Move over Jeffrey Maier. There is a new home run controversy in the revitalized rivalry between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles.
With his Orioles trailing, 1-0, in the sixth inning of Game 5, Nate McLouth pulled a pitch from CC Sabathia down the right-field line. It was high. It was far. But was it foul?
According to the umpiring crew on hand, it was just foul. O's skipper Buck Showalter argued the call and -- unlike infield fly calls -- home runs are reviewable under current MLB rules. Watching the replays shown as part of the TBS broadcast, many fans and media on Twitter seemed sure that the ball had grazed the pole and changed direction, even if only slightly. If the ball came in to contact with the pole then it should have been ruled a home run. Nevertheless, the call was upheld after a brief review by the umpires at Yankee Stadium. Sabathia would strike out the mighty McLouth on the next pitch to escape the sixth. With Sabathia going the distance, the Yankees would go on to win 3-1 to advance to the ALCS.
WATCH: Additional TBS Replays
Given the difficultly in determining whether or not the ball glanced off the pole, Matt Snyder of CBSSports felt that upholding the call -- even if it had been called a home run initially -- was the only option for the umps during review. Similarly, Kevin Kaduk of Big League Stew felt it "was probably the right call as the visual evidence was far from indisputable."
TBS sent Craig Sager out into the stands in the second deck at Yankee Stadium for opinions from those with the best view. Standing beside a Yankees fan named Steve Ellis, who had caught the controversial drive, Sager relayed what he'd learned.
"I cannot detect any yellow paint on it," said Sager, who was holding the ball. "However, the usher at the top of 207 said the ball did barely nick the foul pole."
If a Yankees employee is willing to admit that the ball hit the foul pole then there must be a chance that the umps got this one wrong. Of course, the O's manager didn't seem much interested in controversy after the game.
"Someone said it nicked the pole. But that didn't beat us," Showalter said during his postgame media availability. "I appreciate them using the system in place to get it right because that's all the umpires did."
Will Showalter feel the same after seeing additional replays? Will Orioles fans be as gracious as the team's manager? Do you think the umpires got it right?