Joe Torre defends umpire Ron Kulpa over blown call in Game 3

Joe Torre, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of baseball operations, defended umpire Ron Kulpa over a blown call in Saturday night’s Game 3 of the World Series, and labeled “over the line” a question from a pool reporter after that game wondering whether Kulpa may have been influenced by the fact he is a St. Louis native.

“That question hinted of questioning someone’s integrity. To have that question be asked, I just thought was over the line,” Torre said prior to Sunday night’s Game 4. “I just want to make sure that if [the media] have any integrity questions in the future, please direct them to me.”

Just as Kulpa did after Game 3, Torre acknowledged Sunday that Kulpa missed the call at first base that involved a wide throw by Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, which pulled first baseman Mike Napoli off the bag. Kulpa ruled the batter, St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday, safe, although replays showed Napoli tagged Holliday well before the latter reached the bag.

Torre batted down a question about expanding replay to include close plays on the bases, saying, “I’d say, ‘Drop it,’ but I don’t want people to think we’re stubborn about this. . . . The game has a certain flow that you don’t really want to disrupt on a regular basis, [but] we’re certainly not going to close the door on making this game better.”

Dave Sheinin has been covering baseball and writing features and enterprise stories for The Washington Post since 1999.

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