Texas League Umpire Blows Another One

On Monday I reported that Texas League umpire Mike Jarboe made two dubious calls over the weekend that cost the Travelers possible wins against the Springfield Cardinals, the more egregious of which I captured on video.

Mr. Jarboe blew another one last night, as duly reported by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette beat writer Todd Traub:

Trying to keep his best bats in the lineup, [Travs manager Bobby] Magallanes played catcher Bobby Wilson at first for the first time and talked the umpires into overturning a balk call that brought in a run in the third …

The Cards were within 2-1 with one out in the third and had Casey Rowlett on third, Sean Danielson on first and Colby Rasmus at the plate when first base umpire Mike Jarboe called the balk on Travs starter Miguel Gonzalez to apparently score Rowlett.

The umpires felt Gonzalez threw to an open base when he faked to third and threw to first and drew Wilson off the bag toward the mound.

“Once he arm fakes to third, now he can do whatever he wants,” Magallanes said. “He doesn’t even have to throw the ball if he doesn’t want to. It doesn’t have to be occupied. It doesn’t matter. It’s just like him stepping off and throwing to the second baseman. In that situation, the umpire was wrong.”

Magallanes first argued with Jarboe, then with home plate umpire and crew chief Dixon Stureman. The three-man crew huddled, then Stureman spoke to Cardinals Manager Ron Warner, and the balk was overturned as the runners returned to their places and the run was subtracted – momentarily.

Normally I cut the umpires some slack since they’re learning like everyone else, but I’m beginning to wonder why Mr. Jarboe still has a job if he doesn’t even know a basic rule like this one.

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