If there was one play that could’ve turned the Mets luck around against Brandon Morrow and the Blue Jays in their 2-0 loss on Saturday, it would be the blown call that went against Mike Baxter and New York at second base. With a runner on first, Baxter was trying to stretch his single into a double. Sliding into second base, Yunel Escobar missed the tag, but second base umpire Brian Knight wasn’t in the right position to see the missed tag, and he called Baxter out. Instead of having runners on second and third with one out, the Mets had to settle with a runner on third with two outs, which they obviously weren’t able to do anything with. What was surprising was what Brian Knight did the next day at the Rogers Centre.
Terry Collins came out to argue the bad call, and was telling Knight that he should be asking the first base umpire for assistance
because he had a clearer view of the play due to his position on the field. Knight told Collins that he is not allowed to ask a fellow umpire for help on a play like that, which infuriated Collins. Coming off a blowout loss from the night before, Knight understood the manager’s frustration since Morrow was pitching lights out.
However, after seeing on the replay that he missed the call and that it could have possibly swayed the outcome of the game, Knight did something that umpires rarely do. He sought out Collins the next day before the Mets and Blue Jays squared off in their season finale and apologized for missing the call. Umpires are a very proud bunch and it’s rare that you hear about them admitting to a crucial mistake, let alone apologizing for it. Collins was both shocked and pleased by Knight’s apology:
“That doesn’t happen very often. I was pretty impressed by that.”
I’m impressed too; all Major League umpires need to take notes here. In referencing that loss on Sunday before the finale, Collins told the media that it’s behind the team now; it was infuriating at the time, but there is nothing they can do about it now and it’s just part of the game. That’s how most managers feel the day after a game that was impacted by a lousy call. There is nothing left to do the next day except move on. Terry Collins did just that, but Brian Knight earned the manager’s eternal respect for owning up to his mistake.
I wish more umpires acted like Brian Knight, mostly because this is how our parents raised us; do the best job that you can, but just know that you’re not going to be perfect. When mistakes are made (and they will be made), be sure to apologize to those affected. I’m positive that this is how everyone would like to be treated, therefore, ipso-facto, they must treat others that way. Ah, the Golden Rule, it never goes away, does it? It’s simple, yet pertinent throughout our entire lives.
Once again, I applaud you, Brian Knight, for doing something that only Jim Joyce has done in recent memory. He will forever have the respect of Terry Collins and the Mets, and all it took was a simple “I’m sorry.” Imagine that.