ANAHEIM, Calif. — The biggest contributor to the United States’ win over Japan on Sunday was there again for Japan’s 6-1 win over Mexico.
Bob Davidson, the home plate umpire of the Japan-U.S. Game in the second round of the World Baseball Classic, was the first base umpire for Tuesday’s game.
Not that first base man Michihiro Ogasawara noticed.
“Well, I wasn’t really aware of that because we were all focusing on the game,” the Hokkaido Nippon Ham star said.
Davidson made a controversial call in the eighth inning of the Japan-U.S. game, in which he overturned a call made by second base umpire Brian Knight.
Davidson’s presence as first base umpire on Tuesday didn’t go unnoticed by Japanese fans at Anaheim Stadium.
“I was watching the left field when the play was made (on Sunday) so I wasn’t sure Tsuyoshi Nishioka left early,” said Takehiro Kijima, an Akita Prefecture university student who watched both the Japan-U.S. game and Tuesday’s Japan-Mexico game. “But after watching the replay on TV, it was obviously safe.
“After the game, a Mexican guy came to me and said ‘the ump must be on the Americans’ side.’ “
Yumiko Terashima, a housewife who lives in San Dimas, Calif., was another one who felt the call was wrong.
And after hearing most of the umpires in the WBC are American minor league umpires, she was inclined to be believe there was some “California schemin’ ” going on.
“I felt like they aren’t professional umpires. Even Americans felt it was strange,” Terashima said.