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Thread: The "age" of diva umpires

  1. #196
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: The "age" of diva umpires

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Important context: the umpires whose actions have precipitated these discussions about umpire performance have been fined and suspended by MLB for their job performances in question.
    How is that relevant? That's as silly as saying that this is an age of ruthlessness by cops because a few were suspended for unprovoked attacks on citizens during a citation.

    There are over 100 active umpires on the roster. That a crew was suspended for a mistake tells us nothing more than a crew making a mistake. It doesn't have anything to do with whether umpires are "divas."
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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  3. #197
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    Re: The "age" of diva umpires

    Small sample sizes only apply to players.... Or so I surmise

  4. #198
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: The "age" of diva umpires

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    How is that relevant? That's as silly as saying that this is an age of ruthlessness by cops because a few were suspended for unprovoked attacks on citizens during a citation.

    There are over 100 active umpires on the roster. That a crew was suspended for a mistake tells us nothing more than a crew making a mistake. It doesn't have anything to do with whether umpires are "divas."
    Just trying to steer the thread away from personal tracks and get it back on target.

    MLB has either fined or suspended umpires whose performances have been criticized in this and recent threads. MLB has signaled critiism of such behavior was in fact appropriate.
    "This isn’t stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  5. #199
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: The "age" of diva umpires

    Call me an umpire hater, if you will, but I’d like to defend AtomicDumpling’s assessment of the profession.
    Becoming an umpire does not require Stephen Hawking’s intellect or Usain Bolt’s speed. With training and experience a great number of men AND women could perform this task at a competent level. There ARE a certain amount of desirable physical and personality traits, such as keen eyesight, being physically fit, ability to make quick decisions, defusing conflict and commanding respect, to name a few which can make some professionals stand out over others. However, while “anyone can do it” is an exaggeration, this ain’t rocket science either.

    This is no different that most professions and most of us can include our own.

    However, and this may be part of AD’s gripe, what seems apparent and what becomes more apparent as the tools to evaluate umpire performance become more ubiquitous is that

    1) Major league umpire performance could and should be much better.
    2) The current crop of MLB umpires is far from being the “crème de la crème”.

    That four umpires from the Angel’s game crew could not apply a very well known rule (most of us here know it), speaks volumes.
    And I’ll agree with George Anderson also, in that sending them to AAA would have been a much more adequate punishment.

    That the crew from the Indians game could not “see” what to most of us was clear (Rosales HR) also speaks loudly.

    New York (MLB headquarters) we have a problem.

    The question now is how to address this issue?

    There are some of us who would prefer to see the umpire’s function changed radically with more and better replay and automatic strike zones. Others prefer to improve the evaluation/promotion dynamics, so the Davidsons Hernandezes and Bucknors aren’t calling the shots at the highest level in the sport.

    We can argue about the best way to fix the problem in other threads, but I think most of us can agree that there is an issue/problem and it should be addressed, if there is a desire to improve the product.
    The status quo is not acceptable.
    Last edited by oneupper; 05-11-2013 at 12:37 PM.
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  7. #200
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    Re: The "age" of diva umpires

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    On what Angel Hernandez and crew saw on the Adam Rosales "double"

    Hernandez, the crew chief, viewed the replays in high definition with two other umpires who helped him review the call. The feeds were the same ones that fans saw, and the umpires viewed them on 19-inch full resolution HD broadcast monitors made by Panasonic and similar to those commonly used in TV production trucks.

    First off, since they got to see the same exact feeds that we did, there is no excuse. But, the fact that they are using a 19 inch monitor is an absolute joke. You can get a 40 inch, full HD tv for a few hundred bucks these days. MLB could literally spend $10,000 league wide and double the size of the TVs used for this stuff.
    A bigger TV makes things look clearer if you're sitting on you couch, not so much up close. In TV production everyone works off of little monitors.

  8. #201
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    Re: The "age" of diva umpires

    Quote Originally Posted by oneupper View Post
    However, and this may be part of AD’s gripe, what seems apparent and what becomes more apparent as the tools to evaluate umpire performance become more ubiquitous is that

    1) Major league umpire performance could and should be much better.
    2) The current crop of MLB umpires is far from being the “crème de la crème”.


