The umpiring this entire post-season so far has been horrific. So bad in fact, that the sports league known well for its lack of interest in getting anything right the first time, has finally made a change. No, there are still no consequences for bad umpiring. That change may be another 3 or 4 decades down the road. But in breaking a tradition that has been in place for 24 of the last 25 World Series, the umpiring crew will not include a first-timer for the 2009 Series.
Each year, the league has rewarded at least one umpire who never called a World Series before. In the last two years, there were 3 new umpires involved in each. But after a string of blatantly awful calls this post-season, only veteran umpires with World Series experience will be put on the field. Those umpires are Joe West, Dana DeMuth, Gerry Davis, Brian Gorman, Jeff Nelson and Mike Everitt. The first 3 have at least 25 years MLB experience and all have worked at least one World Series.
But the question still remains, why all the bad calls? I have a few theories:
– Manny has his own t-shirt; the umpires felt left out.
– Constantly asked, “Are you blind?”, these umps finally realized that being blind = free government disability benefits. Awesome.
– If players can get away with using steroids, cheating on and beating on their wives and setting bad examples for children everywhere, why shouldn’t the umpires able to blow a few calls? No biggie.
– More instant replay = same pay, less work. May as well have a robot call the balls and strikes. The ump can just supervise.
– Chicks dig bad boys.
So forget about those missed hit by pitches, the double play that wound up being only one out or that guy who called a runner out for leaving base too soon when he never even looked at the runner; these umpires are clearly on a mission. And everyone loves a good controversy. So umps, you go on with your bad selves! We all cannot wait to see what you pull out of your back sides next. I just hope it is not a yellow penalty flag, because that is totally the wrong sport. Best of luck to ya!
Manuel photo by Jenn