PDA

View Full Version : How terrible has major league umpiring become?



OnBaseMachine
05-24-2009, 04:31 PM
Seriously, where have all the good umpires gone? Where do they find these awful umpires?

Rob Drake is, by far, the worst umpire I have ever seen. Remember that game last July against the Pirates where Jason Bay rounded third and was tagged twice by EdE, but the umpire called him safe when he replay showed he was CLEARLY out? Well, this is the same umpire crew. Yet again, they blow an easy call and now it's a tie game because of that.

Major League Baseball has got to do something about the umpiring. It continues to get worse each year. I used to be dead set against instant replay other than on homers, but I don't know now... What do you think?

Joseph
05-24-2009, 04:58 PM
Take a deep breath pal. It was a bad call yeah, but don't let it drive you crazy like this.

OnBaseMachine
05-24-2009, 04:59 PM
Apparently the umpires made a horrible call in the Red Sox game today to rob Youkilis of a home run.

OnBaseMachine
05-24-2009, 05:02 PM
Take a deep breath pal. It was a bad call yeah, but don't let it drive you crazy like this.

It's not just one game, or just against the Reds. It's widespread. Umpiring continues to get worse each year. The strikezones are incredibly inconsistent. It's not just me. Read the game thread, plenty of people agree. I read other teams board too and they all say the same thing. I know umpiring is a tough job, but some of these missed calls are obvious.

westofyou
05-24-2009, 05:19 PM
Umpiring is 100% better than 100 years ago and at least 25% than 20 years ago.

mth123
05-24-2009, 05:37 PM
Umpiring is 100% better than 100 years ago and at least 25% than 20 years ago.

I think its just that more games on TV gives us more visibility of bad calls, Fans have been saying "kill the umpire" for a long time.

OnBaseMachine
05-24-2009, 05:46 PM
I think its just that more games on TV gives us more visibility of bad calls, Fans have been saying "kill the umpire" for a long time.

That could be it, but it just seems like the umpiring has gotten worse over the last five years or so. In the past, my complaints about the umps were few and far between, but lately, I think the umpiring has deteriorated. I understand that it's a tough job, but some of these calls are obvious and they are still missing them.

RED VAN HOT
05-24-2009, 05:55 PM
At least they are better than NBA officials.

919191
05-24-2009, 05:58 PM
I think its just that more games on TV gives us more visibility of bad calls, Fans have been saying "kill the umpire" for a long time.

I agree. Not do long ago, the only games I could watch were the 35 or so games the Reds broadcast and NBC's Saturday game. I was thrilled with ABC's Monday Night baseball. Now I get 145 Reds games, almost all of the cardinals and Cubs games, the TBS game, ESPN games, a couyple a week on MLB Network, and the Extra Innings package. Back then, I hardly even knew what most players looked like. Now everything is so much more accessable.

Falls City Beer
05-24-2009, 06:11 PM
I'll never understand the rage against umpiring; 99 times out of 100 it's consistent, even if it's consistently wrong.

I'm with woy, if anything, umping has gotten much better since I was a kid. Watch some WS games from the early 80s to see what I mean; and mind you, those umping crews were supposed to be the best of the best.

traderumor
05-24-2009, 06:14 PM
Bad calls like the one day usually result from an ump not seeing the whole play, but seeing a part of it, and suddenly the brain fills in certain assumptions to explain what they saw in part. I have a white paper on it if you want a link ;):p:

OnBaseMachine
05-24-2009, 06:14 PM
I'll never understand the rage against umpiring; 99 times out of 100 it's consistent, even if it's consistently wrong.

I'm with woy, if anything, umping has gotten much better since I was a kid. Watch some WS games from the early 80s to see what I mean; and mind you, those umping crews were supposed to be the best of the best.

I disagree. I watch a ton of games a week, not just the Reds, and I see inconsistent strikezones on a nightly basis, not to mention a fair share of blown calls like the one we saw today. I hate to pile on the umps because it's a tough job, but there's really no excuse for blowing that call today. What happens if that's a playoff game?

Patrick Bateman
05-24-2009, 06:22 PM
I read other teams board too and they all say the same thing. I know umpiring is a tough job, but some of these missed calls are obvious.

Everyone thinks the officiating is out to get them.... in every sport.

BoydsOfSummer
05-24-2009, 06:32 PM
I thought Bailey was getting squeezed pretty hard Saturday night.

MrCinatit
05-24-2009, 06:57 PM
I'm watching the 1986 ALCS right now...and a lot of those guys are pretty big. While they are not all Twiggy, it seems gone are the days of guys with bellies as big as their chest protectors.
Made it hard to call a good game when the guy wasn't able to even physically keep up with the action.

OnBaseMachine
05-24-2009, 06:58 PM
Dusty Baker quote:

On the weird obstruction play in the seventh: "I didn't see an obstruction. I just couldn't believe it...I just kept reminding the guys to forget it and just go ahead and play ... I don't think I've ever seen that one."

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=blog07&plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3ae57bcc87-152a-4f72-96fb-cc08b1f396efPost%3a3c0701f7-c767-4b71-96da-0d2bdf8aae52&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com

*BaseClogger*
05-24-2009, 07:20 PM
I like to bring this article up every time somebody complains about umpiring:


If you read the newspapers and listened to the talk shows during the postseason, you might have been led to believe that instant replay is a hot topic in baseball. If so, you would have been almost as wrong as the baseball writers who voted for Chad Cordero instead of Roger Clemens for the NL Cy Young, left Mariano Rivera and Johan Santana off the AL Cy Young ballot and gave Vladimir Guerrero a first-place vote in the AL MVP voting. Almost.

Consider what happened last week when MLB executives Mike Port and Jimmie Lee Solomon gave their half-day presentation to general managers in Indian Wells, Calif., to review 2005 major league umpiring. Neither one of them said a word about instant replay. Neither did the general managers. The only time it was mentioned was in passing during commissioner Bud Selig's speech to the GMs.

Even on the heels of obviously blown calls in the postseason, there is no groundswell of support for instant replay by GMs, owners, umpires, managers or coaches. Oh, White Sox GM Ken Williams has brought it up in past years, but he received virtually no support. Instant replay in baseball is a media-driven issue. And as long as newspaper columnists are not running the game, it will have no place in baseball. "Do I believe in instant replay?" Selig said. "I do not. The human element is part of our sport."

So how are the umpires doing? On the whole, very well. They've done a better job in establishing a one-strike-zone-for-all policy, they are less confrontational, they hustle more and they remain correct on their calls an astonishing amount of the time. Here are the highlights from their annual report card:

• Strike zone. Umpires have embraced the QuesTec strike zone. Their percentage of called balls and strikes they got correct, according to QuesTec's definition of the zone, improved for a second straight season, though we're talking about getting an extra one or two pitches per game right.

Here is how the umpires have graded on ball/strike calls over the past three years:

2003: 92.91 percent
2004: 93.62 percent
2005: 94.20 percent
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/writers/tom_verducci/11/15/umpires.replay/index.html

OnBaseMachine
05-24-2009, 07:33 PM
That articles is four years old. My main beef is with the missed calls like the one we saw today. That was clearly an awful call. The umpire wasn't even looking at Rosales...he was focused on the ball. That was just some bad umpiring. This crew is pretty bad. Check out this video below:

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?mid=200807013042959&c_id=cin

This is the same umpirie crew that missed that call. I remember that same crew had some trouble in Chicago a week prior to that game. IIRC Lou Piniella was ejected from the game and had some choice words for the umps after the game.

I'm not saying all umpires are bad, because there are plenty of great ones out there. But there are also some horrible umps, and Rob Drake is one of them. Angel Hernandez...Hunter Wendelstedt...I always cringe when I see them on the field.

BCubb2003
05-24-2009, 07:37 PM
One thing that seems to be different is that umpires seem more likely to inject themselves into the game. The old-time umps were stone-faced guys who tossed the manager or turned their backs on him. They didn't put their personalities into the game.

Falls City Beer
05-24-2009, 07:38 PM
One thing that seems to be different is that umpires seem more likely to inject themselves into the game. The old-time umps were stone-faced guys who tossed the manager or turned their backs on him. They didn't put their personalities into the game.

This may be. But I don't care so long as they call it down the middle.

TheNext44
05-24-2009, 08:18 PM
Here is how the umpires have graded on ball/strike calls over the past three years:

2003: 92.91 percent
2004: 93.62 percent
2005: 94.20 percent

I wouldn't brag about those percentages. That's great if you're taking an algebra test, but lousy if you are umping a major league game. That means that an ump blows around 20-30 strike calls a game.. That is huge!

That is around one every half inning. That could easily influence a game. Also, I'd say that around 75% of the pitches thrown are easy calls, either the batter swings, or they are obvious. That means that of the remaining 60-70 tough calls, the ump blows 20-30 of them. Basically you could flip a coin and do about as well as an ump, if those numbers are correct.

Considering this is the major leagues, I would demand around 98-99% accuracy from the umps. If they really are the best of the best, they should be able to handle that.

TheNext44
05-24-2009, 08:23 PM
Umpiring is 100% better than 100 years ago and at least 25% than 20 years ago.

However bad they may be right now, the whole system is miles better than it was when Ritchie Phillips was the head of the Union.

Now at least they will admit they made a mistake, or ask for help. Phillips demanded that everyone assume that the umps never, ever made a mistake and they were insulting the integrity of the game if they even suggested that they did.

There was zero, absolutely zero accountability. He never would have allowed QuesTec, or instant replay. Now, umps do get sent down, or taken out of the rotation if they screw up on a consistent basis.

remdog
05-24-2009, 08:51 PM
Apparently the umpires made a horrible call in the Red Sox game today to rob Youkilis of a home run.

On both Quick Pitch and Baseball Tonight they showed that the umps reviewed the replay on that ball so it's not like they don't review things in that situation. That's within the current rules.

As for the 'interference' play involving Rosales, that's not currently reviewable. Should it be? I don't know, although I think the ump blew the play.

The most impressive part of the play was the fact that Jonny Gomes made a great play----something that they teach you in Little League but something that you seldom see MLB OFers do.

Rem

Cooper
05-24-2009, 09:16 PM
The umps from 20 years ago used to be much worse. Eric Gregg, Joe West, Dave Pallone, etc...they were terrible.

The strike zones were an adventure and any time mlb attempted to build in some consistency the union fired back with the finger. K zones were all over the place in a big way -most of the umps were out of shape and they didn't mind baiting a guy just to run him.

They appear to be a more professional than they used to be, they are more consistent, and they assume much less than they used to --20 years ago if the ball beat the runner than it was assumed he was out (lots of phantom tags -those made life a lot easier on the umps cause you don't have to be in position to make the call).

Lastly, they have thought through some things and looked at what they needed to work on- 20 years ago they were too proud to even check.

Saying all that- today's call was terrible and this group of umps were pretty poor.

37red
05-24-2009, 09:59 PM
I guess I'm old fashioned but I like that baseball has umpires and not replay cameras when the manager throws a red flag. It's almost too much intervention by cameras as it is. I have a friend that thinks baseball managers should wear suits and ties like basketball's managers do. Think of how the old inside pitch used to be, not that it was a great thing but it showed who the boss was. No, I agree that umps are much more precise now than they were and fans are exposed to too many close ups. Get over it, it's already a rich man's game and the beers too expensive. The players are paid too much and the fans are charged too much. The score boards are ridiculous......., ridiculous!!

Chip R
05-24-2009, 09:59 PM
I'll bet that the league office put out some memo recently about obstruction.

Hoosier Red
05-24-2009, 10:13 PM
On strike zones. My guess is that the old umpires used to have very erratic strike zones from umpire to umpire but were more consistent with their own strike zone(for instance Eric Greg's inch tall and four mile wide was always an inch tall and four miles wide.). Now that everyone is supposed to be calling the same strike zone, it seems more inconsistent.

BCubb2003
05-24-2009, 10:15 PM
One of my least favorite things about football is how the most exciting plays turn into several minutes of discussion about the flag, or the replay. There's something to be said for calling it like you see it and moving on.

remdog
05-24-2009, 10:16 PM
Here's a question: based upon the replays that I saw, it didn't appear that the 3rd base umpire actually saw the entire play. Rosales was trying to field the ball but wasn't succcessful; yet isn't Rosales within his rights to field the throw? If he is, it didn't appear to me that the 3rd base ump had any recognition of that.

Sizemore ran for home immediately after recognizing that the ball got away from Rosales. Gomes made a terrific play and Sizemore was called out at home. At that point, the third base umpire interviened and called interferrence. IMO, the umpireing crew should have gotten together and talked about the play. It's about getting the call correct, not about what an individual umpire may or not may see.

Most calls are are pretty easy. The call that was made today was not an easy call. It should have been, at least, discussed, IMO.

Rem

deltachi8
05-24-2009, 10:26 PM
I'll never understand the rage against umpiring; 99 times out of 100 it's consistent, even if it's consistently wrong.

