro: MLB Umpiring Is Barely One Level Up from WWE Refereeing (w/ VIDEO)
There are a number of different vocations that you can "Mad Lib" into that sentence above. Car salespeople, cable installation technicians, sports bloggers and, yes, Major League Baseball umpires (or officials of almost any sport, for that matter. I say "almost" because NBA refs ALL suck. This is known.).
Most umpires do a pretty good job. I know this because I watch a ton of baseball and probably couldn't name more than three or four umpires. If you don't know an umpire's name, it means they're doing their job. (Conversely, I can name practically EVERY NBA referee, reinforcing my above point.)
One umpire, though, whose name I now know and will forever know is Mike DiMuro. Why is that? Well, let's find out.
The Yankees and the Indians hooked up Tuesday night in Yankee Stadium, providing the backdrop for the play that infamously made DiMuro a household name (Courtesy of USA Today):
With an Indians runner at third base in the top of the seventh, [Yankees outfielder Dewayne] Wise chased a fly ball into foul territory. He reached for the ball just as he tumbled over the short wall separating the stands from the field. Wise disappeared into a sea of fans, and when he emerged, third-base umpire Mike DiMuro called the final out of the inning.
Wise never tried to sell the out. DiMuro never asked to see the ball. Replays showed what only Wise and a handful of fans knew for certain: The ball had bounced off the heel of his glove and into the stands. A fan was holding it while Wise jogged to the dugout.
Yowza. Sounds bad, right? Well, how about the actual video footage for you? (Courtesy of NESN.com)
I'll admit, I didn't see this footage until after my radio show Wednesday morning, but when my co-host on 1560 The Game John Granato described it to me, it sounded ridiculous. Having seen the video footage now, it's a thousand times more ridiculous than any possible description could capture.
I mean, not only does the ball clearly bounce off Wise's glove in plain view, but DiMuro sheepishly walks out there like his wife just asked him to come look at carpet swatches, like he barely gives a shit. Oh, and he also walks RIGHT BY THE FAN WHO PICKED UP THE BALL. Not just that, but he walks by that fan as he LITERALLY raises the ball over his head to show all of his cronies in the section! And then to cap it off, DiMuro doesn't even bother to check Wise's mitt to see if he's holding the ball before calling the batter out.
A replay was never shown on the stadium scoreboard, but DiMuro saw it after the game.
"Now that I see the tape, it's obvious that the ball fell out of his glove," he said. "In hindsight, I should have asked him to show me the ball since he fell into the stands and out of my line of vision."
Oh, you think so, doctor?