The Dawg House
   Last night the Atlanta Braves faced their NL East rival Florida Marlins at LandShark Stadium in Miami. Pitching was key in this one, as the Braves struggled while the Marlins did not. Braves starter Kenshin Kawakami gave up 6 runs, including a three run homer to opposing pitcher Josh Johnson, in 4 2/3 innings, giving Kawakami his 8th lost of the year. Meanwhile, Johnson gave up only 3 runs in 6 innings. This may seem kind of a below average outing, but consider this: Johnson is now 21-0 when the Marlins provide 4 or more runs. A major part of pitching of course is balls and strikes, and their was some controversy on some of those last night.

  In the top of the eight inning, the Braves had one runner on with no outs. Brian McCann was up to bat, and the Braves were looking to get within a run of Florida. On the second pitch of the at bat, Home Plate Umpire Bill Hohn called an outside pitch a strike, much to the dismay of McCann. I do believe that Mr. McCann slipped a S.O.B. call under his breath, but Hohn had better hearing than McCann thought. He stood up and stared down McCann. McCann then proceeded to ground into a double play. Brian, still angry with the strike call, continued to do a little talking as he walked to the dogout. So, that's it, right? Wrong. 

  With Garrett Anderson up to the plate, apparently someone in the dugout was still talking to Hohn. Hohn then stopped the game again (the second time in the game he had done so) and began to walk over to the Braves dugout. Braves manager Bobby Cox then walked out to Bill Hohn and proceeded to talk to him. At one point Bobby said "Just Call the Game", but apparently Hohn wasn't interested. He then pulled out the lineup cards and began to point something out to Bobby, what it is, no one seems to know. I would take a guess that Bobby said something that Hohn didn't particularly care for, and he tossed Bobby for the 147th time in his storied career. Ok, so the manager's gone, big deal. That's still not even the whole story.

   When the Braves came out to the field for the bottom of the 8th, McCann had a chance to talk to Hohn. According to the Braves website, McCann said he asked Hohn "Can you at least tell me that you missed it?'" Bill Hohn must like keeping secrets, because he decided not to answer Brian and instead throw him out of the game. Then at the end of the 3-6 loss for the Braves, Bill Hohn fist pumped Marlins catcher John Baker. This is the part that upsets me the most. I now believe that Bill Hohn has a rivalry with the Atlanta Braves.

   It was be stupid to say after one incident that Hohn has a prejudice against the Braves, but this isn't the first incident. On Father's Day of this year, Hohn called a ball on an apparent strike three to Boston Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew. Drew then proceeded to hit an RBI single in the game, and Bobby Cox then went out to umpire Hohn and began to argue. He was thrown out, and so was Eric O'Flaherty and Chipper Jones. "It was a ball that was right down the middle for strike three. It was obvious," Cox said. "He blew the call and it upsets guys when it costs you games. And it cost us the ballgame." And although last night's mistakes by Hohn didn't necessarily cost Atlanta the game, it still was ridiculous and outlandish. I've heard the Commissioner's Office is going to look into this, as well they should. And I hope they come to this conclusion: Bill Hohn should have umpired his last Major League Baseball game last night.

(Hohn and the Braves have tangled once before)



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