I'm with woy, if anything, umping has gotten much better since I was a kid. Watch some WS games from the early 80s to see what I mean; and mind you, those umping crews were supposed to be the best of the best.

Agreed.

deltachi8
05-24-2009, 10:28 PM
One thing that seems to be different is that umpires seem more likely to inject themselves into the game. The old-time umps were stone-faced guys who tossed the manager or turned their backs on him. They didn't put their personalities into the game.

Ron Luciano and Ken Kieser would not fit that mold (or 2xl umpire uni either)

RED VAN HOT
05-24-2009, 10:29 PM
If there was any possibility of obstruction, Sizemore is a smart enough player to have tripped over Rosales to get an obvious call.

TheNext44
05-24-2009, 10:30 PM
Here's a question: based upon the replays that I saw, it didn't appear that the 3rd base umpire actually saw the entire play. Rosales was trying to field the ball but wasn't succcessful; yet isn't Rosales within his rights to field the throw? If he is, it didn't appear to me that the 3rd base ump had any recognition of that.

Sizemore ran for home immediately after recognizing that the ball got away from Rosales. Gomes made a terrific play and Sizemore was called out at home. At that point, the third base umpire interviened and called interferrence. IMO, the umpireing crew should have gotten together and talked about the play. It's about getting the call correct, not about what an individual umpire may or not may see.

Most calls are are pretty easy. The call that was made today was not an easy call. It should have been, at least, discussed, IMO.

Rem

Rem

The reply I saw, showed Ump Drake pointing to Rosales as soon as Sizemore ran passed him, and calling Obstruction. According to the rules, once this happens, the ball is dead and all runners are awarded an extra base.

I think that because the ball was dead, the other umps could not over rule it, since officially the tag out at home never happened. I could be wrong, but if they did over-rule him, what could they do? They can't call Sizemore out at home, since the ball was dead. I guess they could have put Sizemore back at third, but I am not sure about that.

Regardless, it was a terrible call. In the game thread I pointed out why it was so horrendous.

The reason why it was a blown call is that obstruction can be called nearly all the time. Fielders commonly get in the way of runners in plays like that. But umps are trained to only call it when it is obvious, blatant, and directly effects the play. If there is any doubt at all, umps are told to not call it.

It is very similar to runners running out of the base paths. They do it all the time, but umps are trained only to call it when it is obvious, blatant and directly effects the play.

Not only was this obstruction not obvious, it probably wasn't there.

remdog
05-24-2009, 10:33 PM
The reply I saw, showed Ump Drake pointing to Rosales as soon as Sizemore ran passed him, and calling Obstruction. According to the rules, once this happens, the ball is dead and all runners are awarded an extra base.

I think that because the ball was dead, the other umps could not over rule it, since officially the tag out at home never happened. I could be wrong, but if they did over-rule him, what could they do? They can't call Sizemore out at home, since the ball was dead. I guess they could have put Sizemore back at third, but I am not sure about that.

Regardless, it was a terrible call. In the game thread I pointed out why it was so horrendous.

The reason why it was a blown call is that obstruction can be called nearly all the time. Fielders commonly get in the way of runners in plays like that. But umps are trained to only call it when it is obvious, blatant, and directly effects the play. If there is any doubt at all, umps are told to not call it.

It is very similar to runners running out of the base paths. They do it all the time, but umps are trained only to call it when it is obvious, blatant and directly effects the play.

Not only was this obstruction not obvious, it probably wasn't there.

Good reply. Thanks. I'll assume that you're correct.

Of course, I, and most people here, didn't see any obstruction....but I'm not a MLB Umpire nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn last night. ;-)

Rem

George Anderson
05-24-2009, 10:41 PM
That articles is four years old. My main beef is with the missed calls like the one we saw today. That was clearly an awful call. The umpire wasn't even looking at Rosales...he was focused on the ball. That was just some bad umpiring. This crew is pretty bad. Check out this video below:

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?mid=200807013042959&c_id=cin

.

One thing you have to understand about umpiring is it is all about getting an angle. The third base umpire does not have a good angle on the ball from the position he is in. From the angle of the camera it looks like a no brainer that he was out but put yourself where the umpire is standing and you can see he was blocked out by the runners body from making a call and thus blew the call. The greatest umpire in the world couldn't have made that call because physically he was not able to get a angle quick enough to see the play.

Alot of times this is an unfortunate occurance where 75% of the stadium have a perfect angle to see a play, but unfortunately the umpire does not.

BCubb2003
05-24-2009, 10:42 PM
So are infielders expected to be tentative now and think "I can't get to that throw because I might be where the runner is going to be running soon?"

George Anderson
05-24-2009, 10:46 PM
The reply I saw, showed Ump Drake pointing to Rosales as soon as Sizemore ran passed him, and calling Obstruction. According to the rules, once this happens, the ball is dead and all runners are awarded an extra base.


.

No, obstruction is a delayed dead ball.

I didnt see the play but think about it. If the umpire was to kill the ball immediately on a obstruction call he is potentially penalizing the offense becuase the offense would not be given the opportunity to advance other runners or score more runs.

TRF
05-24-2009, 10:51 PM
I just watched the hilight on reds.com. it seemed to me like the 3B umpire awarded Sizemore home early, while he was still on 3rd.

George Anderson
05-24-2009, 10:53 PM
The reason why it was a blown call is that obstruction can be called nearly all the time. Fielders commonly get in the way of runners in plays like that. But umps are trained to only call it when it is obvious, blatant, and directly effects the play. If there is any doubt at all, umps are told to not call it.
It is very similar to runners running out of the base paths. They do it all the time, but umps are trained only to call it when it is obvious, blatant and directly effects the play.


Im curious, how do you know how MLB umpires are trained??

remdog
05-24-2009, 10:55 PM
No, obstruction is a delayed dead ball.

I didnt see the play but think about it. If the umpire was to kill the ball immediately on a obstruction call he is potentially penalizing the offense becuase the offense would not be given the opportunity to advance other runners or score more runs.

OK, I'm now confused. Are you saying that obstruction should not have been called until the completetion of the entire play? It should have been called after the play? Should it have been discussed among the entire crew or is the call strictly up to the 3rd base ump?

Rem

George Anderson
05-24-2009, 10:59 PM
OK, I'm now confused. Are you saying that obstruction should not have been called until the completetion of the entire play? It should have been called after the play? Should it have been discussed among the entire crew or is the call strictly up to the 3rd base ump?

Rem

Had the runner scored then no need to call obstruction.

You wait till after the play and penalize the fielder who committed the obstruction call should the runner be tagged out.

It is solely the third base umpires call.

remdog
05-24-2009, 11:02 PM
Had the runner scored then no need to call obstruction.

You wait till after the play and penalize the fielder who committed the obstruction call should the runner be tagged out.

It is solely the third base umpires call.

Thanks for the explination.

Rem

George Anderson
05-24-2009, 11:08 PM
I just watched the hilight on reds.com. it seemed to me like the 3B umpire awarded Sizemore home early, while he was still on 3rd.

The umpire probally pointed at the fielder and said "thats obstruction". The umpire does this during the play to call attention that a rule violation just occured.

Depending on what happened to the runner would decide if the umpire needed to penalize the fielder for obstruction or not.

37red
05-24-2009, 11:40 PM
Good point. The comment about being able to make a good call, is being in a position TO make that call. The best umps do their best to be there. It seemed to me he was staying out of the way of the play but still trying his best to be in position, he just wasn't, see it all the time. But instant replay........, nope.

George Anderson said it all.

TheNext44
05-25-2009, 12:47 AM
Im curious, how do you know how MLB umpires are trained??

I don't know how MLB umps are trained, but when I umped High School games, that is how I was trained. Maybe MLB umps are trained differently on this issue, but I doubt it.

Eric_the_Red
05-25-2009, 12:49 AM
I agree that it was a bad call, but I think it is important that we not forget a major culprit in the play in question: Rosales. Watch the replay again. The throw shorthops him, and his fielding method was to apparently hop up in the air, allowing the ball to go right under his legs. If Rosales fields the throw (yes, it did bounce but should still have been stopped, IMO), Sizemore stops at third with the Reds up 3-2.

WVPacman
05-25-2009, 12:52 AM
I thought they was two bad calls on that play today b/c I really think the base runner was safe at home.I agree with Welch's statment on that play.. He said the umpire acted like he was looking to make that call by the way he acted and I agree with that.

The one thing that bothers me the most by umpires are they get so mad when they think a player or coach is trying to show them up then they throw them out.I've watched alot of baseball in my life and umpires do the same thing to the players(showing them up) and yet they hardly ever get called out or suspended for their actions.I get mad watching them call out base runners on a close play.They run right to the base runner and throws their fists to call them out and barely misses the players faces.

I turned it on the pirates game today and a Pirate broke his bat well he walked over to meet the bat boy and that ump screamed at the batter telling him to come back and the batter shruged his shoulders like man im getting a bat.The Pirates Manager came running out arguing with the ump and the ump just stood there looking at the manager with a smirk on his face.

TheNext44
05-25-2009, 12:56 AM
One thing you have to understand about umpiring is it is all about getting an angle. The third base umpire does not have a good angle on the ball from the position he is in. From the angle of the camera it looks like a no brainer that he was out but put yourself where the umpire is standing and you can see he was blocked out by the runners body from making a call and thus blew the call. The greatest umpire in the world couldn't have made that call because physically he was not able to get a angle quick enough to see the play.

Alot of times this is an unfortunate occurance where 75% of the stadium have a perfect angle to see a play, but unfortunately the umpire does not.

You are absolutely correct about the importance of the umpire being in the right position and how hard that is to do.

But on this play, when no call needed to be made, unless the ump was certain about the obstruction, why would he call it if he knew he wasn't in the best position and he didn't get a good view of it?

As you said, no umpire could have gotten that right because no umpire could have been in the proper position to see it. If he couldn't see it, then why call it when there was no need to call it? I understand not seeing a safe or out call, and making the best guess you can, but there was no need for him to call anything, unless he saw it clearly.

*BaseClogger*
05-25-2009, 02:16 AM
I wouldn't brag about those percentages. That's great if you're taking an algebra test, but lousy if you are umping a major league game. That means that an ump blows around 20-30 strike calls a game.. That is huge!

That is around one every half inning. That could easily influence a game. Also, I'd say that around 75% of the pitches thrown are easy calls, either the batter swings, or they are obvious. That means that of the remaining 60-70 tough calls, the ump blows 20-30 of them. Basically you could flip a coin and do about as well as an ump, if those numbers are correct.

Considering this is the major leagues, I would demand around 98-99% accuracy from the umps. If they really are the best of the best, they should be able to handle that.

Assuming about 300 pitches per game, a 94.20% accurary rate would mean about 17 blown calls on pitches per game. That's huge? Sure, that would influence a game, but you expect better? You expect 99% accuracy judging pitches traveling 93 mph moving laterally milimeters? That's just plain crazy, IMO...

*BaseClogger*
05-25-2009, 02:18 AM
That articles is four years old. My main beef is with the missed calls like the one we saw today. That was clearly an awful call. The umpire wasn't even looking at Rosales...he was focused on the ball. That was just some bad umpiring. This crew is pretty bad. Check out this video below:

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?mid=200807013042959&c_id=cin

This is the same umpirie crew that missed that call. I remember that same crew had some trouble in Chicago a week prior to that game. IIRC Lou Piniella was ejected from the game and had some choice words for the umps after the game.

I'm not saying all umpires are bad, because there are plenty of great ones out there. But there are also some horrible umps, and Rob Drake is one of them. Angel Hernandez...Hunter Wendelstedt...I always cringe when I see them on the field.

Fine. Here's my point: there are hundreds of calls in every game, and the umpires make a vast majority of them correctly. They are humans, and a few mistakes occur. It just doesn't surprise me, and I deal with it...

George Anderson
05-25-2009, 02:21 AM
You are absolutely correct about the importance of the umpire being in the right position and how hard that is to do.

But on this play, when no call needed to be made, unless the ump was certain about the obstruction, why would he call it if he knew he wasn't in the best position and he didn't get a good view of it?

As you said, no umpire could have gotten that right because no umpire could have been in the proper position to see it. If he couldn't see it, then why call it when there was no need to call it? I understand not seeing a safe or out call, and making the best guess you can, but there was no need for him to call anything, unless he saw it clearly.


The comment I was making was about the play with Encarnacions tag, not the obstruction call.

It looked like the umpire had a good view on the obstruction call. Now why he called it I am not really sure but he musta saw something we don't know in order to make that call.

George Anderson
05-25-2009, 02:25 AM
Assuming about 300 pitches per game, a 94.20% accurary rate would mean about 17 blown calls on pitches per game. That's huge? Sure, that would influence a game, but you expect better? You expect 99% accuracy judging pitches traveling 93 mph moving laterally milimeters? That's just plain crazy, IMO...

Also what is technically a blown pitch? If the umpire called a couple a inch or two off the plate or squeezed a couple at the knees I don't consider those to be blown calls regardless of what some computer tells me.

