Results tagged ‘ umpires ’

Mayberry’s Big Night & More Umpire Follies

The last two or three years have been strange ones for Phillies outfielder John Mayberry Jr.  He has gone though spurts of looking like a solid ballplayer and even more spurts of looking totally lost at the plate.  While see-sawing between the two extremes, Mayberry has been unable to stick as an everyday player.

But last night against the Marlins, Mayberry had probably the most memorable night of his career and he did not even start the game.  He hit a solo homer in the 10th to tie the game back up after Antonio Bastardo surrendered a run to the Fish in the top of the inning.  Then in the 11th, Mayberry whacked a game-winning grand slam home run.

There were a number of ‘firsts’ for Mayberry in this game:

-          Mayberry’s first career grand slam

-          Mayberry became first player in major-league history to hit two home runs in extra innings with one being a grand slam

-          Mayberry also became the first Phillies player to hit a walk-off grand slam since Dale Murphy on Aug. 6, 1991, against the Cubs

Those are some pretty impressive statistics.  And with Delmon Young still underachieving (he is hitting only .220 in 100 at-bats), perhaps it is time to hand right field over to Mayberry for a while.  Mayberry’s defense is significantly better than Young’s and his offense cannot possibly be any worse than Young’s. 

Young has actually cost the team runs with his defense and I cannot imagine the Phillies putting up with that for much longer.  And he is not making up for it with his bat either.  30 games played and 100 at-bats should be nearly enough for them to pass judgment.  We shall see…

As for the umpire follies, Bob Davidson strikes again!  How this ridiculous man still has a job is beyond me.  Last year, Davidson was actually suspended after ejecting Phils skipper Charlie Manual for his bad “situation handling,” according to MLB.  What actually happened was he interfered with the catcher on a play and then cussed out Manual for arguing the point.

Davidson’s animosity towards the Phillies is still going strong, because last night he made one of the worst calls I have ever seen.  Davidson called interference on Ben Revere who slid head first (not spikes first) into second on a ground ball hit by Michael Young.  Young was called out due to the imaginary interference; Davidson claimed he saw Revere grab the leg of the Marlins 2nd baseman.  It was clear to both the naked eye and on the replay that Revere did no such thing…it was not even close.

Revere did not grab anyone; he did not roll into 2nd; he did not even go out of the basepath or miss the bag.  Davidson literally just made up the call.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Bernie Miklasz, “…if I listed every call that Davidson got wrong I’d be typing for the next 48 hours at least. He’s a disgrace to the game and has been for many, many years. Baseball people laugh at him.”  It seems everyone hates Davidson…and with good reason.

After the game, both Revere and Manual made some very amusing comments about the bad call. Revere said, “I know [Davidson] was standing right there, he said he did see it, so I’m just like, man needs some glasses or something.”  And Manual interjected, “Bob’s kinda getting a little old.”  Plus, the crowd at Citizens Bank Park booed Davidson relentlessly for the remained of the game.

And yet, no one can say why this man still has a job.  MLB has made a habit out of ignoring the total incompetence of some umpires.  Even with their reputation being continually tarnished, MLB has done nothing to redeem themselves.

In fact, Joe Torre, who is in charge of MLB umpires, on-field discipline and other areas, was actually at Saturday’s Phillies-Brewers game where a huge umpiring mistake was made in the bottom of the 9th inning.  Kyle Kendrick was called out at second base even though the fielder dropped the ball.  The next batter doubled, which would have scored Kendrick and tied the game up.  Instead, that blown call cost the Phillies the game.

The crew chief acknowledged the error after the game, but to my knowledge, Torre said nothing.  Granted, this was a far less egregious error than the blatant, BS call by Davidson.  All of these bad calls are screaming for additional replay, but is anyone listening?

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil…get nothing done.  *Sigh*

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

Rollins Reaches Milestone, Phillies Fall to Reds

In the 5th inning of Tuesday’s Phillies – Reds matchup, Jimmy Rollins doubled for what on any other day would have been just another hit.  But this particular hit marked the 2,000th of Rollins’ career making him only the 4th player in team history to reach the milestone.  The other 3 players were Mike Schmidt (2,234), Richie Ashburn (2,217) and Ed Delahanty (2,207).

