In the top of the fifth inning of the Angels' 10-1 loss to the Yankees last night, umpire Tim McClelland made what Yahoo! Big League Stew blogger Duk has labeled “the worst call of all time.” “Yes, you read that right,” Duk declares. “The worst call of all time. Not just this postseason. Not this entire season. Not this decade. Not this century. I challenge you to think of one that was worse.”
Sure, it's possible McClelland got paid off by the Yankees or the MLB or Rupert Murdoch. Or he could have suffered temporary blindness from the dirt kicked up by baserunner Jorge Posada. Maybe there was a shiny object diverting his attention. But in the replay, it looks as if McClelland totally forgot where he was or what he was supposed to be doing. Keep in mind he also blew the call when Yankee Nick Swisher tagged up before a flyout the inning before.
No, something else was afoot. For your consideration are these five drugs McClelland may have ingested before making the worst call of all time.
1) Killer weed. It's something of an inside joke that Kevin Nealon, who currently plays a major pothead accountant on Showtime's Weeds, had a Saturday Night Live character known as “Mr. Short Term Memory.”
2) Benzodiazepines. These can produce amnesia and . . . uh . . . what were we talking about here?
3) Simvastatin. Prescribed to lower cholesterol, some takers have said they experienced memory loss lasting up to two weeks after finishing the drug.
4) Propranolol. Given to relieve tremors, they have also helped sufferers of severe depression and post traumatic stress disorder forget about the demons bedeviling them. Take a good look at that McClelland mugshot. Does dude look depressed or what?
5) Indomethacin. Here's the likely culprit. Being a Major League umpire of McClelland's age, lugging gear all around the country, he likely suffers back pain, for which he could have been prescribed this. Well, guess what? It can cause amnesia for three-hour periods.
Already losing 5-0 by the top of the fifth, it felt like the game was at least three hours in for Angel fans, who are surely looking for something to help them forget last night.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.