CTA513
05-25-2009, 02:45 AM
I didn't get to watch it on TV but after watching the replay it looked like a play that shouldn't have happened in the first place. Hairston had no chance to get Sizemore at 3rd on that play.

TheNext44
05-25-2009, 02:54 AM
Assuming about 300 pitches per game, a 94.20% accurary rate would mean about 17 blown calls on pitches per game. That's huge? Sure, that would influence a game, but you expect better? You expect 99% accuracy judging pitches traveling 93 mph moving laterally milimeters? That's just plain crazy, IMO...

Then I'm crazy, because I do expect better than that. It's a billion dollar game, these guys need to be the best and be trained to be the best. They need to be better so that they don't influence the game. By your own admission, they do influence every game. I can handle it happening 4-5 times a game, but not 17-22 times a game.

I am sure that there are many umps who do get to 98-99% accuracy missing around 5 calls a game, which means that there are some that get around 90% accuracy or worse. That's missing around 30 calls a game.

This is their job, this is all they do. They can get better, if they all took their job as seriously as most major league players took their job. Just to be fair, I think that most umps are outstanding, and I am sure most do work as hard at their craft as players do, but there definitely are enough that do not for it to be an issue.

TheNext44
05-25-2009, 02:56 AM
The comment I was making was about the play with Encarnacions tag, not the obstruction call.

It looked like the umpire had a good view on the obstruction call. Now why he called it I am not really sure but he musta saw something we don't know in order to make that call.

Sorry, my bad. Misunderstood you.

RFS62
05-25-2009, 08:48 AM
I long for the day when the technology becomes accepted and balls and strikes are called by a questec type system.

Let the umpires make their signature calls and moves, but have the information come to them immediately electronically.

It's not the umpires fault that they can't achieve 100% reliability on balls and strikes calls. They're human, and very talented. It's just an impossible task to be perfect.

When the day comes that we call balls and strikes the same way disputed line calls come down in tennis matches the game will be much better.

I appreciate the history and tradition involved in umpiring. It's a noble part of the game.

It's also flawed by design, and the sooner we stop worrying about the egos of these guys and worrying more about getting balls and strikes called EXACTLY right, the better.

BTW, I'm not for reviewing plays like the obstruction call. I agree with the current program of looking at home run calls, but not stopping play to argue a judgment call.

What should have happened is the home plate umpire should have got the other umps together and discussed that obstruction play. But their egos are too fragile. They'd rather stick up for a buddy even when they know he blew the call.

He was out of position. Everyone in the park knows it. All the other umpires knew it. Any one of them could have said to the third base ump that they saw it better.

But they rarely do that. That kind of hubris makes me far less inclined to support them when the time comes to replace them on balls and strikes.

traderumor
05-25-2009, 10:30 AM
RFS,

I appreciate what you are saying, and have recently converted to automated ball/strike calls. I was scanning the article about the first night game the other day, and change always names "traditionalists" as critics. Well, the longer I live, the more I see that traditions are often the enemy of innovation and improvement. This seems to be one of those areas. What has really changed my opinion is the TV telecasts that have a strike zone graphic and seeing tangible evidence of unacceptable inconsistency.

Of course, just like automated voting machines, there will be those who rightly want assurances that the computer is reliable 100% of the time. I think the technology is now installed in every ballpark to do so and I have not heard arguments from umpires about its accuracy. Their complaints seem to center around accountability and being evaluated based on a standard, which should obviously be a laughable excuse. It certainly takes the glamor off calling the plate, but I don't see that as a compelling argument to let 20-30 pitches on the edges of the strikezone be called wrong in MLB parks night after night.

Now, the chances of that happening? That is laughable as well.

OnBaseMachine
05-25-2009, 10:54 AM
I didn't get to watch it on TV but after watching the replay it looked like a play that shouldn't have happened in the first place. Hairston had no chance to get Sizemore at 3rd on that play.

I agree. There was a sequence of three mistakes on that play - (1) Hairston should have never thrown the ball to third base. He had no chance at getting Sizemore. (2) Rosales should have knocked the ball down and (3) the umpire should have never made that call.

OnBaseMachine
05-25-2009, 10:59 AM
BTW, I'm not for reviewing plays like the obstruction call. I agree with the current program of looking at home run calls, but not stopping play to argue a judgment call.


I agree. I thought about this yesterday and come to the conclusion that no matter how frustrating an obvious blown call is, I still don't want instant replay in baseball except for on home runs.

BCubb2003
05-25-2009, 11:07 AM
I agree. There was a sequence of three mistakes on that play - (1) Hairston should have never thrown the ball to third base. He had no chance at getting Sizemore. (2) Rosales should have knocked the ball down and (3) the umpire should have never made that call.

Plus Queto should have backed up the play, although that was neutralized. If it hadn't been for Gomes, the proper call should have been fielder's indifference.

Falls City Beer
05-25-2009, 11:35 AM
Plus Queto should have backed up the play, although that was neutralized. If it hadn't been for Gomes, the proper call should have been fielder's indifference.

Is Queto friends with Cisqo?

BCubb2003
05-25-2009, 11:36 AM
Is Queto friends with Cisqo?

Sorry. I knew that didn't look right.

Falls City Beer
05-25-2009, 11:39 AM
Sorry. I knew that didn't look right.

Just an opportunity to type the name of the creator of "The Thong Song."

Razor Shines
05-25-2009, 11:57 AM
It is very similar to runners running out of the base paths. They do it all the time, but umps are trained only to call it when it is obvious, blatant and directly effects the play.

Not only was this obstruction not obvious, it probably wasn't there.

I agree the obstruction was not there. I'd really like to hear an explanation from that ump as to what he saw. The only thing I can think is that he saw it out of his periphery and thought it was worse than it was.

As for the baseline comment. I know it doesn't really have anything to do with the play but how do you mean they run out of the path all the time? The baseline is where the runner is running, it's not fixed.

redsmetz
05-25-2009, 12:23 PM
I agree the obstruction was not there. I'd really like to hear an explanation from that ump as to what he saw. The only thing I can think is that he saw it out of his periphery and thought it was worse than it was.

As for the baseline comment. I know it doesn't really have anything to do with the play but how do you mean they run out of the path all the time? The baseline is where the runner is running, it's not fixed.

I didn't get to see the play until today and the footage on Reds.com is not great, but as the play developed and Sizemore saw the ball had gotten by, Rosales stepped back towards the baseline and Sizemore had to step around him a little bit. It may be that this is what the ump saw. I can't find anything in the rules that explains more fully what constitutes obstruction. I decided to go look at it after reading the Akron Beacon Journal story this morning and seeing Cleveland's point of view. I don't Sizemore did any "selling" of obstruction, but it's clear he moved differently with Rosales move and it wasn't an egregious call to suggest obstruction, IMO.

Razor Shines
05-25-2009, 12:30 PM
I didn't get to see the play until today and the footage on Reds.com is not great, but as the play developed and Sizemore saw the ball had gotten by, Rosales stepped back towards the baseline and Sizemore had to step around him a little bit. It may be that this is what the ump saw. I can't find anything in the rules that explains more fully what constitutes obstruction. I decided to go look at it after reading the Akron Beacon Journal story this morning and seeing Cleveland's point of view. I don't Sizemore did any "selling" of obstruction, but it's clear he moved differently with Rosales move and it wasn't an egregious call to suggest obstruction, IMO.

Yeah, I wouldn't say it's the worst call I've ever seen. Sizemore did have to make a slight step around Rosales, but I still didn't think it warranted obstruction. I wouldn't have called it but like I said, if he saw it out of his periphery (which is what it looked like) it probably looked worse than it was.

George Anderson
05-25-2009, 01:05 PM
He was out of position. Everyone in the park knows it. All the other umpires knew it. Any one of them could have said to the third base ump that they saw it better.




So where should the third base umpire been standing to see the play??

I don't necessarily agree with the call because from what I saw the obstruction call looked petty. However as far as positioning the umpire was right where he needed to be.

traderumor
05-25-2009, 01:30 PM
I agree the obstruction was not there. I'd really like to hear an explanation from that ump as to what he saw. The only thing I can think is that he saw it out of his periphery and thought it was worse than it was.

As for the baseline comment. I know it doesn't really have anything to do with the play but how do you mean they run out of the path all the time? The baseline is where the runner is running, it's not fixed.The baseline is fixed when a play is being made on the runner. It is a straight line to the base and the runner is only allowed three feet. If it was as you say, then a baserunner could just run into fielders anywhere on the field and they would be considered in his baseline.

Of course, this rule really gets lax around the bases, esp. home plate, as they allow a guy to slide any which way he wants to avoid a tag, which is something that has developed in the last decade of the game, unless there is some exception that I am not aware of.

redsmetz
05-25-2009, 02:09 PM
Yeah, I wouldn't say it's the worst call I've ever seen. Sizemore did have to make a slight step around Rosales, but I still didn't think it warranted obstruction. I wouldn't have called it but like I said, if he saw it out of his periphery (which is what it looked like) it probably looked worse than it was.

Oh, heavens, Razor, in 100+ years of baseball, this doesn't even come close. That's quite a lot of hyperbole. I think the call was borderline, but I think you've seen enough baseball that this couldn't even possibly come close to being the worst call you've ever seen. Maybe I'm wrong, but this was not that big a deal.

Razor Shines
05-25-2009, 02:13 PM
Oh, heavens, Razor, in 100+ years of baseball, this doesn't even come close. That's quite a lot of hyperbole. I think the call was borderline, but I think you've seen enough baseball that this couldn't even possibly come close to being the worst call you've ever seen. Maybe I'm wrong, but this was not that big a deal.

I guess I shouldn't have used that phrase. I realize it was a poor choice, because I don't think it was that big of a deal either.

TheNext44
05-25-2009, 02:45 PM
I agree the obstruction was not there. I'd really like to hear an explanation from that ump as to what he saw. The only thing I can think is that he saw it out of his periphery and thought it was worse than it was.

As for the baseline comment. I know it doesn't really have anything to do with the play but how do you mean they run out of the path all the time? The baseline is where the runner is running, it's not fixed.

What traderumor said, plus the most common violation of running out of the baseline is going from home to first. There is a "runners box" the starts around halfway up the line. The runner must run in that box or be called out.
Runners almost are never in the box the whole way. They are only called on it when they get in the way of a throw, usually from the pitcher or catcher, and it is very obvious. When I was trained to ump, I was told to only call that when it was obvious that it affected the play.

Razor Shines
05-25-2009, 03:06 PM
The baseline is fixed when a play is being made on the runner. It is a straight line to the base and the runner is only allowed three feet. If it was as you say, then a baserunner could just run into fielders anywhere on the field and they would be considered in his baseline.

Of course, this rule really gets lax around the bases, esp. home plate, as they allow a guy to slide any which way he wants to avoid a tag, which is something that has developed in the last decade of the game, unless there is some exception that I am not aware of.

If you're talking about a play being made on the runner, yes, he has three feet either way. Other than that the runner establishes his own baseline until he is about to be tagged. I was just questioning the "runners are out of the base path all the time" line. I don't think they are.

bucksfan2
05-25-2009, 08:17 PM
Im a little late to the discussion but here are my thoughts.

It was a poor call by the umpire. IMO it was a bad play on the Reds part but when Rosales was called for interference he was still in the process of making a play. He jumped up and the ball went between his legs, he then had to turn around, right himself, and make a play on the live ball. He was in the process of reacting when the ump made the call.

IMO the call should have never been made. Umpiring is very difficult but if you are going to make that call then you must be 100% certain there is obstruction. In that case the ump couldn't have been that certain. He located where the ball went, to make sure it didn't go out of play, then turned around and pointed at Rosales without watching the runner and fielder.

If instant replay is available then use it. If you have to confer with the entire umpiring crew then do that at a instant replay camera. Why does MLB allow the use on a fair/foul HR ball but not on any other plays? If you have instant replay (which I am against) then allow it for everything, or allow it for nothing. None of this half way stuff.

I like the human element of umpiring. They have a difficult job and I can deal with slightly inconsistant strike zones. From the fans perspective one of the difficulties is that you are not truely behind the pitcher when watching a pitch. You are slightly skewed which can make an ump's zone look inconsistant. The one thing I wish would happens is that umpires are held accountable for their calls. If you make a closer call or a bang bang call and it is proven that the wrong decision was made the ump should have to explain themselves.

GAC
05-25-2009, 08:19 PM
How long have baseball fans been screaming at umpires? I agree with woy's earlier contention.

Chris Welsh said he talked with the umpire chief after the game, and he stated that the call by Drake was within the "framework" of the rules, and that those types of calls are descretionary. And I'm sure that that umpiring crew looked at the videos after the game, and they probably came to the same conclusion we all did - it was a call that shouldn't have been made, regardless that it fell within the boundaries of the rules.

We won the game. That's all that matters.

