During last evening's Netherlands-Cuba World Baseball Classic game, the umpiring crew made an absolutely horrendous call in the eighth inning that would have pushed calls for expanded replay over the edge if it happened in the MLB playoffs.
With two outs in the eighth, Team Cuba's best hitter Jose Abreu hit a pop-up down the first base line. Netherlands first baseman Curt Smith tracked the ball to the railing, leaned in to make the catch…and completely whiffed. Seriously. In the video above, you can see the ball bouncing off of Smith's glove to the ground. But after the ball fell to the ground, Smith leaned over the camera well, and picked the ball up off the ground. Of course, umpire Alfonso Marquez called Abreu out, even as Smith was walking back to his position on the field.
If a call this awful happened on a grander stage, the backlash towards Marquez for blowing a call this terribly would be vicious. Yet, because it happened in the WBC during a game that started when most of the east coast was asleep and was shown on MLB Network, it will likely get ignored. Yikes.