    .
    I agree that while IMO MLB umpiring as a rule is better now than it has ever been it could be much, much better. I have stated before that I would love to see a system where underperforming umpires are demoted and newer umpires that are doing the job at the minor league levels are promoted. This would take cooperation from the umpires union which you likely won't get but IMO a big part of the problem is you get umpires who get the "union attitude" of no matter how bad i suck I will always have a job. If it takes taking on the union and eliminating them then so be it.

    I would love to see the racial quota sytem and the priority given to relatives system taken away. Hunter Wendlestedt, Brian Runge and Brian Gorman all got to where they are likely because if their dads and lets not kids ourselves and think for a minute if CB Bucknor or Kerwin Danley had a different skin color that they would be MLB umpires. We do not want or expect racial quotas or relatives given priority when it comes who plays on a MLB roster so why do we look the other way when it happens with MLB umpires?

    Again, MLB umpiring is better now than it has ever been but like everything else there is room for improvement.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

  9. #202
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: The "age" of diva umpires

    Quote Originally Posted by Crumbley View Post
    A bigger TV makes things look clearer if you're sitting on you couch, not so much up close. In TV production everyone works off of little monitors.
    I equate it to looking at a monitor of a laptop. Sure, it works. But I have a better picture when I am looking at a 30 inch monitor on a desktop. It is also worth noting that three umpires are all trying to look at a small 19 inch monitor. Wouldn't it be more beneficial for them to just have a 40 inch tv to look at instead of all crowding around what is essentially a laptop?

  10. #203
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    Re: The "age" of diva umpires

    Quote Originally Posted by oneupper View Post
    However, and this may be part of AD’s gripe, what seems apparent and what becomes more apparent as the tools to evaluate umpire performance become more ubiquitous is that

    1) Major league umpire performance could and should be much better.
    2) The current crop of MLB umpires is far from being the “crème de la crème”.
    I'm with you on #1. But for #2, who are the better umpires that are out there? I'm not saying they're not out there, but #1 does not necessarily suggest #2.

    For example, I think today's umpires have basically reached the maximum capacity of human observation when it comes to calling balls and strikes and plays at the bag. I don't think there's an untapped pool of talent or training that will significantly impact their success rates. Sure, the outlier things such as what has happened recently can be addressed, but human reflexes are only so fast and there are 60+ major league umpire jobs that have to be filled and #60 isn't going to be as good as #1.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Re: The "age" of diva umpires

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I'm with you on #1. But for #2, who are the better umpires that are out there? I'm not saying they're not out there, but #1 does not necessarily suggest #2.

    For example, I think today's umpires have basically reached the maximum capacity of human observation when it comes to calling balls and strikes and plays at the bag. I don't think there's an untapped pool of talent or training that will significantly impact their success rates. Sure, the outlier things such as what has happened recently can be addressed, but human reflexes are only so fast and there are 60+ major league umpire jobs that have to be filled and #60 isn't going to be as good as #1.
    I don't think its fair or reasonable to expect #60 to be as good as #1, but I don't think it's unreasonable to make sure that #60 is actually the 60th best available option.

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    Re: The "age" of diva umpires

    guys, none of us ever managed a MLB game thus our opinion on Dusty is invalid...

    Guys, none of us were ever president, thus our opinion on Obama must be wrong...

    Guys, none of us ever did X, thus our opinion is invalid....

    Guys, none of you ever umped a MLB game, so until you do your opinion based on umping lower levels is invalid.

    There's a problem with this reasoning. DUCY
    Newsflash!

    Joey Votto does not care about RBI.

    NEITHER SHOULD ANY OF US

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  15. #206
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    Re: The "age" of diva umpires

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    You clearly have never umpired a game in your life.

    I urge you to go out and do so. Start with Little League. Let me know where you're doing it. Then, I want you to explain to me why everyone is unhappy with your performance if it's so easy and anyone can do it. Because make no mistake, people will think you're doing a lousy job. Anyone can do it, sure, but not anyone or everyone can be any good at it. And even the good ones make people like you unhappy no matter how much better they are than you. You just don't realize it because you've never actually done it.

