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We Were One Home Run Away from Angry Joe Maddon Streaking Wrigley Field

Umpires reversed a strikeout in the eighth inning of Game 4 between the Dodgers and the Cubs, claiming Curtis Granderson fouled the ball off when he didn't. And then Maddon got ejected.

by Sean Newell
Oct 19 2017, 5:09pm

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, Curtis Granderson struck out twice in one at-bat. With two out and one man on in the eighth inning and his Los Angeles Dodgers trailing the Chicago Cubs 3-2, Granderson swung at a 2-2 pitch in the dirt and missed. Inning over. Except Granderson immediately turned around and claimed that he fouled the pitch off, and since the catcher didn't hang on to it, his at-bat should continue.

Eventually Dodgers manager Dave Roberts got the home plate ump to confer with the rest of his crew and, somehow, they concluded that Granderson had in fact fouled it off. This particular play is not reviewable, making it an even bigger shitstorm. Enter (and exit) Cubs manager Joe Maddon.

Obviously Maddon was less than pleased with the decision, and repeatedly screamed, "That's fucked up," and pointed his finger in the face of whoever was in front of him. He was promptly ejected and Granderson's at-bat continued. Granderson struck out on the very next pitch—ball don't lie—but my god, can you imagine if he hit a home run? Or even just drove in the tying run? It would be total chaos. Chicago might have exploded. Baseball might have made some insane rule tying foul tips to home field advantage of the World Series. Joe Maddon might have streaked the field.

"If Granderson hits the next one out, I may run out of the clubhouse in my jock strap," Maddon said. "It was really that bad. You can't permit that to happen. The process was wrong. The explanation was eventually — eventually — it turned into hearing two sounds.

The pitfalls of video review have been a growing storyline during the postseason, with milliseconds and millimeters being broken down in extreme slow motion, but here's an example where it pretty clearly would have helped avoid a bad call, an ejection, and possibly a red-faced nude sexagenarian on the field. And who wouldn't want to see that?