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Video

Is This The Worst Way Possible To Lose A Chance At The Little League World Series?


Little League World Series qualifying finished up over the weekend, and you know what that means: some groups of kids forming joyous mobs, and other groups of devastated kids in tears whom you feel bad for finding compelling but can’t turn away from! Well, one of the joyous mobs was made up of kid from Petaluma, California, who beat a squad from Nanakuli, Hawaii to win the right to represent the West region in Williamsport. The kids from Nanakuli, though, will probably be especially heartbroken… because not only did they lose, they lost in about the weirdest, controversial fashion possible.

Specifically, they lost on an appeal – an appeal of a play that had just scored them two runs, which brought them within one of Petaluma when Nanakuli was down to its final out. Petaluma third baseman Porter Slate, though, thought one of Nanakuli’s runners missed third on his way to scoring. Petaluma’s coach told the pitcher to appeal. He did. The runner was called out. Game over. The question: was the call correct? We dare you to watch the clip below and be sure of that:

Real close. Reeeeeeeal close. Like, close enough that we can’t imagine ourselves calling the kid out in the same situation. This, to us, falls firmly in the “if you make this call, you better be damn 100 percent certain it’s right,” and granted, the video quality’s not the greatest, but this video is pretty good, and if you can say with absolute certainty what happened from watching it, you’ve either got Ted-Williams-level eyesight or are lying. Canny stuff from the Californians, but man – that was close.

[Prep Rally]

Screencap via


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ANE3SDHCG2366ZWWZSIRSO6WDY Juby Monkey

    That’s just it.  I can’t say for 100% certain that (from the angle of the camera) that the call was correct.  But the angle of the camera is not the same angle the 3rd base ump had.  From his angle it MUST have been a  blatant miss of the base or there is no way he would have allowed to game to end in this way.

  • MIke Sullivan

    So why should the benefit of the doubt go one way or the other?
    Why shouldn’t the Umpire on the scene be a better judge?
    Seeing isn’t hearing the foot hit the bag now is it?
    Or is there some built in bias for the Hawaiians over the Californians?

  • VIP_IMAGES

    IT’S RIDICULES THE WAY PEOPLE ARE RAISING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PETALUMA COACH APPEALING THE PLAY. EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THE SKEPTICS WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME THING  IF ONE OF THEIR PLAYERS AND HALF OF THE STANDS WERE TELLING YOU THAT THE RUNNER MISSED THE BASE. ESPECIALLY THE MANAGER FROM HAWAII. WHAT KIND OF MANAGER WOULD HE BE IF HE WERE TO  REFUSES TO LISTEN TO HIS SECOND BASEMEN OR ANY OTHER PLAYER FOR THAT MATTER… THAT IS WHAT WE TEACH THE KIDS… IF YOU SEE SOMETHING THAT NEEDS TO BE APPEALED YOU TELL THE MANAGER AND FOLLOW HIS DIRECTIONS. EVERYBODY IS FORGETTING THAT THERE WERE A FEW BAD CALLS THAT WENT HAWAII’S WAY EARLIER IN THE GAME AS WELL…NOT TO MENTION THE HAWAII TEAM WAS CHEATING BY STEALING THE SIGNS FROM THE CATCHER WHEN IT CLEARLY IS AGAINST TOURNAMENT PLAY RULES. GET OVER IT PEOPLE!!!

    FOR THE RECORD 99 TIMES OUT OF 100 THE UMPIRES GET THE CALL RIGHT!!!

    IT’S UPSETTING TO READ THE COMMENTS WRITTEN BY PEOPLE WHO ARE CRITICIZING THE WAY THE GAME ENDED. THE KID MISSED THE BASE AND WAS CALLED ON IT. HIS COACHES AND MANAGER DID NOT APPEAL OR PROTEST AT ALL SO WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE COMPLAINING… IF YOU THINK YOU COULD DO BETTER GET OUT THERE AND GET INVOLVED AND STOP WHINING ABOUT IT.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Lappier/100000339527454 Steve Lappier

    Calm down.
    Looks like the umps got the call right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.steckman Aaron Steckman

    The point is a team shouldn’t want to win that way. Its as bad a way to win as it is to lose. A true athlete would not want to have it handed to them. Now if it was a real close play and avoiding touching the bag gave them an advantage then call it. And yes rules are rules but I wouldn’t want to win if two players accidentally batted out of order. Remember the game in girls softball where they carried the girl because she blew out her knee? This is the opposite of that.