    This "anyone can do it" line just proves to me that your have an irrational hatred of umpires and you will never be satisfied. Such a response proves that you will never have grounded view in this kind of discussion because it's immediately rooted on silly premises.
    You are wrong again. I have umpired many baseball games in my life when I was in my 20's. I also officiated soccer games and softball games. It was easy money I could earn on the side. I didn't have too many problems. Just be humble and friendly and don't try to intimidate or belittle people with your almighty power and things will go smoothly 99% of the time. If you cop an attitude or try to show off or show up the players and coaches you will have problems almost every game. It is basic human psychology.

    Umpiring is pretty darn easy to do. Heck, most of the people umpiring youth leagues are nothing special. College kids, factory workers, teachers and the like. Just regular, normal people who felt like helping out the kids so they can have a league. Leagues need umpires. Umpires are a necessary part of the game. Very few people want to be umpires, so if you find somebody willing to take the plunge you pretty much have to give them a shot. With some proper training anyone can become a good umpire.

    I don't hate umpires in general, so you can stop with your attacks. Good umpires are fantastic, a rare luxury as I said before. The problem is the power-hungry, egotistical, I-am-never-wrong type of umpire. Those are the ones we discuss in these threads here on Redszone. Believe it or not, it is quite possible for an umpire to be wrong. It happens all the time, in nearly every game in fact. Some people just don't want to admit it.

  16. #207
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: The "age" of diva umpires

    Quote Originally Posted by oneupper View Post
    Call me an umpire hater, if you will, but I’d like to defend AtomicDumpling’s assessment of the profession.
    Becoming an umpire does not require Stephen Hawking’s intellect or Usain Bolt’s speed. With training and experience a great number of men AND women could perform this task at a competent level. There ARE a certain amount of desirable physical and personality traits, such as keen eyesight, being physically fit, ability to make quick decisions, defusing conflict and commanding respect, to name a few which can make some professionals stand out over others. However, while “anyone can do it” is an exaggeration, this ain’t rocket science either.

    This is no different that most professions and most of us can include our own.

    However, and this may be part of AD’s gripe, what seems apparent and what becomes more apparent as the tools to evaluate umpire performance become more ubiquitous is that

    1) Major league umpire performance could and should be much better.
    2) The current crop of MLB umpires is far from being the “crème de la crème”.

    That four umpires from the Angel’s game crew could not apply a very well known rule (most of us here know it), speaks volumes.
    And I’ll agree with George Anderson also, in that sending them to AAA would have been a much more adequate punishment.

    That the crew from the Indians game could not “see” what to most of us was clear (Rosales HR) also speaks loudly.

    New York (MLB headquarters) we have a problem.

    The question now is how to address this issue?

    There are some of us who would prefer to see the umpire’s function changed radically with more and better replay and automatic strike zones. Others prefer to improve the evaluation/promotion dynamics, so the Davidsons Hernandezes and Bucknors aren’t calling the shots at the highest level in the sport.

    We can argue about the best way to fix the problem in other threads, but I think most of us can agree that there is an issue/problem and it should be addressed, if there is a desire to improve the product.
    The status quo is not acceptable.
    Some would suggest there isn't a problem. People are spinning their wheels to fix something that isn't really broke.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

  17. #208
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: The "age" of diva umpires

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    You are wrong again. I have umpired many baseball games in my life when I was in my 20's. I also officiated soccer games and softball games. It was easy money I could earn on the side. I didn't have too many problems. Just be humble and friendly and don't try to intimidate or belittle people with your almighty power and things will go smoothly 99% of the time. If you cop an attitude or try to show off or show up the players and coaches you will have problems almost every game. It is basic human psychology.

    Umpiring is pretty darn easy to do. Heck, most of the people umpiring youth leagues are nothing special. College kids, factory workers, teachers and the like. Just regular, normal people who felt like helping out the kids so they can have a league. Leagues need umpires. Umpires are a necessary part of the game. Very few people want to be umpires, so if you find somebody willing to take the plunge you pretty much have to give them a shot. With some proper training anyone can become a good umpire.

