Paul Emmel was the second-base umpire for Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Braves.
Emmel was the umpire who called Buster Posey safe on a steal attempt at second base on a busted hit-and-run play in the fourth inning.
Posey eventually scored the game’s only run on a two-out single by Cody Ross.
The Giants went on to win the series 3 games to 1. All four games were one-run game, so the value of one play that led to one run cannot be understated.
Replays showed that Posey was out. Even Posey admitted as much in post-game interviews.
Now, a lot has been made about blown calls by umpires, especially in the postseason. But for the most part in the 2010 postseason, blown calls were not a big deal. This call may have been the biggest.
But it’s really hard to fault Emmel on this play. The throw from Brian McCann was high and to the right field side of the bag. Second baseman Brooks Conrad had to reach across his body to catch the ball. Normally, with an actual base stealer, that’s an easy steal. But because Posey is not the most fleet of foot and was only running on a hit-and-run play that the play was close.
Also, because of the high throw, Conrad’s tag came on the outfield side of Posey’s body, and Emmel was positioned on the infield, blocking his line of sight.
And no one from the Braves argued the call. Bobby Cox didn’t come out and get run out by Emmel (Emmel got that pleasure in Game 2).
But the bottom line is that Emmel made his call. It was the wrong call. And it helped the Giants. So thanks, Paul Emmel.
Christmas Card List
- No. 9, Paul Emmel
- No. 10, Bengie Molina