George Anderson
05-25-2009, 08:23 PM
If you make a closer call or a bang bang call and it is proven that the wrong decision was made the ump should have to explain themselves.

Other than the umpire saying he just missed a close call I don't know what more he can say. It is no different than a player missing a routine ground ball, more often than not that player will just say he kicked it.

George Anderson
05-25-2009, 08:30 PM
. And I'm sure that that umpiring crew looked at the videos after the game, and they probably came to the same conclusion we all did - it was a call that shouldn't have been made, regardless that it fell within the boundaries of the rules.

.

I would say the crew did look at the replay and came to the same conclusion.

The vast majority of the time after the game an umpire will sit and talk to their partner or partners and get his or their opinion how your strike zone was, if you missed a particular call, how you should have handles a particular situation and of course the hot blonde sitting behind the dugout.

Alot of people are under the impression that umpires think they are perfect, never miss calls or don't have the desire to improve as an umpire or don't feel very bad after missing a call. For the vast majority of umpires out there nothing could be farther from the truth.

RFS62
05-25-2009, 10:06 PM
I would say the crew did look at the replay and came to the same conclusion.

The vast majority of the time after the game an umpire will sit and talk to their partner or partners and get his or their opinion how your strike zone was, if you missed a particular call, how you should have handles a particular situation and of course the hot blonde sitting behind the dugout.

Alot of people are under the impression that umpires think they are perfect, never miss calls or don't have the desire to improve as an umpire or don't feel very bad after missing a call. For the vast majority of umpires out there nothing could be farther from the truth.


I don't think they think they're perfect. I do take extreme exception when I see umpires not having the guts to admit they could have missed a call and conferring with their other umpires. I doesn't impress me much when a guy admits he's wrong after the fact, when he adamantly refused to confer when it could have made a difference in the ballgame.

It seems to me that they all stick up for one another when they're on the field, expecting the same for themselves when it's their turn under the microscope. I have a lot more respect for someone who is man enough to admit he is wrong and correct the mistake, instead of waiting until the crowd is gone and it's too late to do anything about it.

In a perfect world, the home plate umpire would have called them together when he saw what a poor angle he had on the call and got it right. I have no illusions though. That just very rarely, if ever, happens.

This isn't a knock on umpires. I too respect the history and traditions of the game. But the umpire's ego must be trumped by getting the call right.

Everyone makes mistakes. It's what you do to correct your mistakes that shows what kind of person you are.

George Anderson
05-25-2009, 10:45 PM
I don't think they think they're perfect. I do take extreme exception when I see umpires not having the guts to admit they could have missed a call and conferring with their other umpires. I doesn't impress me much when a guy admits he's wrong after the fact, when he adamantly refused to confer when it could have made a difference in the ballgame.

It seems to me that they all stick up for one another when they're on the field, expecting the same for themselves when it's their turn under the microscope. I have a lot more respect for someone who is man enough to admit he is wrong and correct the mistake, instead of waiting until the crowd is gone and it's too late to do anything about it.

In a perfect world, the home plate umpire would have called them together when he saw what a poor angle he had on the call and got it right. I have no illusions though. That just very rarely, if ever, happens.

This isn't a knock on umpires. I too respect the history and traditions of the game. But the umpire's ego must be trumped by getting the call right.

Everyone makes mistakes. It's what you do to correct your mistakes that shows what kind of person you are.


On the obstruction call the third base umpire had a perfect angle on the play. Where else should he of been standing?

Basic mechanics for an umpire is you can ask for help on a call from your partner if you feel they had a better angle than you did. A perfect example is on throw to first base by an infielder it is common to ask the HP umpire if the first baseman pulled his foot or not. However there have been very, very few instances in my 13 years as a umpire where I felt the need to go to my partner because I felt like he had a better angle. In short it just doesn't happen that often. It isn't because my ego is to big to ask for help, it just more often is the case that I had a good angle and felt confident in making the call.

Another point you seem to want is to have the umpires get together to confer over what managers see as a blown call. This won't ever happen and for good reason simply because it will be abused by the managers. If we had to get together and discuss every single close call then the game would end up being a joke. Don't think for a minute either that alot of managers would make it a habit to ask for the umpire every time there is a close call to have a pow wow and ask to get a consensus from all the umpires on the call. I can tell you in all honesty if we had to do this on all close calls that 99% of the time I would side with the call the umpire made because in order for me to reverse his call I would have to be 100% sure I was right and he was wrong and in most instances this is never the case.

traderumor
05-25-2009, 10:54 PM
If we had to get together and discuss every single close call then the game would end up being a joke.or just like the NFL ;)

RFS62
05-25-2009, 10:56 PM
On the obstruction call the third base umpire had a perfect angle on the play. Where else should he of been standing?

Basic mechanics for an umpire is you can ask for help on a call from your partner if you feel they had a better angle than you did. A perfect example is on throw to first base by an infielder it is common to ask the HP umpire if the first baseman pulled his foot or not. However there have been very, very few instances in my 13 years as a umpire where I felt the need to go to my partner because I felt like he had a better angle. In short it just doesn't happen that often. It isn't because my ego is to big to ask for help, it just more often is the case that I had a good angle and felt confident in making the call.

Another point you seem to want is to have the umpires get together to confer over what managers see as a blown call. This won't ever happen and for good reason simply because it will be abused by the managers. If we had to get together and discuss every single close call then the game would end up being a joke. Don't think for a minute either that alot of managers would make it a habit to ask for the umpire every time there is a close call to have a pow wow and ask to get a consensus from all the umpires on the call. I can tell you in all honesty if we had to do this on all close calls that 99% of the time I would side with the call the umpire made because in order for me to reverse his call I would have to be 100% sure I was right and he was wrong and in most instances this is never the case.



Maybe I'm not explaining my point well enough.

Yes, the umpire was exactly where he should have been to make the call he expected. The obstruction was unexpected, and not the umpires fault he was out of position to make THAT call. Everyone who saw the play knows that. His back was turned to the action which he ruled on. Not his fault that he was there, he was where he was supposed to be. But the unexpected nature of that play most definitely left him OUT OF POSITION to make an informed call on the obstruction.

That is where the home plate ump or crew chief should have taken control. It's not the umpires fault that he was out of position. And he made an immediate call with the best of intentions.

STILL, he was not in a position to make a good call, and he blew it. This is what I'm talking about.

And I agree that managers would take advantage if every disputed play could have a conference demanded. Again, I must not be explaining myself correctly if you aren't getting that from what I'm saying.

This was different. It had nothing to do with judgment, it had to do with a circumstance that unexpectedly occurred which made the burden of making a correct call unrealistic for that ump.

Again, in my imaginary perfect world, the crew chief wouldn't have to worry about the third base ump's ego and the third base ump would have been open to the possibility that he was, through no fault of his own, out of position for THAT CALL.

You guys sure do stick together, don't you?

BCubb2003
05-25-2009, 11:00 PM
It sounds like the umpire saw the ball go by Rosales, saw Rosales' foot come out a little, saw Sizemore twist a little, and immediately thought "obstruction." By looking at the replay, we can see that Sizemore wasn't impeded at all. So there are two sides:

1. If you're going to make a call that reverses a play at the plate, and takes away a lead, no less, you'd better be certain of what you saw. Not something out of the corner of your eye.

2. You saw what you saw, you called it right away, and technically, in the strictest sense, it was obstruction.

George Anderson
05-25-2009, 11:17 PM
Maybe I'm not explaining my point well enough.

Yes, the umpire was exactly where he should have been to make the call he expected. The obstruction was unexpected, and not the umpires fault he was out of position to make THAT call. Everyone who saw the play knows that. His back was turned to the action which he ruled on. Not his fault that he was there, he was where he was supposed to be. But the unexpected nature of that play most definitely left him OUT OF POSITION to make an informed call on the obstruction.

That is where the home plate ump or crew chief should have taken control. It's not the umpires fault that he was out of position. And he made an immediate call with the best of intentions.

STILL, he was not in a position to make a good call, and he blew it. This is what I'm talking about.

And I agree that managers would take advantage if every disputed play could have a conference demanded. Again, I must not be explaining myself correctly if you aren't getting that from what I'm saying.

This was different. It had nothing to do with judgment, it had to do with a circumstance that unexpectedly occurred which made the burden of making a correct call unrealistic for that ump.

Again, in my imaginary perfect world, the crew chief wouldn't have to worry about the third base ump's ego and the third base ump would have been open to the possibility that he was, through no fault of his own, out of position for THAT CALL.

You guys sure do stick together, don't you?

I went back and paused the video where the obstruction occured I still dont see where the umpire had his back turned. His body was facing the play and his head did turn to follow the ball but his back certainly was not turned on the play. Again, he was in the right position.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090524&content_id=4923476&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Yea we stick together, you kinda create a bond with guys where you are hated by hundreds of fans. At the same time however we always wanna get the play right.

RFS62
05-25-2009, 11:30 PM
Yea we stick together, you kinda create a bond with guys where you are hated by hundreds of fans. At the same time however we always wanna get the play right.



I don't hate umps. I respect them and value their contribution to the game.

But I don't respect umps who think that their ego and avoiding embarrassment are more important than asking for help when a play like THIS ONE comes up.

Getting it right has to trump ego. If the ump isn't big enough to deal with that, he's in the wrong profession. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

And again, I know it would have been very tough for him to ask for help. And it would have trampled on the unwritten rule that seems to permeate throughout all levels of baseball that the crew chief is very hesitant to call a conference. But this was different.

By the way, do you think that the ump, who was, as you say, in position, made the correct call? Do you think he could have benefited from conferring with his fellow umps?

RFS62
05-25-2009, 11:40 PM
Getting it right is what counts.

George Anderson
05-25-2009, 11:45 PM
By the way, do you think that the ump, who was, as you say, in position, made the correct call? Do you think he could have benefited from conferring with his fellow umps?

From what I saw I think it was a bad call but I am watching the play from video and the video really didn't give me the view that the umpire saw.
So from what I saw (which again wasn't the best view) I would say it wasn't a good call.

One thing to keep in mind however is that on this particular play, had the runner been thrown out at the plate by 20 feet then it is very likely obstruction would not have been called. Just because the umpire points at a particular play and announces obstruction doesn't mean the runner automatically gets the next base. It will go back to the umpires judgement that had the third baseman not interfered with the runner would he of been safe or not. Since the play at the plate was a close one, the third base umpire must have felt IHO that had the third baseman not interfered with the runner then the runner would have been safe.

George Anderson
05-25-2009, 11:47 PM
Getting it right is what counts.

Now that is a horrible angle.

Earlier in this thread someone mentioned how umpiring has gotten so much better than in the past and no doubt they are right. I was watching today on MLB a replay of the 1968 season and the mechanics and positioning of the umpires making calls in 1968 was just bad.

RFS62
05-25-2009, 11:50 PM
From what I saw I think it was a bad call but I am watching the play from video and the video really didn't give me the view that the umpire saw.



Yep. To get the ump's view, you'd have to turn sideways to the TV and look quickly over your shoulder.

Then, in my perfect world, you'd have to ask your wife, the crew chief, if the obstruction really occurred.

:p:

RFS62
05-25-2009, 11:53 PM
BTW, I hope you're not taking any of this discussion personally. I really do respect everyone who works in and around baseball and value your contribution to the game we all love.

George Anderson
05-25-2009, 11:55 PM
BTW, I hope you're not taking any of this discussion personally. I really do respect everyone who works in and around baseball and value your contribution to the game we all love.

Not personal at all.

Keep in mind with this hobby I have developed very thick skin.;)

traderumor
05-25-2009, 11:56 PM
I think the acid test for this call is if anyone would have said a word if he had called nothing. I don't think Cleveland would have said a word.

Razor Shines
05-26-2009, 12:44 AM
I think the acid test for this call is if anyone would have said a word if he had called nothing. I don't think Cleveland would have said a word.

I don't know. Wedge had run out on to the field before Sizemore was ruled safe.

OnBaseMachine
05-26-2009, 12:45 AM
I don't hate umps. I respect them and value their contribution to the game.

But I don't respect umps who think that their ego and avoiding embarrassment are more important than asking for help when a play like THIS ONE comes up.


Great post. That's exactly how I feel.

OnBaseMachine
05-26-2009, 12:51 AM
I don't know. Wedge had run out on to the field before Sizemore was ruled safe.

According to Wedge, he was going to argue that Sizemore was safe at home. He didn't mention anything about interference and neither did Sizemore.

WVPacman
05-26-2009, 12:53 AM
According to Wedge, he was going to argue that Sizemore was safe at home.


I thought he was safe at home and two bad calls buy the umps on one play.Did anybody else think he was safe?

Razor Shines
05-26-2009, 02:40 AM
According to Wedge, he was going to argue that Sizemore was safe at home. He didn't mention anything about interference and neither did Sizemore.

Oh, I guess that makes sense. I've paid so much attention to the obstruction call that I forgot the play at the plate was so close.

redsmetz
05-26-2009, 09:45 AM
According to Wedge, he was going to argue that Sizemore was safe at home. He didn't mention anything about interference and neither did Sizemore.

