Originally Posted by George Anderson
Recently I have really liked how umpires have been issuing warnings and trying to keep players in the game as opposed to being quick tosses as they have been in years past. However my position has changed because I really think umpires need to start following the book and start dumping players immediately who break the rules and stop issuing warnings. Recently an umpire was fined albeit a paltry amount for simply trying to keep a disgruntled player in the game by attempting to difuse a situation that was starting to escalate. John Hirschbeck issued warnings to Bryce Harper when he did not need to and again he receives grief from the fans/ media types who really do not appreciate the leeway he and other umpires have been doing recently to key players in the game when there is nothing in the rule book that says they have to
I SAY NO MORE!! Start dumping the biggest stars in the biggest games again like they did in the old days and then just maybe, the badly misinformed people who think otherwise will begin to reevalauate their position.
Since the fans don't appreciate "preventive umpiring", lets go back to this, shall we???
The problem is that these "warnings" are being issued in a confrontational manner and rather than diffusing the situation they're provoking further reaction from the players.
I've never officiated a baseball game but as an English speaking human being I can say walking toward a player exiting the field saying "throw the ball over the f*ing plate" is not the sort of phrase one uses when to diffuse a situation and keep a player in the game. Even if you omit the profanity it's still clearly an incendiary phrase which does nothing but lead to further escalation of the conflict.
The same can be said for the Harper / Hirschbeck situation. I think we can all concede that Harper handled the situation poorly but so did Hirschbeck. Say what you will, I don't know how anyone could say that an umpire throwing his hands up in the air to mock Harper's reaction, trying to stare down Harper and running down the line yelling is the sort of response one has when trying to keep a situation from escalating.
The goal of being more lenient by issuing warnings is laudable, unfortunately the execution leaves a lot to be desired.