Umpire Marty Foster Hates The Rays: Blows Another Call, Ejects Maddon

  • Rick Chandler

I usually don’t get fired up over umpire miscues — these things have a way of evening out over the course of a (too long) season. But when the same umpire comically screws a team twice over a one-month span, it bears scrutiny.

So umpire Marty Foster has a history with the Tampa Bay Rays and manager Joe Maddon. Back in early April, Foster uncorked a ludicrous strike-three call on the Rays’ Ben Zobrist to end the game with the Rangers — a 5-4 Texas victory (see video below). There was a runner on first at the time and Joe Nathan was leaking oil, but got the gift. In fact, he got three — none of Nathan’s pitches in the at-bat were strikes, but three were called by Foster.

Foster said after that game:

“I saw the pitch and, of course I don’t have the chance to do it again, but if I did, I wouldn’t call that pitch a strike. Joe was not violent. Joe was very professional. He was frustrated and I understand. He acted probably the best he can under that situation.”

Joe was not so understanding today.

It’s Rays vs. Blue Jays, with Foster again behind the plate. Bottom of the second, no outs and a runner on third for the Rays, down 1-0. Jose Molina bunts on a safety squeeze attempt, which first baseman Edwin Encarnacion scoops and throws home. Rays’ runner Sean Rodriguez seems to avoid the tag of catcher J.P. Arencibia, sliding his fingers over the plate to tie the game. But no — Foster calls him out. A look at the photo above shows the call was wrong.

Maddon freaks. Is ejected. Twitter reacts.

The game isn’t over, so we’ll have to wait to hear from Maddon, and, hopefully, Foster. My guess is the ump won’t say anything. How do you apologize twice to the same manager?

How much do you think the Rays would be fined if they had a Marty Foster Blindfolded Bobblehead Day?

UPDATE: Blue Jays win, 6-4. And just to top things off:

Photo via Matthew Sommer.