You're right. I misread Wedge's comments in the Beacon Journal.

traderumor
05-26-2009, 10:53 AM
I thought he was safe at home and two bad calls buy the umps on one play.Did anybody else think he was safe?Yes, it looked like Hanigan didn't tag him, or at best tagged him on his hip after Sizemore's hand hit the plate.

I umped little league for 7 years during my teen years and messy plays often resulted in messy calls. Once a play gets messy, which that one did, people get out of position, or caught off guard, or think something happened that didn't. I think that is what happened to everyone here. It was just a screwed up play. And no one has questioned where in the world Bruce was such that Sizemore was standing on third when the relay was received by Hairston on a double down the line. Did he bobble or something? I never saw his part in the play.

OnBaseMachine
07-09-2009, 09:33 PM
Surprise, surprise, the horrible umpiring continues.

Last night, Laynce Nix was called out at first base when he was CLEARLY safe. I didn't need a replay to show me he was safe because it was that obvious. Instead of having a runner on first and nobody out, Nix was called out and the Reds went down quietly and then later lost 3-2.

Tonight, with one out and nobody on base in the 4th inning, Paul Janish made a great play and threw Ruiz out for what should have been the second out...except the umpire called him safe. Replays showed he was out. Yet another horrible call. Of course it cost the Reds two runs.

I'm sick of watching these horrible umpires.

westofyou
07-09-2009, 09:34 PM
Sorry, it's still tons better than it was before the Phillips expulsion

Big Klu
07-09-2009, 10:30 PM
Sorry, it's still tons better than it was before the Phillips expulsion

True. Richie Phillips was a feudal baron, playing politics with the umpires' CBA in one pocket and a well-worn copy of Machiavelli's Il Principe in the other.

Tony Cloninger
07-09-2009, 11:15 PM
So who is the power broker now that he is gone?

Beacuse if there is no power broker....there should be no reason why Questec is not in every stadium...if not an outright turn to an actual machine calling the strike zone as it should be.... and bad umpires like the one we saw in San Diego ..should be given a week off to re-learn their craft.

Brutus
07-09-2009, 11:57 PM
Surprise, surprise, the horrible umpiring continues.

Last night, Laynce Nix was called out at first base when he was CLEARLY safe. I didn't need a replay to show me he was safe because it was that obvious. Instead of having a runner on first and nobody out, Nix was called out and the Reds went down quietly and then later lost 3-2.

Tonight, with one out and nobody on base in the 4th inning, Paul Janish made a great play and threw Ruiz out for what should have been the second out...except the umpire called him safe. Replays showed he was out. Yet another horrible call. Of course it cost the Reds two runs.

I'm sick of watching these horrible umpires.

Thought you said you agree that you respect umpires? Seems like someone that constantly speaks of how horrible they are can't respect them too much.

I really don't get this. If umpires are graded out at 93%, how can anyone complain about that? Folks, most of you probably aren't successful 93 percent in your own professions. That's a good grade by any measure of life. If we're not saving lives, 93 percent is good. People here absolutely cherish sabermetric stats that correlate around 93 percent as that's considered extremely relevant. Yet, a group of individuals that are graded at 93 percent are horrible?

Umpires are human. They make mistakes. Sometimes they make really bad mistakes (that get amplified because they're replayed over and over and written about in columns and on message boards). But as a whole, they sure do get a lot more calls right than they get wrong. I wish I were 93 percent successful at everything I do in life. That's a benchmark I think everyone here, if they're honest with themselves, should wish to hit consistently with whatever it is they do in life.

I've umpired since I was 14 years old (I'm now in my late 20's). I've had the fortune of doing high school, legion and college (scrimmages, anyhow). I've been exposed to MLB umpiring camps, professional umpires and the like, and I respect the heck out of the job these people do under immense scrutiny. I get annoyed by the mistakes. But really, as a whole, the only thing I despise (like someone mentioned) is when an ego gets in the way. That's the only time I'll really get too bothered by an umpire. Otherwise, I think they do a much better job than most folks would do.

George Anderson
07-10-2009, 12:34 AM
Thought you said you agree that you respect umpires? Seems like someone that constantly speaks of how horrible they are can't respect them too much.

I really don't get this. If umpires are graded out at 93%, how can anyone complain about that? Folks, most of you probably aren't successful 93 percent in your own professions. That's a good grade by any measure of life. If we're not saving lives, 93 percent is good. People here absolutely cherish sabermetric stats that correlate around 93 percent as that's considered extremely relevant. Yet, a group of individuals that are graded at 93 percent are horrible?

Umpires are human. They make mistakes. Sometimes they make really bad mistakes (that get amplified because they're replayed over and over and written about in columns and on message boards). But as a whole, they sure do get a lot more calls right than they get wrong. I wish I were 93 percent successful at everything I do in life. That's a benchmark I think everyone here, if they're honest with themselves, should wish to hit consistently with whatever it is they do in life.

I've umpired since I was 14 years old (I'm now in my late 20's). I've had the fortune of doing high school, legion and college (scrimmages, anyhow). I've been exposed to MLB umpiring camps, professional umpires and the like, and I respect the heck out of the job these people do under immense scrutiny. I get annoyed by the mistakes. But really, as a whole, the only thing I despise (like someone mentioned) is when an ego gets in the way. That's the only time I'll really get too bothered by an umpire. Otherwise, I think they do a much better job than most folks would do.

Well said.

I have umpired for the past 13 years at levels very similar to yours and I find it comical to hear people sit back and criticize a profession when they have never done it themselves.

They think umpiring at that level or any level should be void of mistakes. I would agree with that mentality as soon as we see players and managers perform their jobs likewise with zero mistakes.

George Anderson
07-10-2009, 12:40 AM
So who is the power broker now that he is gone?

Beacuse if there is no power broker....there should be no reason why Questec is not in every stadium...if not an outright turn to an actual machine calling the strike zone as it should be.... .

If replacing human umpires with Questec is such a good idea why havent we seen it at least introduced at the lower levels of minor league baseball? Till we see it introduced in the minors and till it performs at a level equal or above how the human umpires perform, then its nothing but a pipe dream.



..

OnBaseMachine
07-10-2009, 02:16 AM
Just because the umpires as a whole graded out at 93% doesn't mean they are all successful. There are plenty of great umpires in baseball but there are a lot of awful ones too.

*BaseClogger*
07-10-2009, 02:17 AM
Just because the umpires as a whole graded out at 93% doesn't mean they are all successful. There are plenty of great umpires in baseball but there are a lot of awful ones too.

Their abilities can't range that widely. Maybe 90%-96%? Oh no!

bucksfan2
07-10-2009, 09:47 AM
Surprise, surprise, the horrible umpiring continues.

Last night, Laynce Nix was called out at first base when he was CLEARLY safe. I didn't need a replay to show me he was safe because it was that obvious. Instead of having a runner on first and nobody out, Nix was called out and the Reds went down quietly and then later lost 3-2.

Tonight, with one out and nobody on base in the 4th inning, Paul Janish made a great play and threw Ruiz out for what should have been the second out...except the umpire called him safe. Replays showed he was out. Yet another horrible call. Of course it cost the Reds two runs.

I'm sick of watching these horrible umpires.

Seriously? It was a bang bang play I give you that. I thought he was safe but often on those bang bang plays it goes either way. The replay made it definitive, but without the replay you really couldn't determine 100% safe.

What irritated me about the Nix call is the use of replay. If you are going to allow replay for the home run call then you should allow the replay for a close play in the game. Give the manager a chance to challenge one play per game. Don't go half way with replay. Either have it or not, but don't limit it to only one aspect of the game.

Chip R
07-10-2009, 11:04 AM
What irritated me about the Nix call is the use of replay. If you are going to allow replay for the home run call then you should allow the replay for a close play in the game. Give the manager a chance to challenge one play per game. Don't go half way with replay. Either have it or not, but don't limit it to only one aspect of the game.


It's a good thought but a challenge isn't ideal. Let's say last night Dusty challenged that call. Overturned or not he just used his bullet. What happens if later in the game there's a disputed call that goes against the Reds that may make the difference in the game?

bucksfan2
07-10-2009, 11:07 AM
It's a good thought but a challenge isn't ideal. Let's say last night Dusty challenged that call. Overturned or not he just used his bullet. What happens if later in the game there's a disputed call that goes against the Reds that may make the difference in the game?

You make the manager do his job. Its like he has one bullet and he better use it at the right time. I have no problem with giving a manager one challenge during the game. If he uses it early in the game that is his decision. What I do fear is the umpires won't be as accurate, see NFL, because there is a challenge at the manager's disposal.

Sea Ray
07-10-2009, 11:27 AM
Just because the umpires as a whole graded out at 93% doesn't mean they are all successful. There are plenty of great umpires in baseball but there are a lot of awful ones too.

I don't think 93% is anything to brag about. Let's face it, most of baseball's calls are not very close. Balls/strikes is an art, but most of the other calls in baseball are not too tough. I think it'd be much tougher to be an official in basketball or football.

My gripe with umps is why don't they consult more with others? I'll admit this is getting better but if a call like Nix is obvious, why won't another ump over rule it? That's what happens in football. The Don Denkinger call in the Cards/Royals World Series changed the winner. That shouldn't happen.

The worst ump I've ever seen was Eric Gregg

Brutus
07-10-2009, 11:43 AM
Just because the umpires as a whole graded out at 93% doesn't mean they are all successful. There are plenty of great umpires in baseball but there are a lot of awful ones too.

Like BaseClogger said, even the 'awful' ones would grade out probably 90 percent. That's still pretty good.

Look, these guys make mistakes. But to even get to the Major Leagues takes a lot of hard work. You are typically required to work at least 6-10 seasons of professional baseball in the minor leagues to even be eligible for the Major Leagues.

Then, you have to attend further camps & training to even sniff the majors. If you do get accepted, though QuesTec and new technology has changed how the review process is done, it used to be they would randomly go through games of yours and do a review of every umpire to grade performance. The umpires that don't pass up to standards quietly disappear into the night and you hear nothing more from them. The bad ones do get weeded out, but this is why you don't realize it.

I guarantee you that if these umpires were grading out far less than 93 percent, they are already out of this league. If you know someone's name and you constantly feel the need to criticize their strike zone or their work - well, then you are like most baseball fans on any level. The day I hear most people praise umpires will be the first. It's simply the nature of the beast that umpires are perceived as horrible.

These guys are subjected to intense scrutiny after paying plenty of dues. They're held to a pretty high standard. And despite having a high success rate for most any field, they are still talked about in this very capacity.

traderumor
07-10-2009, 11:51 AM
The worst ump I've ever seen was Eric Gregg

Gary Darling :barf:

Tony Cloninger
07-10-2009, 12:08 PM
OH....Gary Darling..... the biggest jerk of an umpire i have yet to see.

The power went to his head. Bob "Balk a Day" Davidson is another one.
Charlie Williams was terrible.....made that one ump in San Diego look like Doug Harvey behind the plate.


I realize it is not a perfect thing.....and the calls on the field are pretty much close to perfect as you can be.

Behind the plate is where the game is made.......and an umpire with a bad strike zone or an inconsistent zone....which goes here one inning....there the next. Calls are different depending on the player. Zone shrinks in the late innings or expands

This bothers me and needs to and can be fixed. You want games to go smoother.....less pitches for pitchers. Less griping? Find a way to have Robby the Robot make the ball and strike calls. No more wide zones......no more low stike calls.....more of a return to the high strike...strike at the letters.

You are right that if the technology existed it would have already started but i also think there would be a huge stink about it. It may take another 10-20 years for the new generation of people in charge of baseball to be open to it.

OnBaseMachine
07-10-2009, 12:10 PM
FWIW, I'm against instant replay except on home runs.

TheNext44
07-10-2009, 01:51 PM
Their abilities can't range that widely. Maybe 90%-96%? Oh no!

I actually think that the spread is much bigger, but that is because I think that umpires are much better than people give them credit for.

I think that most are right between 97-99% of the time, where they should be. These are the umps whose names we don't know, who we rarely hear about, because they are so good.

There are a few who get less than 90% right, sometimes much less, who throw off the curve and give the umps an overall 93%. But these umps don't last long, or get sent back to work on it and aren't back until they prove they are better.

One thing about umps that most people don't realize, is that they are judged every day by the leagues, chewed out when they screw up and sometimes sent back to the minors or taken out of the rotation.

But all of this is never reported and kept under the radar, for good reason. We think that an ump who made a bad call escapes without any repercussions, but that is the farthest thing from the truth. They feel repercussions for every bad call, we just never hear about them.

George Anderson
07-10-2009, 03:11 PM
But all of this is never reported and kept under the radar, for good reason. We think that an ump who made a bad call escapes without any repercussions, but that is the farthest thing from the truth. They feel repercussions for every bad call, we just never hear about them.

