What’s a Yankees-Orioles playoff game without a controversial play?
Another home run call – this one ruled foul – has impacted tonight’s Game 5 of the ALDS. Oriole Nate McLouth’s deep fly ball to right was ruled to go just foul by right field umpire Fieldin Culbreth in the sixth inning. The call was eventually upheld by the umpire crew after reviewing video replay.
Subsequent slow-motion replays, however, appear to show the ball grazing the foul pole for a home run that would have tied the game at 1-1.
TBS reporter Craig Sager reported that a Yankee Stadium usher saw the ball hit the foul pole, but that he could not find any yellow paint on the ball — giving the national media a chance to respond via tweet.
Craig Sager: The usher in the outfield section said it hit the foul pole.—
John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) October 12, 2012
Craig Sager says there's no paint on the ball. An usher said the ball nicked the foul ball. So there, it's clearly, um … I don't know—
Eye on Baseball (@EyeOnBaseball) October 12, 2012
If The Boss were still alive that usher would be sitting in chains in the bowels of the stadium by now.—
Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) October 12, 2012
When play was restored, McLouth struck out on the next pitch to end the top of the sixth.
The controversial call will undoubtedly take Baltimore fans back to the Jeffrey Maier incident in Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS between the Yankees and the Orioles. Maier, a 12-year-old youth at the time, reached over the right field fence at Yankee Stadium and brought Derek Jeter’s fly ball into the stands while Orioles outfielder Tony Tarasco waited to catch it. Right field umpire Richie Garcia called it a home run and the Yankees won the game and series.