It’s probably not a good sign for how well this series has been umpired that among the first things I checked (following the line-up to see if Conrad was out) was to see where Paul Emmel was stationed. After a huge controversy in game one, followed by the ejection of Bobby Cox in game two, Paul Emmel did not make any friends among Braves fans last night. Not only did his strike zone grow very wide for the bottom of the ninth inning, but he also interjected himself with called swinging strikes from behind the plate earlier in the game, leaving no opportunity for the first and third base umpires, who have better angles, to get the appeals correct.
Paul Emmel will be way out in right field tonight, where hopefully, his presence will be less noticed. I imagine I’ll still have a mental wince if there are any fly balls heading for that corner which are close enough to warrant a ruling.