Black Jack

Umpiring means more than just missed calls

  This has officially become the year of the blown call in the 2009 playoffs.
   But there are so many being blown, the umpires themselves will eventually escape the scrutiny that has followed other individual blown calls of the past.  There won't be the 1985 Don Denkinger blown call at first base in the Royals/Card Series.

   What the heck is going on?  It seems about 50% of the semi-close calls are wrong in the post season this year. Not to mention Tim McClelland's debacle from last night's Yankees Angels game.  Hey, I don't have the rulebook memorized, but last I checked, when you are off a base and tagged with the ball, you're out!

   But true to the clueless commentary of the broadcast, "nobody was hurt" because the next guy made an out.

   That is where the truth gets lost.  Turning over a lineup is as important as anything when it comes to short series.  Getting to the guys who are hot and getting to good matchups as many times as possible, wins games.  Blowing a call allows at least one more player to hit in that particular inning...which in turn makes every inning that follows one batter off from where it should have been.  It makes a HUGE difference over the course of a game.

   I'm not 100% sure of this but last I checked, the umpiring assignments for the MLB postseason are not chosen by merit, but by a rotation system.  I believe that was bargained by the umpires last contract.  My guess is that after this postseason, that will be renegotiated.  If they want to do a rotation system for umpiring, why not for teams as well.  let's see the Pirates play the Nationals for the trophy!

  Something needs to give and don't buy into the "instant replay" system.  That will only create a whole new level of entitlement and laziness in the umpiring crews.  Just let the managers, coaches and players rank the umps and let the best do the every other sport!



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SkaterRich said:

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I like it, why slow down the game with instant replay insanity. I know bad calls happen a lot and it hurts worse when your team gets the bad call but stopping the game for reviews and all that will drive fans and players nuts. Leave it alone and hope that one day these half in the grave unps will open there eyes or wake up to a mailbox full of fines.

Noneck said:

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Do you think assignments now are made the way they are in order for The Budman to put a couple "company men " out there? Like the good old NBA?

lesnessman said:


Sometimes I disagree with your opinion, but this blog is a good example of why you need to keep writing it.
I listen to a fair amount of sports radio and never heard the point you made about turning over the lineup.
And if it is true that the umps use a rotating system, that is just pathetic.
By the way, forget the Nats and Pirates as rotating teams...the Cubs would finally be in the world series.

wolfvorkian said:


I don't like the idea of instant replay and I don't think it is necessary. I do however remember when at least one NBA ref went to jail for being in with the gamblers and the most plausible explanation for several of those bad calls,particularly one in the Yank-Twin series was an attempt to influence the outcome of the game.It was impossible to have just "blown" that call.

Rick S said:

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I totally agree on some sort of merit system to do the playoffs. The calls have been embarrassing this year. I would also suggest some sort of physical requirements. I mean, do you have to be morbidly obese to be a ML ump? That's what it looks like. These fat-asses just can't move quick enough to get the proper angles.

markfromark said:

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I have read a couple of writers asserting that the umpires are chosen through a rotation, and others that selection is based on merit. This seems an easy thing for a professional writer to check up on before making claims in print. Much easier than making real-time calls in a baseball game. And yet . . .

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