Rollins’ wife Johari and his infant daughter were on hand to witness the event.  It was a special moment for Rollins, who will likely be considered the greatest shortstop in Phillies history by the time his career ends.  But for now, Rollins says, “It’s great, but 3,000 is better.”

Unfortunately, the moment was slightly marred by a very strange Phillies 2-1 loss in which the umpires once again played a huge role.  In the 4th inning, the Phillies had loaded the bases with one out and scored a run on a walk, much to the dismay of Reds pitcher Mat Latos.  Latos looked horribly rattled and frustrated, setting up what should have been a huge inning for the Phillies.  But just then, horrendous umpiring struck again.

Nate Schierholtz smacked what should have been an RBI-single to center; it was instead called an out even though it was clear to the naked eye, at full speed, that the ball hit the ground before entering the fielder’s glove.  A 3-year old could have made the correct call, but not MLB umpires.

The base runners all froze in the confusion and the hit turned into an inning-ending double play instead.  The “catch” was one out and the runner caught off 2nd base was the other.  Not only did this gigantic blunder cost the Phillies that one run, it probably cost them the game.  Because Latos was clearly falling apart and that RBI-single probably would have sent him off the deep end, translating into a big inning for the Phillies.

But that did not even have a chance to play out, thanks to the morons umpiring the game.  The Phillies did have other chances to score and failed, but this screw-up really killed their momentum.  Those idiots still get their paychecks and go on with their lives as MLB never holds any umpire accountable for blown calls.  You know, the usual crap we all have to watch and live with.  It is shameful.

The Phillies have one more shot at the Reds early this afternoon.  Game time is 12:35pm.

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

Umpires Become the Story Once Again in Phillies Loss

It is a real shame when the focus of any baseball game becomes the umpires instead of the actual plays.  But this seems to be an ever increasing trend as MLB continues to sweep bad umpiring under the rug.

After a 4-3 loss to the Dodgers last night, Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon got all bent out of shape about the performance of home plate umpire D.J. ReyburnPapelbon told reporters, “I thought he sucked. It’s that simple.”

Reyburn is a Triple-A umpire who was filling in.  When given this information, Papelbon said, “Doesn’t surprise me. He probably needs to go back to Triple-A.”  Papelbon also noted that Reyburn was bad throughout the game, for both teams, including Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw.

It is easy to understand Papelbon’s frustration.  Phillies starter Vance Worley had a hard time with the ball-strike calls in his first inning coming off the DL.  That certainly did not help his recovery.  Kershaw was equally frustrated and the both the Dodgers’ bench coach and manager were ejected by Reyburn as a result.

Then in the 9th inning, Papelbon had Dee Gordon struck out, but Reyburn missed the call.  Gordon went on to hit a triple and score the winning run for the Dodgers.

While the ultimate outcome of the game cannot be blamed on Reyburn, he did certainly affect it.  Still, the Phillies had their chances and blew it.  But Papelbon makes a good point.  And he did so knowing fully that there would be repercussions to his statements, likely to include a hefty fine.  But it was really nice to see a guy willing to take a stand; I now have a new respect for Papelbon.

But the Phillies are really not doing a lot to help themselves here.  They had only 8 hits in the game and left 6 runners on base in situations where the opportunity to score was high.  The Phils wasted a Jimmy Rollins triple in the 5th by having him run on contact from third during Placido Polanco’s at-bat.  Rollins was a dead duck at home plate when Polanco hit a hard grounder to short.

Then in the 7th, the Phillies hit 3 singles to load the bases, but Freddy Galvis was held at third by coach Juan Samuel on a ball bobbled by the Dodgers.  He should have scored there.  Hunter Pence came up and grounded out to end the inning.  Pence has been awful with runners in scoring position, having successful in only 2 of his last 33 chances.

This loss puts the Phillies back at .500 baseball and 4 games out of first, dead last in the division.  The Dodgers are a great team; if the Phillies do not pick it up in the next 3 games, they are going to find themselves in buried even further in the standings.

