Baseball has taken great strides in legitimizing the umpire throughout the years, a game needs a strong judge to make the game less of a farce than it can become when the authority is questioned by the folks involved in the presentation of the game.
Anyone who has studied the games history knows that this took a long time to take root (decades) and now it should be construed as a fabric of the game, from little league to major leagues.
IMO anyone who is working at the game is a part of the game and thus they fall under the jurisdiction of the umpire.
If they don't like it they can go be the PA announcer at the pool or something.
A couple of years ago at a high school game between my son's Wayne Pioneers and the home team Chapmanville Tigers I saw a fan ejected from a game by the home plate umpire. A call at secondbase went against Chapmanville. An adult Chapmanville fan began yelling abuse at the secondbase umpire. I don't recall that he was cursing the umpire but in a very loud voice he repeatedly verbally abused the ump.
The home plate umpire, whom I know, finally turned around and told the fan to stop or he would be ejected. Despite that warning the fan continued his abuse. The home plate umpire then ordered him to leave. When the fan didn't move the home plate umpire stopped play and informed the Chapmanville coach that the game would be forfeited if the fan didn't leave. Chapmanville people then got the fan to leave (he went to the parking lot beyond the right field fence).
I believe that the home plate umpire handled that situation correctly. He did not react with a hair trigger and he gave the Chapmanville fan a warning and only ejected him after the warning went unheeded.
I saw another high umpire mishandle a situation that spring. Wayne fans were upset by the home plate umpire's calls (frankly I beleive his calls may have been correct). Anyway, at the conclusion of this game, played at an Ohio school, one player's mother yelled something at the umpire (she didn't curse but she made it clear she didn't like how he had called the game). Instead of ignoring her and going on to his car (the game was over), the umpire instead started yelling back at her. Well, her 17 year old son reacted like a typical teenager, witnessing his mother being verbally abused. He became very upset and I became concerned that a physical confrontation might result; fortunately cooler heads prevailed.
In that situation, the mother was wrong, the teenager was wrong---but the supposed professional, the umpire, was also wrong. The game was over, fans of the losing team were upset, but all he had to do was simply go to his vehicle. No one was hindering his leaving.
An umpire should keep order but this can be done without having a hair trigger temper and pretending that dissent is not allowed.
"Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."
Sure, the umps can eject whoever they feel like it and there's no consequences. Just like there's no consequences for Fairchild bumping Mes and getting him further upset. It's supposed to be a judgment call by the umps. Unfortunately some umps love going on power trips and abusing that power.
Last edited by REDREAD; 08-02-2012 at 06:09 PM.
Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!
Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!
Just because it doesn't "work that way" culturally doesn't mean its not logical.
Can't win with 'em
Can't win without 'em
I umpired home plate in a junior high game once. It was hot and the game dragged on. I made several calls that the visiting team gave me grief over - their fans anyway who had seated themselves right behind home plate. The southpaw pitching had a good curve but he wasn't getting it to break in the strikezone - it was breaking too early and missing low.
The coach finally started on me and when he came out of the dugout after a walk and started on me I told him very firmly if he didn't zip it and get back in the dugout he was gone. On ball and strike calls I didn't need to give him that much warning. He rushed me and I tossed him. No big deal. His other coaches grabbed him and the game went on. I even explained to the pitcher why he was missing when he politely asked me when he came to the plate to bat. He thanked me.
Anyway after the game a mother of the northside player (St. Joe has very distinct rivalries between northside, southside where I live, and central; both schools and geography)came up to me and quite curtly told me - "I could tell from the way you umpire you were born in the SOUTHEND!" She spit it at me like a curse word.
I never said a word. I just laughed to myself and wondered what she'd do if she knew what a fool she made of herself if she knew I was born and raised in Loveland, Ohio 600 miles away from southend Saint Joe?
If an ump wanted to jeer a player, it's an obvious break from contextual mores. If an ump wanted to jeer an organist, it would be surreal and make the ump look boorish but who cares relative to the context of the game? Which really is the point...why does the ump give a rip about the organist? That he's so in tune to the fringe probably explains the missed call.
The ump is supposed to be an impartial arbiter of the rules so that the truly important people can focus solely on competition and results can be determined without prejudice.
I can't imagine any school of umpire philosophy where it would be considered an acceptable outcome to have an ump's actions discussed nationally because he chose to make a decision that made him the focus.
An organist played a nursery rhyme. What followed makes umps look silly.
This seems to parallel the discussions that occur when some demand that players cut their hair, stop going to bars, stop using twitter, or when someone calls for a drill sergeant type coach.
Professional baseball and professional umpiring are a job. I agree that some level of thickness-of-skin is required, but at the same time, nobody should have to work in a place where they are being harassed, regardless of how juvenile it might seem. However, expecting umpires to allow themselves to be the butt of any of a number of jokes because of an expected fan experience or something is just as ridiculous as expecting Edinson Volquez to suddenly not walk the entire universe because he so badly needs a haircut, or expecting a coach that screams at the top of his lungs all the time to motivate a team.
Judges hold people in contempt for less than nursery rhyme singing. Maybe they should grow a thicker skin as well?
Or maybe the problem isn't that an umpire needs thicker skin, but rather that the fan or PA announcer or coach or whoever needs to re-read The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners.
Are we really going to compare umpiring to police officers and judges? Geeze........
An ump blew a call. An organist played a nursery rhyme. The ump made himself topic of national discussion. And this is in an environment where people dress up like sausages and race each other....
Not because he was the deciding opinion in a SCOTUS decision but because he was an ump that was too in tune to a tune during a random game.
If umps are arbiters of manners, does he get to run the chubby guy down the left field line who ate with his fingers, has ketchup stains on his shirt and belched between pitches?
The PA announcer intones "All rise." The fans then quietly stand up. The PA annoucer then states: "This baseball game is in session, The Honorable Umpire John Doe presiding. Hear ye, Hear ye, all players having pitches to throw and bats to swing, come forward and you will be allowed to play. God save major league baseball and this Honorable Ballpark. You may be seated."
The game then proceeds quietly. After a few innings a fan slips up and quietly exclaims "Let's go Reds"! Umpire Doe immediately fines the fan $100 and has the baliff take the fan from the ballpark.
Attendance should boom.
"Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."
I may be msitaken on this, but wasn't the Reds' announcement of the home plate umpires during pregame sponsored by Midwest Eye Center or Cincinnati Lasik or some other such business?
Or was that just the radio broadcasts?
When all is said and done more is said than done.