    I don't hate umpires in general, so you can stop with your attacks. Good umpires are fantastic, a rare luxury as I said before. The problem is the power-hungry, egotistical, I-am-never-wrong type of umpire. Those are the ones we discuss in these threads here on Redszone. Believe it or not, it is quite possible for an umpire to be wrong. It happens all the time, in nearly every game in fact. Some people just don't want to admit it.
    I'm not attacking you. I'm stating what's clear to everyone in this thread... you obviously have a problem with umpires. If you're offended by that, perhaps you should ease up on the anti-umpire rhetoric and change hearts and minds.

    I have a sneaking suspicion you aren't being truthful about having umpired. I've never heard anyone that thought it was "easy." And you're probably the first person that's stated it goes smoothly 99% of the time. No matter how "nice" you are, things don't go smoothly. In fact, sometimes if you're a pushover, things are worse. A little bit of an edge is necessary to do a good job. Otherwise, you'll lose control of a game very quickly. In fact, that's almost how I know you haven't umpired because as George can attest, anyone that's been trained knows you are told you must be demonstrative and forceful when necessary.

    I umpired for 12 years from the time was 13 until 25. I was doing high school games by 19 and college and legion games by 20. If there's anything I learned it's that nothing goes easy no matter how nice and polite you are. You can be the most respectful guy on the field, but as soon as you make a few calls a coach doesn't like, all bets are off. They don't know you from Adam nor do they care. And if you think being without an ego was going to stop Bobby Cox from yelling and debating if you made a call you didn't like, you're living in a fantasy world.

    Umpiring isn't complicated but it certainly isn't "easy." No matter how nice you are or how well you do the job you're trained to do, someone won't be happy with you. There are so many people here that complain about umpires and how they are doing a terrible job, yet no one is stepping up and making a nice living doing it at that level despite it being so "easy" to do. Perhaps people haven't considered that maybe if there truly are better candidates out there for the job, they're not doing it because it's not easy, it's not glamorous and people that complain all the time make it a job not worth pursuing.

    When I was 23, I got invited to a Major League umpire's camp. A friend of mine I used to work with went and is now umpiring in AAA last I knew, though I lost touch so I'm not sure if he's still doing it. I had an opportunity to go through the camp and was told I could have signed out of camp. Truth be told though, I had no interest in pursuing the profession. Thankless job with so-so pay, lots of travel and too many people that think its' an easy job and you're a bum if you can't do it. This discussion is proving my decision to be prophetic. Don't know if I'd ever made it to the majors anyhow. Odds are I would not have. But I know in my heart there is a huge disconnect between what folks like you say about umpires and what the reality of the profession really is.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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  19. #209
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    Re: The "age" of diva umpires

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    I'm not attacking you. I'm stating what's clear to everyone in this thread... you obviously have a problem with umpires. If you're offended by that, perhaps you should ease up on the anti-umpire rhetoric and change hearts and minds.

    I have a sneaking suspicion you aren't being truthful about having umpired. I've never heard anyone that thought it was "easy." And you're probably the first person that's stated it goes smoothly 99% of the time. No matter how "nice" you are, things don't go smoothly. In fact, sometimes if you're a pushover, things are worse. A little bit of an edge is necessary to do a good job. Otherwise, you'll lose control of a game very quickly. In fact, that's almost how I know you haven't umpired because as George can attest, anyone that's been trained knows you are told you must be demonstrative and forceful when necessary.

    I umpired for 12 years from the time was 13 until 25. I was doing high school games by 19 and college and legion games by 20. If there's anything I learned it's that nothing goes easy no matter how nice and polite you are. You can be the most respectful guy on the field, but as soon as you make a few calls a coach doesn't like, all bets are off. They don't know you from Adam nor do they care. And if you think being without an ego was going to stop Bobby Cox from yelling and debating if you made a call you didn't like, you're living in a fantasy world.

    Umpiring isn't complicated but it certainly isn't "easy." No matter how nice you are or how well you do the job you're trained to do, someone won't be happy with you. There are so many people here that complain about umpires and how they are doing a terrible job, yet no one is stepping up and making a nice living doing it at that level despite it being so "easy" to do. Perhaps people haven't considered that maybe if there truly are better candidates out there for the job, they're not doing it because it's not easy, it's not glamorous and people that complain all the time make it a job not worth pursuing.

