Tschida and "Un-Ringing the Bell"

1999 World Series, Game 4. In the bottom of the eighth, Offerman hit a grounder up the middle that Knoblauch made a fine play on just to get to. Instead of holding the ball, Knoblauch's throw to first sailed by Martinez and bounced off the wall behind first base. The play was ruled a hit since Offerman would've been safe regardless of the throw.

Mariano Rivera replaced starter Andy Pettitte to face Valentin. He slapped a weak grounder that Knoblauch scooped up and reached out in vain for a tag on Offerman. Umpire Tim Tschida ruled Offerman out anyways and Knoblauch threw to first for an inning ending double play.

Replays showed that the tag was not even close. Tschida later admitted that he missed the call. Debate centered on whether he should have asked for help. If he had, what of the subsequent action?

Bob Pariseau offered this succinct explanation:

What the replays show is that Tschida waited until Knoblauch committed to first before making his decision on the call. That is, he used the fact that Knoblauch lost interest in the lead runner as part of (erroneously) deciding that there must have been a tag.

Had Tschida judged, and promptly called, "NO TAG!!", Knoblauch most certainly could have thrown to 2B for the out against the lead runner. Whether he would have or not is irrelevant. He COULD have done so. It's irrelevant to talk about the timing given the blown call, because the timing is PART of the blown call.

Whether the umpire blew it or not, you can not reverse a judgment call like this when there is continuing relevant play.

It's too late. The playing options are over. Any corrective action you take is pure guesswork. You can not separate what actually happened from what was influenced because of the blown call -- both it's timing and what was in fact called.

That judgment call "is final". That's baseball. Or do you think that "is final" somehow only applies to "correct" judgment calls?

Dave Hensley became convinced:

Bob's detailed, fact-and-logic-filled explanation of the circumstances of the Tschida call has finally persuaded me that it would not be appropriate to try to undo the consequences of an obviously blown call, after the fact. Before Bob 'splained it to me, I was holding onto the belief that Tschida *could* have, if he had chosen, taken the initiative to seek help after the call and possibly reverse the call. Bob's post made me understand why, when it's a judgement call in the middle of continuous action, you really do just have to live or die with the call.