Yeah, in the end the game wasn’t as close as it could have been. But I’m still irritated over that ridiculous call by second base umpire Larry Poncino:

Jeff Conine was on first base, mildly lamenting a shattered bat, but glad to come through with runners on base with a hit.

That’s when the umpire told him to go back to the dugout.

Conine had no idea why. With no outs and bases loaded in the sixth inning, Conine had a little broken-bat flare out past second base. Brewer second baseman Rickie Weeks was backpedaling, jumped and got a glove on the ball before it bounced back into center field as the Reds’ Ryan Freel scored from third.

As Conine stood at first ready for Ken Griffey Jr. to hit, he was told to go back to the dugout because second base umpire Larry Poncino had called the infield fly rule.

For a team struggling to score runs of late, the last thing the Reds needed was a hiccup in their rally. They still scored three runs in the inning, but the out cut some of the momentum and the Reds lost 10-6 to the Brewers in front of a crowd of 12,521 at Great American Ball Park on Monday night.

It was just ridiculous, and Poncino should be as embarrassed about it as we should all be about that pathetic crowd last night (what, you mean a weekday matchup with the Brewers with Eric Milton on the mound wasn’t enticing?).

“I really don’t even know what he was looking at to be honest with you,” said Reds manager Jerry Narron, who argued the play with Poncino.

Conine also argued his side with the umpire.

“I don’t know what the actual rule states, but it looked like he was backpedaling and he had to jump for the ball,” Conine said. “I thought the infield fly rule is for a given, gimme pop fly.”

The actual definition of an infield fly is “a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out.”

The argument that both Conine and Narron made was that the ball could not be caught “with ordinary effort.”

“I disagree with the call,” Narron said. “Shoot, the ball hits on the outfield grass, the infielder is jumping for it, the last thing you call is the infield fly right there.”

Oh well, Java Man Todd Coffey made it a moot point with his terrible performance in the next inning, but what’s the use of being a blogger if I can’t beat an irrelevant point into the ground?