Phil Cuzzi Was Once Fired As Minor League Ump!

Ed Price at AOL Fanhouse reports this weekend that Phil Cuzzi, the umpire who botched the Joe Mauer fly ball call that may have cost the Twins a win in Game 2 of the ALDS, was previously fired from professional umpiring after he failed to impress supervisors during call-ups from the minor leagues.

Phil Cuzzi Once Fired As Minor League Umpire

(And you thought you had a good union!)

Cuzzi was “released” from his umpiring duties as a AAA umpire in ‘93, but while working as a bartender in a hotel in ‘96, he prevailed up former National League President Len Coleman to give him another chance at the job.

Video of Joe Maurer fly ball called foul instead of fair by Umpire Phil Cuzzi in 2009 ALDS at Yankee Stadium

(If only he’d botched fateful martini at the Hackensack Hilton that badly)

Cuzzi was then assigned to the low minors that year, eventually working his way back to a permanent major league job in ‘99. Read more…

Video: Umpire Cuzzi Fouls Up Joe Mauer Fly Ball

Here’s the posted video of umpire Phil Cuzzi inexplicably ruling Joe Mauer’s fly ball foul last night in the 11th inning of the 4-3 Yankees win in Game 2 of the ALDS series.

Video of Joe Maurer fly ball called foul instead of fair by Umpire Phil Cuzzi in 2009 ALDS at Yankee Stadium

(No instant replay has fans, Maurer feelin’ Minnesota)

Replays show the ball clearly landed in fair territory, bouncing into the stands for what should’ve been a ground-rule double. Instead, Mauer later singled, and the Twins eventually failed to score despite two subsequent hits that would’ve otherwise plated Mauer.

Video and more background on the errant ump after the jump. Read more…