 

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

 

Wikipedia Appears to Side With Ruiz on Ejection

In last night’s 5-2 loss to the Nationals, Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz was thrown out by umpire Gary Cederstrom in the 3rd inning for looking at him.  According to reporter Jim Salisbury, Ruiz did not cuss, yell or even say anything offensive.

Manager Charlie Manuel stated, “[Ruiz] said he just told the umpire, ‘That was a strike,’ and when he looked up at him he threw him out of the game,” Manuel said. “When I went out there, the [umpire] said, ‘He was looking at me and I threw him out.’ “ So, he was tossed for making eye contact?  Does Cederstrom think he is the Queen of England or something?

Apparently, the nice folks at Wikipedia seem to agree.  If you look at the screen shot below, the line at the bottom says, “On May 22, 2012, Cederstrom threw Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz out of the game for arguing balls and strikes because everybody paid good money to see Gary Cederstrom throw people out.”

I added the screen shot because I was not sure how long it might be before Wikipedia decides to take the comment down.  Or perhaps everyone there has a great sense of humor and will let the record stand as it is?  It is pretty funny.

Roy Halladay also commented on the issue, as noted in Salisbury’s article. “I didn’t see anything wrong with what [Ruiz] did,” Halladay said. “He didn’t get in his face. He didn’t use obscene language. He simply said it was a strike. I’ve never seen one like that before. It’s unfortunate. He’s our best player and he got run out of the game for saying a ball was a strike. I’ve never seen that before.”

These umpires and their mega egos are simply out of control.  This behavior is, or at least it should be, totally unacceptable.  Will MLB respond?  Doubtful.

As for the game, it sucked just as bad as the previous one.  The Phillies offense went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left 9 men on base.  And Halladay had another bad game, giving up 5 runs in 6 innings.

The clock is ticking…if this team does not find a way to win really quickly, they could wind up buried in ahole they cannot climb out of.  Game 3 with the Nats starts at 7:05pm tonight.  It will be a Cole HamelsBryce Harper reunion ;o)  Joy.

UPDATE: I was correct; Wikipedia has taken the comment off the page.  Good thing I took the screen shot ;o)  Funny stuff!

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Umpires Rob Phillies of a Run Who Lose In 11 Innings

When the umpires become the big story of a game, something is very wrong.  But that is what happened in tonight’s Phillies – Nationals game starting immediately in the first inning of an eventual 4-3 Phils loss.

With the Nats 19-year old newbie at the plate in the 1st, the home plate ump gave him a walk on a check swing that was not a check swing.  Even without replay, you could see that Bryce Harper’s bat did cross the plate.

Understandably, Charlie Manuel was upset.  Because not only was the strike obvious, but there was NO umpire at third to call it due to Joe West being ill.  As a result, the remaining 3 umpires were on the defensive right away.  Manuel had barely yelled a few words from the dugout when the home plate umpire tossed him from the game without hesitation.

So the Phillies lost their manager in the 1st inning and the umpire disgrace rolled further downhill after that.  With Shane Victorino on 2nd base in the 7th, Carlos Ruiz smashed a ball right over the 3rd base bag that should have been an RBI double.  But again, with NO umpire at third, it was ruled a foul ball.  Seconds later, Victorino stole 3rd base and was called out even though he was never tagged.  Remember, there was NO umpire to see this so I guess they just tossed a coin.

Ruiz singled right after that, but no run scored because Victorino had been called out erroneously.  Essentially, the umpires robbed the Phillies of the same run twice!

With 3 huge blown calls, the manager ejected and an RBI taken away from the Phillies, the umpires were not done yet.  Because during the next 1/2 inning, the idiot who called Victorino out was seen vehemently defending himself to Victorino as he ran out to center field.  He actually appeared to be yelling at Victorino as he waved his hands around for emphasis.  Seriously?  YOU blow a bunch of calls and have the nerve to yell at the player?  Disgusting.

Calls started going against the Nationals too, although not game-changing.  With the exact same situation as the 1st inning and Harper at bat again, he was called out on a check swing in the 7th.  This time, he actually did not swing.