    When I was 23, I got invited to a Major League umpire's camp. A friend of mine I used to work with went and is now umpiring in AAA last I knew, though I lost touch so I'm not sure if he's still doing it. I had an opportunity to go through the camp and was told I could have signed out of camp. Truth be told though, I had no interest in pursuing the profession. Thankless job with so-so pay, lots of travel and too many people that think its' an easy job and you're a bum if you can't do it. This discussion is proving my decision to be prophetic. Don't know if I'd ever made it to the majors anyhow. Odds are I would not have. But I know in my heart there is a huge disconnect between what folks like you say about umpires and what the reality of the profession really is.
    There really is no good reason for you to continually and rudely comment on my personal opinions. Just state your sagely opinion on the multiple recent umpiring fiascos and try to avoid mischaracterizing my opinions.

    I do not have a problem with most umpires -- only the bad ones. That is what is obvious to everyone in this thread. You just want to claim that people who criticize a particular umpire or a particular call are ignorant or just hate umpires. Instead of attacking me why don't you just state your opinion and move on? Trying to deny me my right to have an opinion smacks of desperation on your part. You can't defeat my argument so you try to deny my right to speak.

    You can choose to believe I am lying about umpiring if you want. Not very classy, but you can say whatever you want. It doesn't bother me.

    I have umpired a few hundred baseball games. My dad was the president of the Little League association in the town I grew up in. It was hard to find umpires so I pretty much got drafted. I umpired games mostly for players of 10-16 years of age. It was an easy way to make a few bucks for beer money. I also did some beer league softball games and a whole bunch of school soccer games. I found umpiring and refereeing to be quite easy. Learn the rules (easy), learn where to be on the field (easy), learn to handle the game (easy) and you will be fine. There is no magic necessary. It is pretty basic stuff. I made my share of bad calls no doubt. But I very, very rarely had any problems with players or coaches or "fans". I was friendly, kept the games moving briskly, and didn't try to be a big-shot. I have never had a problem getting along with people in any walk of life, including umpiring. I could go back on the field now 20 years later and I would still be just fine, but I have zero desire to do so.

    Of all the various and sundry jobs and careers I have had in my life (quite a few), umpiring was probably the easiest of all of them. It was certainly much easier than learning to be a Chemist, Microbiologist, Auctioneer, website builder, magazine author, construction worker, landscaper, numismatist, Internet e-commerce business owner, computer builder and professional blogger. Umpiring was more challenging than package delivery driver, fast-food cook and lawn mowing. I have done all of those jobs professionally and some others too.

    I don't claim to be an expert on umpiring. I appreciate hearing the perspective of folks who are experienced umpires. However, I don't appreciate it when people who claim to be experienced umpires say that their opinion is perfect and nobody else has a right to disagree. This has happened several times in recent umpiring threads. Nobody here on Redszone is an umpiring God whose word is infallible. I have seen some ludicrous comments from some highly experienced umpires here on Redszone and I even pointed out a couple examples. The attitude that "I am right and you are wrong because I am an umpire and whatever I say goes" is exactly the same obnoxious behavior we see all the time from umpires on the field of play. It is patently obvious to everyone that umpires are not always right. Oftentimes they are wrong, sometimes embarrassingly wrong. Some umpires are better than others. Non-umpires have the right to comment and express their opinion regarding the performance of MLB umpires without being shouted down and insulted by people who umpire amateur baseball games.

    Umpiring can be a noble profession if a person is honest and non-confrontational. Unfortunately there is a large percentage of umpires who really don't have any business on a major league field because they can't control their emotions and/or because they abuse their authority. I will continue to believe that umpiring requires only some limited training and a thorough knowledge of the rulebook, but does not require any special talent or intellect. Most normal humans could be properly trained to become good umpires. There is no comparison between major league baseball players and umpires in terms of the rare talent and natural ability required to make it to the top of the game. Umpires can be fairly easily replaced, players not so much.
    Last edited by AtomicDumpling; 05-12-2013 at 12:33 AM.