Umpires are always being evaluated by their superiors and you are correct, those evaluations are kept private as well they should be. Giving the public or teams and coaches specific info regarding a negative about a certain umpires job performance just wouldn't be a good thing.

Sea Ray
07-10-2009, 03:13 PM
One thing about umps that most people don't realize, is that they are judged every day by the leagues, chewed out when they screw up and sometimes sent back to the minors or taken out of the rotation.

But all of this is never reported and kept under the radar, for good reason. We think that an ump who made a bad call escapes without any repercussions, but that is the farthest thing from the truth. They feel repercussions for every bad call, we just never hear about them.

I hope you're right, 'cause that's the way it should be. In the good ol' days before the umps union was busted, there was not much of a review process. It was kind of like trying to get a tenured teacher fired.

Gary Darling had a horrible attitude to go along with his umpiring skills. Eric Gregg had a jolly personality that most people in the game enjoyed, unfortunately I think that led them to keeping him around longer than they should.

How 'bout Dave Pallone?

The best umpire I ever saw was Doug Harvey

Sea Ray
07-10-2009, 03:15 PM
I also would like to see stadiums show controversial calls on the JumboTron. They do this in the NFL, but MLB is too wimpy to go there...

*BaseClogger*
07-10-2009, 03:23 PM
I also would like to see stadiums show controversial calls on the JumboTron. They do this in the NFL, but MLB is too wimpy to go there...

I'd argue that MLB protects it's officials while the NFL treats them like crap...

*BaseClogger*
07-10-2009, 03:24 PM
I don't think 93% is anything to brag about. Let's face it, most of baseball's calls are not very close. Balls/strikes is an art, but most of the other calls in baseball are not too tough. I think it'd be much tougher to be an official in basketball or football.

I hope you are speaking from experience...

George Anderson
07-10-2009, 03:32 PM
I hope you're right, 'cause that's the way it should be. In the good ol' days before the umps union was busted, there was not much of a review process. It was kind of like trying to get a tenured teacher fired.

Gary Darling had a horrible attitude to go along with his umpiring skills. Eric Gregg had a jolly personality that most people in the game enjoyed, unfortunately I think that led them to keeping him around longer than they should.

How 'bout Dave Pallone?

The best umpire I ever saw was Doug Harvey

The umpires union being busted was a very positive thing.

I also think in 99' when MLB did not rehire Gregg and other umpires who resigned over a labor dispute was another positive. To many guys of that era had a union mentality that I can be as bad as I want and I will always have a job.

You also see MLB demanding now that the umpires keep better tabs on their weight. Before 99' their were way to many umpires that were incredibly fat.

Tim McClelland is probally my favorite. Guys like Brian Runge, Hunter Wendelstedt and CB Bucknor just are not very good.

OnBaseMachine
07-10-2009, 03:40 PM
Tim McClelland is probally my favorite. Guys like Brian Runge, Hunter Wendelstedt and CB Bucknor just are not very good.

I agree with that. I like McClelland a lot. Another favorite of mine is Adrian Johnson, a second year umpire, IIRC. He's very good from what I've seen.

I'd add Rob Drake to the list of bad umpires, along with the group we just saw in Philly.

As I've said before, I respect most of the umpires. Most of them do a good job but there are quite a few bad ones out there too.

George Anderson
07-10-2009, 03:51 PM
I agree with that. I like McClelland a lot. Another favorite of mine is Adrian Johnson, a second year umpire, IIRC. He's very good from what I've seen.

I'd add Rob Drake to the list of bad umpires, along with the group we just saw in Philly.

As I've said before, I respect most of the umpires. Most of them do a good job but there are quite a few bad ones out there too.

Yea I almost added Rob Drake to my list but I think he is just a temporary fill in right now so I don't put in the same boat as Bucknor, Wendelstedt and Runge who have been around for years and still pretty much suck.

I think what people don't realize is that just like players it takes many years once an umpire arrives in MLB and is considered a top notch umpire. For the most part you don't see that many players arrive on the scene and are right away top notch MLB players.

The bottom line is whether you are a player or an umpire, it takes time to be good !!

traderumor
07-10-2009, 04:36 PM
Oh, Tim McClelland. Completely disagree, both in style and substance. "Hey, everybody, look at me, how cool I am with my delayed hand signals." And his strike zone is small and inconsistent.

RedsManRick
07-10-2009, 04:49 PM
Umpires are the absolute best at what they do, particularly in regards to balls and strikes. It's a difficult job and the umpires are highly trained. Unfortunately, there are limits to a human's ability to judge the path of a 3" wide object traveling through a changing, imaginary three-dimensional zone at 90+ mph.

There are parts of the job in which there are definitive right and wrong calls where cameras can do a better job than a person. We should let them. Let the ump stay back there, but have the cameras make the call and send the signal to the ump. Heck, do it just on a trial basis at first without actually relying on it to build a level of comfort -- and as a training device.

But purposefully injecting human error which influences the game and potentially affects the outcome is just not a good idea.

Sea Ray
07-10-2009, 06:24 PM
I'd argue that MLB protects it's officials while the NFL treats them like crap...

So you don't think they should put close calls on the Jumbotron?

Why?

RFS62
07-10-2009, 07:09 PM
Umpires are the absolute best at what they do, particularly in regards to balls and strikes. It's a difficult job and the umpires are highly trained. Unfortunately, there are limits to a human's ability to judge the path of a 3" wide object traveling through a changing, imaginary three-dimensional zone at 90+ mph.

There are parts of the job in which there are definitive right and wrong calls where cameras can do a better job than a person. We should let them. Let the ump stay back there, but have the cameras make the call and send the signal to the ump. Heck, do it just on a trial basis at first without actually relying on it to build a level of comfort -- and as a training device.

But purposefully injecting human error which influences the game and potentially affects the outcome is just not a good idea.



Couldn't agree more. It doesn't mean you're being disrespectful of umpires when you point out that even the best of them make mistakes. The guys in the bigs are the best of the best, with a few notable exceptions already mentioned above.

But if you have a way to get the calls closer to 100% correct on balls and strikes and you don't use it because you're afraid of disrespecting the umps, that's just crazy.

The bottom line is get it right. Period.

*BaseClogger*
07-10-2009, 07:46 PM
So you don't think they should put close calls on the Jumbotron?

Why?

No. It is unfair to the umpires, who will never receive praise but can be put into a dangerous situation by a replay on the scoreboard.

It's the exact same reason why the Big Ten doesn't show replays in its stadiums when a play is being reviewed...

Tony Cloninger
07-10-2009, 10:35 PM
Tim "Slow Hand" McClelland? How is he good? He might not be terrible in the other 3....which i agree. CB is awful to me.

Tim though is very average and is overrated.

Give these guys more help if they need it...that is all i say.

Sea Ray
07-10-2009, 11:31 PM
No. It is unfair to the umpires, who will never receive praise but can be put into a dangerous situation by a replay on the scoreboard.

It's the exact same reason why the Big Ten doesn't show replays in its stadiums when a play is being reviewed...

There's nothing unfair about showing baseball on the scoreboard.

It seems to me it'd be much more dangerous in the NFL where the crowd is more rowdy and dare I say, more drunk. I haven't noticed any NFL officials getting assaulted after games

reds44
07-10-2009, 11:37 PM
There's nothing unfair about showing baseball on the scoreboard.

It seems to me it'd be much more dangerous in the NFL where the crowd is more rowdy and dare I say, more drunk. I haven't noticed any NFL officials getting assaulted after games
Ever seen the Browns game from a few years back where they were getting pelted with beer bottles?

Sea Ray
07-11-2009, 12:03 AM
Ever seen the Browns game from a few years back where they were getting pelted with beer bottles?


Browns fans throw all kinds of stuff. That says more about those fans than it does any policy the NFL has. I have not read that safety of its officials is such thatr they're considering changing its replay policy at the stadiums

George Anderson
07-11-2009, 12:28 AM
Tim "Slow Hand" McClelland? How is he good? He might not be terrible in the other 3....which i agree. CB is awful to me.

Tim though is very average and is overrated.

Give these guys more help if they need it...that is all i say.

Why does it matter if McClelland is slow making a call??

Is the umpire taking another 2-3 seconds to make a call really going to make a difference in the outcome??


It's more important as an umpire to take your time, review the play in your head and make the call as opposed to going on your first instinct in the matter of a split second.

Trust me, till the umpire makes the call no one is going anywhere, so take your time and do it right!!!

OnBaseMachine
07-26-2009, 05:59 PM
I'm nearly speechless after that horrible call at home plate in the Reds-Cubs game. It's amazing that a MLB umpire could miss that call. Not only was EdE easily safe, he was never tagged. That's almost as bad as the missed call at home plate in the A's-Twins game last week.

flyer85
07-26-2009, 06:01 PM
never even tagged him

RedsManRick
07-26-2009, 06:05 PM
It's been over 100 years. Give umpires better technology to help them do their jobs. There is no benefit to the game to have obvious mistakes made that could easily be prevented.

Make it 5 man ump crews and put a guy in a booth with full replay technology. Heck, make him a stringer for the MLB so he has to chart pitches and get comfortable with that technology too. Give the guy at the plate an earpiece and a direct line to the booth. This isn't that hard to figure out.

cincrazy
07-26-2009, 06:51 PM
I'm nearly speechless after that horrible call at home plate in the Reds-Cubs game. It's amazing that a MLB umpire could miss that call. Not only was EdE easily safe, he was never tagged. That's almost as bad as the missed call at home plate in the A's-Twins game last week.

Agreed. One of the few times that the play was SO COMPLETELY OBVIOUS watching it live, that I jumped out of my seat in disgust after seeing the ump make the out call. I could care less about the outcome of any game the rest of this season. I hope they lose them all and better their draft position at this point. But that call was disgusting and one of the worst calls I've seen.

TheNext44
07-26-2009, 06:57 PM
I'm nearly speechless after that horrible call at home plate in the Reds-Cubs game. It's amazing that a MLB umpire could miss that call. Not only was EdE easily safe, he was never tagged. That's almost as bad as the missed call at home plate in the A's-Twins game last week.

What is baffling is that Diaz was in perfect position to make that call, and he had plenty of time to get there and see everything. It was all right in front of him.

cincrazy
07-26-2009, 07:32 PM
What is baffling is that Diaz was in perfect position to make that call, and he had plenty of time to get there and see everything. It was all right in front of him.

Exactly. But I would like to thank Diaz for making me show emotion towards a play on the baseball field during a Reds game for the first time since approximately May.

HokieRed
07-26-2009, 08:33 PM
I thought the inside pitch from Masset that he called Bradley out on was about as bad as the obviously missed home plate play.

traderumor
07-26-2009, 09:31 PM
Why does it matter if McClelland is slow making a call??

Is the umpire taking another 2-3 seconds to make a call really going to make a difference in the outcome??


It's more important as an umpire to take your time, review the play in your head and make the call as opposed to going on your first instinct in the matter of a split second.

Trust me, till the umpire makes the call no one is going anywhere, so take your time and do it right!!!It isn't him taking extra time to make the call, he makes the verbal call immediately for those on the field, but pauses for his "Cool Hand Luke" hand signal, which is him begging for attention.

cumberlandreds
07-27-2009, 09:07 AM
What is baffling is that Diaz was in perfect position to make that call, and he had plenty of time to get there and see everything. It was all right in front of him.

I have no idea what he was looking at either. This was the perfect case for replay. This was a no brainer override to the call on the field. It would taken five minutes, max, to overturn it and everyone would have been happy. MLB needs to get their head out of the sand and use replay in instances like this.

bucksfan2
07-27-2009, 09:32 AM
It's been over 100 years. Give umpires better technology to help them do their jobs. There is no benefit to the game to have obvious mistakes made that could easily be prevented.

Make it 5 man ump crews and put a guy in a booth with full replay technology. Heck, make him a stringer for the MLB so he has to chart pitches and get comfortable with that technology too. Give the guy at the plate an earpiece and a direct line to the booth. This isn't that hard to figure out.

If you are going to have replay, you need to make sure that all the available calls are right. I have no problem with strike zone variances. It an ump has a consistently high zone or a consistently low zone pitchers and hitters need to get used to that during a game. A play at home plate is just as important as a home run ball that is debatable. Those plays need to be reviewed in order to correct an error like yesterday. I do wonder how many bang bang plays are clear cut enough to reverse a decision.

I was watching the game yesterday and thinking to myself bad teams find a way to lose and good teams find a way to win. Granted the umps played a part into the Reds losses but they are just finding a way to lose games. Dusty pinch hits Hariston, who goes up and wildly swings at a first pitch ball when the previous batter was walked on 5 pitches. His fly ball isn't deep enough and Edwin slides through the catcher. I wonder if the call would have been reversed had he hook slid or slid towards the outside corner. Then after having their rally cut sort because of a bad call they go out and give up another couple of runs.

