Originally Posted by GAC
That is what it's all about folks.
Absolutely, GAC... absolutely.
I umpired one summer while in college. Like most of you I knew the rulebook backwards and forwards... even took pride in always getting the "So You Think You Know Baseball" quiz (always a rules question) correct in Baseball Digest. Had read and re-read Rich Marazzi's "The Rules and Lore of Baseball" book which explains each rule in the book and gives real life examples of each one. I was a real rules freak. Of course knowing the rules does not mean you will call a good strikezone or call guys safe or out correctly, but the other umps all complimented me on both facets.
The kids were not bad at all. A few smart-mouths, but nothing that bad. A lot of the parents made it a horrible experience and made it my only year of umpiring. Some of them were absolute idiots. It made me wonder how their kids could ever act like mature adults someday when it seemed obvious that their parents were lunatics! I had one guy tell me that I was clueless on the rules of the game. To that I asked him if he could tell me the infield fly rule... he tried, but was the clueless one (at least in regard to that rule). I had a couple of parents at different times follow me to my car after the game and scream at me b/c I had the nerve to call their son out on a called third strike. I was never flamboyant and never tried to embarrass any kid... but it still did not matter. The majority of parents were good, but I'd say about 10% of them in that LL were idiots. The kids were from 8 to 12 years old. It makes me realize that the above story is sad, but not shocking to this one-time LL ump. I also heard some parents using language and ridiculous attitudes towards kids on the opposing teams.
I am glad this nut-job got prison time. Well deserved. I hope others will learn from it, but I am sure we will read more stories like this one in the future.