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  21. #210
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    Re: The "age" of diva umpires

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    I have a sneaking suspicion you aren't being truthful about having umpired. I've never heard anyone that thought it was "easy."
    Not to take sides, but: I've also umpired (sorry, I have no pictures, so you have to take my word for it), and it may not be "easy." But if you're relatively quick on the uptake, and have decent judgment, it's also not "hard."

    By this, I mean, it's not hard to do the job. If you've got thin skin or an otherwise susceptible temperament, it might still be hard to deal with frivolous disputes to your calls.

    And you're probably the first person that's stated it goes smoothly 99% of the time.
    I'll be the second person that states, that, then. If you do your job well, and augment that with some interpersonal skills, there will not be ugliness 99% of the time. Literally: I only got the "ugly" once per season if I rounded up.

    No matter how "nice" you are, things don't go smoothly. In fact, sometimes if you're a pushover, things are worse. A little bit of an edge is necessary to do a good job.
    And yet: if you do a good job, an edge is less necessary, grasshopper. </zenbuddha>

    Otherwise, you'll lose control of a game very quickly. In fact, that's almost how I know you haven't umpired because as George can attest, anyone that's been trained knows you are told you must be demonstrative and forceful when necessary.
    Of course you do. But when is that "necessary?" If you're doing it to save face or protect an image of authority, then you're 50% of the reason you're "losing control." It takes two to tango. And the ump should never tango.

    I umpired for 12 years from the time was 13 until 25. I was doing high school games by 19 and college and legion games by 20. If there's anything I learned it's that nothing goes easy no matter how nice and polite you are. You can be the most respectful guy on the field, but as soon as you make a few calls a coach doesn't like, all bets are off. They don't know you from Adam nor do they care.
    My umpiring career sounds a lot like yours. I just kept doing it for a few more years at the end, since it really was fun and "easy" money until I sustained an injury.

    That said, I strongly dispute the idea that there's some correlation between "on field politeness" and "being a weak umpire." In fact, I always found that sanctioning a coach or player in my Most Polite Voice -- on top of a track record of being a very good ump who gets calls right -- was about 17000% more effective than any of my colleagues who would threaten or intimidate in response to a dispute. When the ump who never makes a scene tells you, quite respectfully but sternly, to shut the hell up or else, it works.

    But if you go looking for the fight, or facilitate the other guy's fight instead of shutting it down, that's where things get ugly and you have to toss somebody. And I have always tried to avoid tossing someone unless I thought I missed a call; if I know I'm right, why not let them make themsleves look stupid up to the point where they negatively impact the gameplay? I could explain this better, but it's 2am, and I was actually at the game today, and just got back home after a very long day...

    Umpiring isn't complicated but it certainly isn't "easy." No matter how nice you are or how well you do the job you're trained to do, someone won't be happy with you.
    Yeah, but if you did the job well, who cares what they think? That's kind of the core of my point, and maybe we actually agree on the main point: SOMEbody can always find fault. But a lot of times, SOMEbody's opinion really doesn't matter, because they're wrong. This is why you don't have to umpire with an iron fist: unless you are thin-skinned drama queen, you don't have to ump every game like it's the 7th game of the World Series and you're some kind of delicate porcelian doll whose authority cannot ever be questioned.

    When I was 23, I got invited to a Major League umpire's camp.
    Again, we have "career" simiarlities. My brother actually went to the Wendelstat camp. Nothing came of it. I didn't even go. It does seem like thankless work where advancement is 80% politics and 20% performance. And even when you're "advancing," I think you have to put in at least 12-15 years in the minors, right?

    What's the youngest age where you can reach MLB? Anyone have that data? I think the dozen years of poverty-level work in the minors is a pretty big detriment to your more able umps... there might be some old school mind set that this is "paying your dues" and it's a character building experience, but c'mon: you've got an umpires' union that is protecting the jobs of tenured dimwits, so what capable young ump is gonna put up with the "due paying" when he's still got that hurdle at the end of his decade-long struggle?

    I digress. If I had a point, it was: "Umpiring isn't easy. But it's also not THAT hard, unless you're taking yourself and your job way too seriously." Or something like that....

    Rick
    Last edited by FlightRick; 05-12-2013 at 01:58 AM.

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