OnBaseMachine
07-27-2009, 08:31 PM
LOL. Votto gets rung up on a horrible call and then the ump tosses him out. What a pathetic call. Seriously, this is getting ridiculous.

dougdirt
07-27-2009, 08:32 PM
LOL. Votto gets rung up on a horrible call and then the ump tosses him out. What a pathetic call. Seriously, this is getting ridiculous.

On replay it was closer than I thought.... but you have to toss him after dropping 37 F bombs toward the ump.

OnBaseMachine
07-27-2009, 08:32 PM
Too bad umps can't be tossed for making horrible calls.

Tony Cloninger
07-27-2009, 08:40 PM
Jerry Crawford is one of those old time arrogant umps.....who you dare not question.
Not upset Votto got tossed beacuse i think he is feeling more and more like these calls are blatantly going against him.

Diaz needs to be reprimanded for not knowing where to position himself.

reds44
07-27-2009, 09:00 PM
I really didn't think that call was all that bad, it was one of those that could go either way.

And Votto deserved to be tossed.

RFS62
07-27-2009, 09:08 PM
I really didn't think that call was all that bad, it was one of those that could go either way.

And Votto deserved to be tossed.


Yep

HeatherC1212
07-27-2009, 09:36 PM
On replay it was closer than I thought.... but you have to toss him after dropping 37 F bombs toward the ump.

I think he got thrown out for throwing his helmet and then his bat. He started with the language after he was all ready tossed from the game. I guess he decided he was going to get his money's worth, LOL :laugh:

Sea Ray
07-27-2009, 11:09 PM
I thought the Votto call was pretty bad but I also think they're calling way too many check swing strikes these days. Watch a game from the 70s sometime and you'll see a much different interpretation of the check swing strike. Guys wouldn't get rung up unless they pointed the bat towards the pitcher in their follow through

traderumor
07-27-2009, 11:14 PM
I really didn't think that call was all that bad, it was one of those that could go either way.

And Votto deserved to be tossed.So did Crawford. Same behavior, he gets to stay in the game ;)

George Anderson
07-27-2009, 11:41 PM
I saw the checked swing and it was a good call.

I also saw the MLB video where Votto got tossed against the Mets a few weeks back and again Votto was wrong on the call and wrong in how he handled it.

Bottom line is Mr. Votto is 25 years old but he has alot of growing up to do.

OnBaseMachine
07-27-2009, 11:43 PM
I thought it was a bad call. And the umpire didn't handle it any better. I don't blame Votto at all for being upset.

George Anderson
07-27-2009, 11:49 PM
I thought it was a bad call. And the umpire didn't handle it any better. I don't blame Votto at all for being upset.

Did you watch the video where it showed the swing from the third base side angle?? It is a no brainer, he went. Even if he didn't go Votto needs to learn that screaming at umpires across the field is a no no and very stupid in that it got him run.

Between this incident and the Mets incident, Votto is developing a reputation around the league with the umpires that is only going to hurt him in the long run.

Trust me :)

OnBaseMachine
07-27-2009, 11:51 PM
Yeah I saw that replay and I still didn't think he went around. The umpire had no right to walk 10 feet down the line, IMO. If he stays put like he should have then Votto would've most likely walked away.

George Anderson
07-27-2009, 11:54 PM
Yeah I saw that replay and I still didn't think he went around. The umpire had no right to walk 10 feet down the line, IMO. If he stays put like he should have then Votto would've most likely walked away.

Watch it again, Votto started chirping at Crawford immediately after he rung him up. Crawford knowing Votto's reputation is going to have him on a very short leash. Besides you flat out take zero guff on balls and strikes from players, especially ones who are screaming across the field at you.

OnBaseMachine
07-28-2009, 12:08 AM
I'm watching Giants-Pirates highlights on MLB Network and it appears as if the umps robbed the Pirates. The RFer bobbled a flyball, dropped it, kicked it into the air and the second baseman caught it before it hit the ground. He clearly caught it but the umps ruled it hit the ground. Bad, bad call and it ended up costing the Pirates a run.

reds44
07-28-2009, 12:09 AM
Watch it again, Votto started chirping at Crawford immediately after he rung him up. Crawford knowing Votto's reputation is going to have him on a very short leash. Besides you flat out take zero guff on balls and strikes from players, especially ones who are screaming across the field at you.
I really don't think getting tossed from one game gives you a reputation.

Homer Bailey
07-28-2009, 12:10 AM
Lincecum with 8 K's thru 4 in that game.

George Anderson
07-28-2009, 12:16 AM
I really don't think getting tossed from one game gives you a reputation.

Well that may be so, but Votto in the last few weeks has sure began developing a reputation.

cincrazy
07-28-2009, 12:23 AM
I was at the game live. From my vantage point, and I could be wrong, but I thought the umpire instigated it. I wasn't close enough to the field to hear what was said, but things didn't really take off until the ump went out of his way to make a scene. He started walking towards Votto while pointing and that's when Votto blew up completely. If the ump would have just stood there and shut his mouth I highly doubt it ever escalates.

And let me tell you what, when you're at a Reds game nowadays and Votto gets removed in the first inning, you feel one hell of an urge to get up and just leave. Boring, boring, boring baseball. We've lost this whole decade. Now we're losing, and we're boring.

westofyou
07-28-2009, 12:24 AM
Well that may be so, but Votto in the last few weeks has sure began developing a reputation.

My thoughts earlier... and preface this with one fact I didn't see the game, I heard about it. There are not many umps in the game, they know who was a hothead, they know who is a 1st year player, a or a journeyman. They have a code, they are not above or below holding a grudge.

Any old player will tell you. "Get your words in, but don ever show up the umpire."

George Anderson
07-28-2009, 12:26 AM
I was at the game live. From my vantage point, and I could be wrong, but I thought the umpire instigated it. .

Watch the video.

The very second Crawford rung him up Votto threw his arms in the air.

That is enough right there to get you dumped.

cincrazy
07-28-2009, 12:30 AM
Watch the video.

The very second Crawford rung him up Votto threw his arms in the air.

That is enough right there to get you dumped.

Well I missed that part. If that's the case, maybe he deserved to be thrown out.

Actually, when he was tossed I immediately jumped to my feet and screamed "GIVE ME MY FIVE DOLLARS BACK!" I don't care if Joey broke his bat and sharpened the end of it to use it as a weapon and stab 3 people on the field, you do NOT throw him out of that game and subject me to the rest of that. I felt like I was at a Long Island Ducks-Lancaster Barnstormers gave.

George Anderson
07-28-2009, 12:36 AM
Any old player will tell you. "Get your words in, but don ever show up the umpire."

Bingo

If you let one player treat you like dirt then trust me the rest of the players will be standing in line to do the same thing. Bottom line is act mature and make a respectful comment about the call.

The umpire 99.9% of the time will take time after the game to get his partners opinion on the call or take a look at the call on video. He may come to conclusion he blew it and try to figure out a way not to blow the call again. But like players who make errors sometimes mistakes happen and there isn't alot you can do about it. Like players, no umpire who has ever taken the field has ever been perfect nor will they ever be.

Unfortunately to many people are quick to forgive a shortstop who boots a ground ball but an umpire that blows a call should either be fired or replaced with a robot.

traderumor
07-28-2009, 12:36 AM
Watch it again, Votto started chirping at Crawford immediately after he rung him up. Crawford knowing Votto's reputation is going to have him on a very short leash. Besides you flat out take zero guff on balls and strikes from players, especially ones who are screaming across the field at you.Your opinions are too biased as an umpire yourself. It is very transparent in these discussions.

George Anderson
07-28-2009, 12:38 AM
Your opinions are too biased as an umpire yourself. It is very transparent in these discussions.

Could you give an example please?

traderumor
07-28-2009, 12:40 AM
Could you give an example please?The discussion on Votto.

reds44
07-28-2009, 12:51 AM
Reading Votto's lips on the replay is pretty entertaining.

George Anderson
07-28-2009, 12:55 AM
Reading Votto's lips on the replay is pretty entertaining.

Yea I thought the same thing.

I am pretty sure Votto told Crawford he was "horse manure" in a more potty mouthed way.

BCubb2003
07-28-2009, 12:56 AM
Yea I thought the same thing.

I am pretty sure Votto told Crawford he was "horse manure" in a more potty mouthed way.

Maybe he should have said it in Canadian.

acredsfan
07-28-2009, 01:27 AM
Watch the video.

The very second Crawford rung him up Votto threw his arms in the air.

That is enough right there to get you dumped.Honestly the whole posture of the umpire showed he was looking for a fight to me. He started down the line way to fast. Maybe he threw his arms up, but that shouldn't be enough to get tossed. Foul language is a good reason to be thrown out, but it just looked like he was saying he disagreed before the ump started marching down the line. The ump should have stood still then there would have been no controversy. However I agree with umpires reacting the way he did so quickly. Let the batter let out his frustrations if you know it's a borderline call, then if he elevates it to an unnecessary lever you toss him. However we will never know exactly what Votto said at what time, so you can't discredit the umpire completely.

Overall I'd say it seems like emotions got the best of both which shouldn't happen. I do like that losing does affect at least one player on the team.

CTA513
07-28-2009, 01:28 AM
Maybe he should have said it in Canadian.

:thumbup:

*BaseClogger*
07-28-2009, 01:44 AM
I think most people just resent umpires...

George Anderson
07-28-2009, 01:45 AM
Honestly the whole posture of the umpire showed he was looking for a fight to me. He started down the line way to fast. Maybe he threw his arms up, but that shouldn't be enough to get tossed. Foul language is a good reason to be thrown out, but it just looked like he was saying he disagreed before the ump started marching down the line. The ump should have stood still then there would have been no controversy. However I agree with umpires reacting the way he did so quickly. Let the batter let out his frustrations if you know it's a borderline call, then if he elevates it to an unnecessary lever you toss him. However we will never know exactly what Votto said at what time, so you can't discredit the umpire completely.

Overall I'd say it seems like emotions got the best of both which shouldn't happen. I do like that losing does affect at least one player on the team.

I was troubled seeing Crawford walk down the line towards a player because the proper way to handle the situation is to just stand there and not walk towards the player. You come across as a bit of an instigator when you do. It is possible that Crawford was walking towards Votto to better hear what he was saying over the crowd noise but we really don't know. Either way, Crawford should have not walked towards Votto

However throwing your arms up is grounds for ejection and besides we can only guess but even if Crawford didn't walk towards the play, Votto was steamed and was not gonna just throw his arms up and walk away. Look at how Votto handled the Mets situation a few weeks ago. It was similar situation and he paid for it because he wouldn't just shut his mouth and walk away.

Bottom line is Votto just needs to wise up and learn how to handle these situations better.

OnBaseMachine
07-28-2009, 01:50 AM
I think most people just resent umpires...

You're probably talking about me and no, I don't resent umpires. I like most of them. It's the ones that instigate arguments and miss obvious calls that annoy me.

acredsfan
07-28-2009, 01:52 AM
I was troubled seeing Crawford walk down the line towards a player because the proper way to handle the situation is to just stand there and not walk towards the player. You come across as a bit of an instigator when you do. It is possible that Crawford was walking towards Votto to better hear what he was saying over the crowd noise but we really don't know. Either way, Crawford should have not walked towards Votto

However throwing your arms up is grounds for ejection and besides we can only guess but even if Crawford didn't walk towards the play, Votto was steamed and was not gonna just throw his arms up and walk away. Look at how Votto handled the Mets situation a few weeks ago. It was similar situation and he paid for it because he wouldn't just shut his mouth and walk away.

Bottom line is Votto just needs to wise up and learn how to handle these situations better.Like I said neither one acted wisely. Both men should have handled it differently, but at the end of the day you have to respect the umpire because they have the final say and there's nothing you can do about it. I think it's Joey's desire to win that causes these issues, so I'd hate to see him temper that to keep that from happening again, however, he has to find other ways to vent his frustration.

We as fans are quick to react to this negatively because he is our star player, and without him the Reds have greatly reduced their chances of winning. I don't like that umpires are not held accountable publicly as players are. I do agree that umpires get the call right 99% of the time though.

*BaseClogger*
07-28-2009, 02:04 AM
You're probably talking about me and no, I don't resent umpires. I like most of them. It's the ones that instagate arguments and miss obvious calls that annoy me.

Not you specifically, buddy, but you are well respresented in this thread. :)

I just think people are trained as baseball players to treat umpires with no respect...

George Anderson
07-28-2009, 02:21 AM
I just think people are trained as baseball players to treat umpires with no respect...

I think alot of the problem stems back to youth leagues where some umpires do allow players, coaches and fans to abuse them.


I umpire alot of travel ball where teams come in from all over the country to play and the teams that I umpire cannot believe that our umpire association in Indianapolis will not allow them to abuse us. To many amateur or semi pro umpires in other states don't have the guts to stand up to players or coaches and stop their idiotic behavior. Part of the problem is poor training or lack of training but fortunately for our association we are trained by many former professional umpires to do things as close as possible to the way MLB umpires do it.



