The year of the umpires continues. Last night in Florida, the Marlins appeared to have beaten the Phillies in the bottom of the ninth inning of a 4-4 game on a hit by Gaby Sanchez, but his rope over third base was called foul by Bob Davidson. The Phillies went on to win, 5-4, in 10 innings.  

The replay showed the ball bounce once near the third-base line and land in fair territory once it left the infield. Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez was upset. ``I've been in this game for 30 years, and I have the utmost respect for the umpires and what they're doing out there,'' Rodriguez told the Miami Herald.  ``But that was the worst call I've ever seen in my 30 years in baseball. That was bad, it was a fair ball by six inches. He was telling me it wasn't even close. I just wanted him to ask for help.''

Rodriguez said he asked Davidson to question plate umpire Tim Tschida but said Davidson denied that request. ``I was right on top of it, and it was wide of the bag, that's all,'' Davidson said. ``I had it foul. In my opinion, where it goes over the bag, you can't tell. After a bounce, it came an inch or two on the fair side, but . . . it was very close. But I'm right there. I know what I saw.

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