My question is this:  WHY can MLB not afford an extra umpire for when this happens again?  If someone gets sick, you have a replacement.  If not, he can sit in the booth and HELP by watching replays on close calls.  Give the umpires earpieces or radios and have the 5th ump call down with the correct call.

Because isn’t the most important thing to get the call right?  Or does MLB think catering to umpire egos is more important?  And if they don’t like the 5th umpire idea, then you HAVE to allow replay.  Blown calls should NOT be affecting the outcome of a game in the modern era.  Was no one paying attention when Jim Joyce cost a kid a perfect game with a blown call?

I hope these idiot umpires go back and watch film of this game and see everything they screwed up.  But I guarantee you this; none of them will feel anywhere near as badly as Joyce did after his blown call.  That man at least had the class and humanity to admit his mistake.  But aside from Joyce, when no one is held accountable for their actions, this will never change.

Granted, you cannot put all the blame for this loss on the umpires.  The Phillies offense squandered chances.  But they should have had a 4-3 lead going into the 8th inning.  Instead, they took a 3-3 ballgame 11 innings, blew out their bullpen and lost the game once reliever Michael Schwimer had gone 3 innings and his arm was ready to fall off.

There is always tomorrow, of course.  But that does not make this one suck any less.

Game 2 – Saturday, 1:05pm.

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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

Philadelphia Phillies Fans 2011 New Year Resolutions


240A2.jpgSpring training is still many weeks away, but it is never too soon to begin thinking about the upcoming baseball season.  For Phillies fans, the promise of the new quartet of ace starting pitchers and a ballclub full of rested, healthy players breeds excitement.

But before one becomes overwhelmed with anticipation, all fans should sit down and make a practical list of important New Year Resolutions.  Here are a few to get you started.

1. Do not grumble every time Ryan Howard strikes out.  You should expect this by now.

2. Do not succumb to peer pressure by participating in The Wave.  Sit on your hands if you have to.  I hereby declare The Wave to be officially silly.

3. Stop tweeting the game play by play.  If someone owns a computer and is reading your tweets, you are likely safe in assuming that they also own a TV or a radio for which to see or hear the game.

4. To show the compassion and understanding of all great Phillies fans, offer free hugs to Mets fans.  After all, they are human beings too.

5. Unglue yourself from the computer and swear off fantasy baseball.  You can in fact have a life.

6. On Dollar Dog Night, limit yourself to a five dog maximum.  Take the other $15 dollars you saved and donate it to Phillies Charities.  Your stomach will thank you.

7. For the men: Please wear a shirt to ballgames.  You are not as sexy as you think.

8. For the women: Has your mother never told you that crack kills?  Please wear pants that fit.  Some men may disagree, but all the small children and their parents at the game will be eternally grateful.

9. For the parents: Please buy the super-cool foam finger for your kid after the game is over.  If all I see during a Chase Utley home run is a red foam finger, I will be forced to sit in front of you and break resolution #8.

10. Do not yell at the umpires for being blind.  The Americans With Disabilities Act says that blindness is a handicap and therefore, it is politically incorrect to poke fun at blind people.

I wish you all a safe and happy New Year!

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Phillies Offense Fails Again

JA Happ returned to Philadelphia today in a different uniform.  Pitching for the Astros against his former team for the first time, Happ showed Phillies brass why they should have kept him around.  Going pitch for pitch with Roy Halladay, Happ allowed only 2 runs in 6 1/3 innings.  Halladay went 7 with 3 runs given up.  He may have gone further, but Halladay was pulled for a pinch-hitter with runners on base in the 7th.



Thumbnail image for P8249196N Werth.jpgHaving Happ on the mound did not help the struggling Phillies offense emerge from their current funk.  Jayson Werth hit a solo homer in the 5th, but with runners in scoring position in the 6th, he grounded out.  Werth has hit only .159 with RISP all year; with 2 outs and RISP, the stat drops to .107.  By a wide margin, Werth is the worst situational hitter on the team.