BTW Cincinnati travel teams are hands down a pain in the ass. I have probally ejected more coaches or kids from Cincinnati or Ohio teams than any other city or state around.

acredsfan
07-28-2009, 02:31 AM
I think alot of the problem stems back to youth leagues where some umpires do allow players, coaches and fans to abuse them.


I umpire alot of travel ball where teams come in from all over the country to play and the teams that I umpire cannot believe that our umpire association in Indianapolis will not allow them to abuse us. To many amateur or semi pro umpires in other states don't have the guts to stand up to players or coaches and stop their idiotic behavior. Part of the problem is poor training or lack of training but fortunately for our association we are trained by many former professional umpires to do things as close as possible to the way MLB umpires do it.



BTW Cincinnati travel teams are hands down a pain in the ass. I have probally ejected more coaches or kids from Cincinnati or Ohio teams than any other city or state around.My nephew played in a league this summer and I'm not surprised the Cincinnati teams are that way. There are some pretty intense coaches and parents and he's only 6. They had multiple fights on the field between fans, coaches, and umpires. The sad thing is that most of the time the umpires were high school kids who were unable to control the situations because they weren't respected.

George Anderson
07-28-2009, 02:34 AM
My nephew played in a league this summer and I'm not surprised the Cincinnati teams are that way. There are some pretty intense coaches and parents and he's only 6. They had multiple fights on the field between fans, coaches, and umpires. The sad thing is that most of the time the umpires were high school kids who were unable to control the situations because they weren't respected.

Thats the problem. They have kids umpiring who cannot control situations. Then the teams come to Indy and want to act the exact same way that they did back home and can't understand why they were tossed.

I'm not saying all Cincy travel teams are out of control but more often than not when I walk on a field and I find out one of teams is from Cincy, there will be problems.

Now on the other hand if a team is from Kentucky, you never hear a peep from them.

TheNext44
07-28-2009, 02:59 AM
Did you watch the video where it showed the swing from the third base side angle?? It is a no brainer, he went. Even if he didn't go Votto needs to learn that screaming at umpires across the field is a no no and very stupid in that it got him run.

Between this incident and the Mets incident, Votto is developing a reputation around the league with the umpires that is only going to hurt him in the long run.

Trust me :)

I agree with you on everything that Votto deserved to get tossed, but that Crawford was wrong to walk toward him, but I would like to get a clarification from you on why you thought it was a no brainer, and that he clearly swung.

When I was trained as an ump I was taught to look for two things on a checked swing.

1) Did the batter break his wrists? This is the most important thing to look for, and the toughest, since batters tend to roll or flick their wrists, just a bit on every check swing. The momentum of the bat will cause that. But I was told to see if the batter's back thumb ever was on top of his swing. If you saw that, it was a swing.

2) Did the bat head go all the way through the plate. That's easy to tell, but sometimes a batter can hold his wrists back, but the bat head still crosses over the entire plate.

Now, from the third base angle, it looked like neither happened. The bat head clearly did not go through the plate. Votto flicked it a bit, but it stopped well before it reached the front of the plate. And his wrists flicked for a millisecond, but never broke. I never saw his left thumb on top of his swing.

I am not doubting you, as I know that I have much less experience than you, and I was trained a long time ago, which is why I am asking you for a clarification. What are you trained to look for on a checked swing?

Thanks in advance. :)

Big Klu
07-28-2009, 04:01 AM
Maybe he should have said it in Canadian.

So he should have called Crawford a "hoser"? :D

RFS62
07-28-2009, 07:32 AM
Maybe he should have said it in Canadian.



That's awesome.

"#%&%#!*, eh"

traderumor
07-28-2009, 08:43 AM
The bigger concern at this point is not the umps, but Joey's now very short fuse. He has become very quick to demonstratively question strike calls since he came back to the point where Dusty needs to say "dude, just play the game and let the umpires do their job, even if they miss one now and then."

bucksfan2
07-28-2009, 10:03 AM
Yeah I saw that replay and I still didn't think he went around. The umpire had no right to walk 10 feet down the line, IMO. If he stays put like he should have then Votto would've most likely walked away.

An umpire has absolutely no business leaving their position in order to engage in conversation with a player or manager. Whether or not he feels wronged by a player/coaches reaction, he is being paid very well to be an impartial bystander, calling the game. The second he leaves his position and engages in a conversation he no longer is an impartial bystander.

redsmetz
07-28-2009, 10:11 AM
An umpire has absolutely no business leaving their position in order to engage in conversation with a player or manager. Whether or not he feels wronged by a player/coaches reaction, he is being paid very well to be an impartial bystander, calling the game. The second he leaves his position and engages in a conversation he no longer is an impartial bystander.

It's interesting because at the game, from my viewpoint along the 1st base line, I thought he had gone around. That said, I thought the ump should have made his call and, as someone else said, turned around and walked out the left field line. Votto would have moved back to the dugout very quickly.

I don't buy that Votto's getting a rep. This is just the second time this has happened. The first time, I thought it was so uncharacteristic of JV that no one got out there to "protect" him. This time, the ump had a very quick trigger (it seems many do anymore). Thinking back to the game's origins, it's clear both were ungentlemanly.

RANDY IN INDY
07-28-2009, 10:23 AM
I respect, good umpires. My son plays travel baseball and I coach his team. We get our share of bad ones. Always out of position. Always above being questioned or getting help. Always quick to pull the trigger and throw someone out. In 30 years of coaching, I have never been thrown out of a baseball game. I have came very close on occasion. I try to always be respectful and not get animated. I also go out of my way to compliment the guys that do a great job. These are the guys that are not in it for a buck. They just love to be on the field and a part of the game. They work hard at being in position and at being fair. They listen to your questions and objections. The really good ones will tell you, "I was in position to make the call and I called it the way that I saw it." At that point, I always ask, "Could you have missed it?" The good ones will say, "Yes, coach, but I don't think that I did," and that is always good enough for me. Tough job. Some guys are cut out for it. Some should never be allowed to do it, because of their personality. Same could be said about youth baseball coaches.

cumberlandreds
07-28-2009, 10:24 AM
The bigger concern at this point is not the umps, but Joey's now very short fuse. He has become very quick to demonstratively question strike calls since he came back to the point where Dusty needs to say "dude, just play the game and let the umpires do their job, even if they miss one now and then."

I think that's concerning too. I wonder if he using it as some release for his other problems? But he can't be getting thrown out a lot since he's easily the Reds best hitter/player.

George Anderson
07-28-2009, 10:55 AM
I agree with you on everything that Votto deserved to get tossed, but that Crawford was wrong to walk toward him, but I would like to get a clarification from you on why you thought it was a no brainer, and that he clearly swung.

When I was trained as an ump I was taught to look for two things on a checked swing.

1) Did the batter break his wrists? This is the most important thing to look for, and the toughest, since batters tend to roll or flick their wrists, just a bit on every check swing. The momentum of the bat will cause that. But I was told to see if the batter's back thumb ever was on top of his swing. If you saw that, it was a swing.

2) Did the bat head go all the way through the plate. That's easy to tell, but sometimes a batter can hold his wrists back, but the bat head still crosses over the entire plate.

Now, from the third base angle, it looked like neither happened. The bat head clearly did not go through the plate. Votto flicked it a bit, but it stopped well before it reached the front of the plate. And his wrists flicked for a millisecond, but never broke. I never saw his left thumb on top of his swing.

I am not doubting you, as I know that I have much less experience than you, and I was trained a long time ago, which is why I am asking you for a clarification. What are you trained to look for on a checked swing?

Thanks in advance. :)

I went back and watched the video and paused it and IMO Votto's bat did cross the plate. At the very least it was very close and more often than not you know being an umpire we are gonna get an out.

How I have been taught to make that call is really very simple. If he looked like he offered at the pitch then ring him up. It's really that simple.

traderumor
07-28-2009, 11:02 AM
A check swing is probably the highest degree of judgment call in the game next to the balk, and because of that, you will never see it called consistently, sort of like traveling in basketball.

RANDY IN INDY
07-28-2009, 11:40 AM
A check swing is probably the highest degree of judgment call in the game next to the balk, and because of that, you will never see it called consistently, sort of like traveling in basketball.

Do they actually call that any more? I was wondering if it was still a rule.:lol:

Sea Ray
07-28-2009, 12:38 PM
I went back and watched the video and paused it and IMO Votto's bat did cross the plate.


It has to cross the entire plate. Did it look like it did that?

George Anderson
07-28-2009, 12:39 PM
It has to cross the entire plate. Did it look like it did that?

Who said it has to cross the entire plate?

Roy Tucker
07-28-2009, 12:53 PM
I also worry some about Votto popping off. Not only from the reputation standpoint, but also from his recent depression/anxiety woes. Don't like to see him lose control.

On checked swings, I watched a replay of game 7 of the '65 Dodgers/Twins WS a few weeks back. I couldn't believe the checked swings that didn't get called. Checked swings are called much more tightly now.

nate
07-28-2009, 01:06 PM
It has to cross the entire plate. Did it look like it did that?

I always thought the head of the bat had to cross the baseline. Not certain on that though.

To me, the head of the bat did cross the baseline.

IslandRed
07-28-2009, 01:14 PM
It has to cross the entire plate. Did it look like it did that?


Who said it has to cross the entire plate?

It's amazing to me that the rule book does not define a checked swing. It is totally up to the umpire's judgment as to whether the batter swung or didn't. Breaking the wrists, bat crossing the plate, etc. are things an umpire might use to decide but they're not hard-and-fast guidelines.

Sea Ray
07-28-2009, 01:17 PM
Who said it has to cross the entire plate?


MLB does not clearly define checked swings which is the root of the problem.

The NCAA does and they define it this way:

“A checked swing shall be called a strike if the barrel head of the bat crosses the front edge of home plate, or the batter’s front hip.”




http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2008/official_rules/02_definition_of_terms.pdf

George Anderson
07-28-2009, 01:34 PM
MLB does not clearly define checked swings which is the root of the problem.

The NCAA does and they define it this way:

“A checked swing shall be called a strike if the barrel head of the bat crosses the front edge of home plate, or the batter’s front hip.”




http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2008/official_rules/02_definition_of_terms.pdf

In the Votto incident it is nearly impossible from well over 100' away to judge precisely if a bat's barrelhead crossed the front edge of homeplate. Factor in the bat speed of a MLB player like Votto and it makes it even harder. Like I said earlier, if it looked like the player offered at it then ring him up.

Big Klu
07-28-2009, 02:12 PM
I also worry some about Votto popping off. Not only from the reputation standpoint, but also from his recent depression/anxiety woes. Don't like to see him lose control.

On checked swings, I watched a replay of game 7 of the '65 Dodgers/Twins WS a few weeks back. I couldn't believe the checked swings that didn't get called. Checked swings are called much more tightly now.

Exactly. I got the DVD set of the 1975 World Series for Christmas a couple of years ago, and I couldn't believe the checked swings that weren't called. If it wasn't a full swing, it wasn't called.

traderumor
07-28-2009, 07:45 PM
Here's an idea: forget the check swing, throwing a bone to the batters, and do away with the caught third strike rule except on foul tips, advantage pitchers and we'll call it even. Two stupid rules that the game would never miss.

IslandRed
07-29-2009, 01:33 PM
I'm not sure how you could "forget the check swing." As long as a pitch outside the strike zone is a strike if the batter swings at it and misses but is a ball if the batter didn't swing, then at some point, someone has to decide if the batter swung.

savafan
07-29-2009, 08:45 PM
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chi-29-cubs-brite-chicago-jul29,0,2519343.story

By Paul Sullivan | Tribune reporter
July 29, 2009

Major League Baseball is considering disciplinary action against Houston reliever LaTroy Hawkins for questioning the integrity of plate umpire Mike Everitt after Monday night's game at Wrigley Field.

Hawkins claimed Everitt "wanted" the Cubs to win the game, a charge that MLB does not take lightly.

It all began when Everitt ejected Hawkins in the eighth inning after he disputed a called ball to Aramis Ramirez and continued to complain after Everitt ordered him to "knock it off." After the game, which the Cubs won 5-1 on Alfonso Soriano's walk-off grand slam in the 13th inning, Hawkins sounded off.

"Maybe he was having a bad day," Hawkins said. "I thought he had determined who he wanted to win the game anyway."

Asked about the comment before Tuesday's game, Everitt told the Tribune: "It's under investigation [by MLB], and we have no comment."

Hawkins, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with shingles, probably is looking at a hefty fine because of the comment but now could face a suspension after adding fuel to the fire before Tuesday game.

Asked by Houston reporters whether he regretted the remark, Hawkins replied: "Why would I?"

Hawkins said he had not heard from MLB, but added: "I'm fighting" any disciplinary action.

"I have my own opinion, and he had his opinion," he said. "He thought I was showing him up. I saw [ Alex Rodriguez] do way worse [when I was in the American League]. He undressed the umpire. Whatever he said, it was in his face. It's America, dude."