The Worst Umpire Ever – Meet Phil Cuzzi

Hey Phil, it is the playoffs.  You have one responsibility on balls hit to left field.  If it lands to the left of the chalk line, you put your hands up and call it foul.  If it lands on the chalk line or to the right of it by, say a foot, you rule the ball fair.

This atrocious call last night may have cost the Twins the ALDS.  Or at least a shot at it.  Don’t get me wrong, the Twins very likely may have still lost, but when you get cheated by a non-judgement call by some arrogant ass hole from New Jersey, you feel a little slighted as a fan.

Ozzie Guillen claims Cuzzi has a vendetta against him, and is quoted as saying, “He don’t like me; I don’t like him.”  Ozzie speaks it as is.  And in this matter, I believe him.

Some other atrocities of Phil Cuzzi’s career:

In the eighth inning of Game 4 of the 2005 National League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals, Cuzzi, working as the home plate umpire, ejected Cardinals star outfielder Jim Edmonds for allegedly arguing balls and strikes. With Edmonds batting and the count 3-1, Astros pitcher Dan Wheeler threw a fastball that Edmonds thought was ball four. As he started to walk down to first base, Edmonds was shocked to find that Cuzzi had called the pitch strike two. Edmonds turned around to ask where the pitch was, and was promptly tossed from the game. Pinch hitter John Rodriguez flied out to center field to end the inning. The Cardinals went on to lose the game and eventually lost the series four games to two. Earlier in the game, Cuzzi had ejected Cardinals manager Tony La Russa for disputing balls and strikes from the dugout.

Cuzzi also has a controversial history with the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2003, with Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay pitching in his second to last game of the season and going for his team-record 22nd win, Cuzzi ejected the star pitcher for hitting Tampa Bay Devil Rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli with a pitch. Few people, not even Baldelli himself, believed the beaning was intentional. Furthermore, MLB rules dictate that when warnings have been issued (as Cuzzi had done prior to the start of the game), the manager of the ejected pitcher’s team must also be thrown out, something Cuzzi failed to do. The Jays went on to lose what was at that point a 1-0 game, and Halladay, who had four straight complete-game victories coming into the contest, had to wait until his last outing of the season to break the team wins record.

On October 9, 2009, Cuzzi was once again at the center of controversy. On a fly ball hit by Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer in the 11th inning of Game 2 of the ALDS against the Yankees, Cuzzi called the ball foul down the left field line. Replays showed the ball landing in fair territory by at least one foot. The ball bounced off Melky Cabrera’s glove and into the stands, and should have been ruled a ground rule double. Instead, Mauer singled, and the Twins failed to score in the inning despite getting two more hits after Mauer’s. The Yankees went on to win the game in the bottom half of the 11th inning.

And finally, the video evidence.  Eat a D, Phil.

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3 Responses

  1. Talk about a terrible &**&^^% call. Just ridiculous. Yeah, the Yankees may have still even won that game as well as the series, but just terrible. You can’t blow a call like that and be an umpire who is good enough to even be on the crew for an ALDS game. Just plain bs.

  2. Looked fair to me.

  3. Great post! I bet you put a lot of research into it.

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