[Down the stretch is a daily
About last night
O's win over Yankees tempered by
Orioles react to losing Nick Markakis for 6 weeks
Mark Teixeira rips umpires over close call at first base
Connolly: Sunday might be most important day facing O's
Saturday's full scoreboard
BAL 78-61 --
NYY 78-61 --
TB 76-63 2
OAK 78-60 --
BAL/NYY 78-61 --
TB 76-63 2
LAA 76-63 2
DET 73-65 4.5
Other games that matter
Thought of the day
Much has been written -- and much more will be written -- about the biggest break of last night: the one to Markakis' left thumb.
But, for now, let's talk about the big break that went in the Orioles' favor.
Mark Teixeira was safe on the final play of the game, and it should have went into extra innings. First-base umpire Jerry Meals clearly made the wrong call.
But you know who else made the wrong call?
It's been proven by the greatest scientists and scholars (or at least by enough crusty old coaches with stopwatches) that the fastest way to first base is to run through the bag. Otherwise, wouldn't you see
The one advantage diving into first base gives a runner is that it deceives the umpire. That bang-bang call at first is a tough one, and when you take out the sound of the foot hitting the bag and change the field of vision for the umpire, it makes it even tougher.
They'll never admit this, but for that reason, I think umpires lean ever so slightly toward calling runners out when they dive on a close play at first.
If Teixeira had run through the bag, he probably would have been called safe and avoided the controversy. It's a split-second decision on his part whether to dive, but if he did it to muck up the call and try to steal a safe call, then how can he whine when the wrong call was made?
If he truly thinks he can cover ground faster with a swan dive than a full lunging stride, then I might need to have a word with some of those professors at Mount St. Joe.
Just to be clear, I'm not saying his diving into first should automatically make him out. He was safe and the game should have gone on. But it was his choice to make it a tougher call on Meals, and in this case he did deceive the umpire -- in the Orioles' favor.
Inside the enemy clubhouses
Andy Pettitte could return to Yankees rotation this week