  • Anonymous

    He had the exact same angle we have.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know how you say that. There is no way you’ve seen an angle where you see space between the foot and the bag (because there was none).

  • Anonymous

    My son, who played in a regional final not long ago, says he would have refused to throw the ball to third if he was the pitcher, just like he refused to issue intentional walks to 13-year-olds. To each his own, but Go Connecticut!! Hopena pōʻino

  • Anonymous

    The fact that they are not releasing the angle that would best show this — center field camera — makes me question the call. I know from unfortunate experience they have all the angles covered at a regional final.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joel.galli.79 Joel Galli

    I tend to agree with the spirit of your post, but I have to disagree with you on this particular situation (and missed calls in baseball in general). The appeal exists for situations just like this and rewards teams who are smart and pay attention to EVERY aspect of the game. While the appeal lacks the excitement of a play in progress, there’s no shame in getting a win this way.

  • PatThe Rat

    “FOR THE RECORD 99 TIMES OUT OF 100 THE UMPIRES GET THE CALL RIGHT!!!”

    And because of that we should not question them? I agree that most of the time they get the calls right, but when they make a call that is to overrule the on-field call (the umpire had to use replay footage to make this call – the kid was not called out during play) and that call effectively ended the game for Hawaii, we have EVERY RIGHT to question it – especially when it is not clear that the right call was made. California likely would have won anyways, but now their win here – and any other games they may ever play again – has been tainted. There will always be an asterisk next to them in any record books. And any future games they play will have everyone in the stands rooting against them.

    Sickening that adults stole the game from those little children from Hawaii. That’s how everyone will remember this. Way to go, umps.

  • bfin

    bottom line is that this is not the way to run bases.. to avoid doubt, his left foot should have rounded the base on the inside of the bag… had he done that, the call would still go his way even if it was close. he stepped over the bag and left it to the unps discretion. Hawaii was stealing signs and had 2 close calls go their way that replays showed were in question.. karma

  • Jason

    I feel bad for the Nanakuli kids. I’m not sure how it is now, but Nanakuli wasn’t a real nice place to grow up. Its nice to see something positive like youth sports for these kids. Its sucks that it had to end like this for them though.

  • D68 Umpire

    You are all nuts. The umpire did not use replay to make this call, they looked at the replay after the call (the missed base appeal = out) just to make sure. Also, any and all Little League Managers I’ve known (hundreds and hundreds) would go for this appeal. It’s in the rule book and there is nothing wrong with it. The call is close enough to have gone either way, the umpires are very well trained and you don’t need to see the angle, the ump saw it and made the call – get over yourselves. Kids from Nanakuli – good season, kids from Peteluma, good luck!

  • Loswer

    My Dad has umpired youth baseball for 30 years. He said without a doubt it was too close to call and considering the situation he should have just let the kids play this one out. It’s an “unwritten rule”. And no umpires are not right 99% of the time. The umpires in this game made terrible calls that weren’t even close, and yes some did go against Peteluma. That being said the Hawaii kids were better than Peteluma, they just made too much errors. I read the box score from their first meeting and same thing. Hard thing to swallow for Cali fans. True to the other comment about the asterisks next to this win. The Peteluma coach did the right thing after his player told him what he saw BUT to say “that’s what they teach” the boys is a bowl of bs. The second baseman should have been paying attention to the runner advancing. As for Hawaii stealing signals, we’ll the crime was the fact he didn’t hide it. Should have beaned the kid and Peteluma would have had the respect of many, but than again watching a base runner’s foot is more important. Funny stuff.

  • Dweb

    Obviously you personally know someone on the team. Obviously you don’t know baseball too well because umpires, especially in this game, did not get calls right 99 out of 100 times. You can’t appeal a judgment call much less one you didn’t see because your base coaching not foot watching.


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