4 MLB Umps Forgot How To Baseball At The Same Time On This Game-Deciding Play

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

The umpiring crew working Sunday’s Astros–Rangers game should have paid closer attention on balk day in umpiring school.

Thankfully, they had Houston manager A.J. Hinch around to teach them the rules they should probably know for their job.

With the lead runner 90 feet away in the top of the ninth, Ringers reliever Keone Kela failed to come to a set position before delivering a pitch to the Astros’ Evan Gattis.

Otherwise known as a textbook balk.

Unless, apparently, you were wearing light blue on the field at Globe Life Park on Sunday.

Any ump can call a balk.

At the 0:28 mark of this video, it appears crew chief Sam Holbrook, working third base on Sunday, tells the rest of the umps that he saw a balk, preempting a swift ruling by home plate ump Alfonso Marquez.

Sooo, the crew chief saw a balk the first time around but bit his tongue? Why?

Not a fantastic look for the boys in blue.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister agrees.

“There was nothing, no umpire called a balk,” Banister told reporters after the game. “My argument was didn’t know that we could come out and get the umpires to convene to try to see what everybody came up with. Upsetting in the sense that you can’t argue against a balk.”

The Astros rode the controversial run to an 8-7 victory.