The second run the Phillies scored was helped along by Halladay leading off the 6th with a base hit.  Placido Polanco later doubled to score him.  So of the 5 hits Happ allowed, one was from the opposing pitcher.  Base running errors have not helped the Phillies this week either.  Ben Francisco was picked off leaning too far off 3rd base during a potential rally in the 6th.  That was the 10th runner picked off this year.

Earlier in the series, Werth got picked off at second after peering into the Astros dugout; former teammate Brett Myers stuck his tongue out at him and in an attempt not to laugh out loud, Werth lowered his head and was thrown out.  A lack of concentration was bad enough, but playing around with the opposing team while on the base path?  Wow.  That is bad.

This entire Astros series has been a microcosm of Werth’s lack of focus.  Players getting thrown out on the base path, no discipline at the plate and a serious lack of urgency have now led to a huge series loss.  While the Braves have been losing as well, the Phillies have simply thrown away their opportunity to gain ground in the NL East race.

Disagreements with the umpires in every game of this series so far have added to the frustration.  Today, the home plate umpire called Shane Victorino back to the plate after being hit by a pitch; the ump claimed Victorino leaned into it.  Replay shows he leaded down and away.  But Victorino got on base anyway with a hit.

Despite the controversial umpiring, it has not been the officiating that lost these 3 games; it has been the Phillies invisible offense.  Today’s 3-2 loss was evidence enough.  The final game with the Astros is tomorrow afternoon at 1:05pm.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Howard Ejected, Oswalt In Left For 16-Inning Loss

In a strange turn of events last night, the Phillies lost a 4-2 game to the Astros in 16 innings that took 5 hours and 20 minutes to play.  The game started with an outstanding effort, again, by Cole Hamels who allowed just 2 runs.  But as has been the case all year, Hamels got no help.


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The Phillies offense scored only 1 run off Bud Norris who entered the game with a 5.23 ERA.  The one run was a Raul Ibanez double that scored Jayson Werth.  Not only are they not hitting, the Phils are striking out at a record pace lately.  Adding to the problem, Jimmy Rollins even got thrown out trying to steal 3rd base.  Most of the few hits they got came with 2 outs and the next batter could not capitalize.

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Rollins tried to redeem himself with a game-tying homer in the 9th that sent the game into extra innings.  But as in the first 9, the Phillies still did not hit.  Both teams’ bullpens got a workout though and both performed well.  15 pitchers were used in total for both teams.

 

There were some nice defensive plays in the game; most notably two double plays, one of which Rollins started from the ground to toss to Chase Utley:

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The real drama occurred when in the 14th inning, umpire Scott Barry, acted like a child, which led to the ejection of Ryan Howard from the game.  Howard put his hands on his hips in disgust as a check swing was called a strike.  Barry in response mimicked Howard’s action by placing his hands on his hips and gawking childishly at Howard.  Howard told the home plate ump he was mad at himself, not at Barry.  The kindergarten move by Barry was unprofessional, uncalled for and outright disgusting.  

As a result, the already annoyed Howard tossed his bat after being called out on another check swing.  He was mad, and with good reason.  Replay shows the bat never crossed the plate and Howard should not have been called out.  But Barry, still in 3-year old mode, took offense to the bat toss and ejected him.  But this should have been an equipment fine, not an ejection.  However, the infantile Barry made up his own rules.  Check out the VIDEO.  Here are a few game shots of Howard:

0824 Howard.jpgBarry, 31, is a minor league call-up who just started his 4th year of AAA ball umpiring.  This is the same ump who tossed Charlie Manuel from the game on Monday night after another BS call.  And on August 18th, the same umpire ejected the National’s Ryan Zimmerman for tossing his bat and helmet after striking out.  Zimmerman said nothing but Barry ejected him anyway for the first ejection of his career.  Again, this should have been an equipment fine, not an ejection.

This minor leaguer is a disgrace to all umpires and he should be fired for his childish actions.  Barry is the kind of ump who gives all the good ones a bad rap.  But as usual, NO umpires are EVER held accountable for their actions.  It is a real shame and a serious blemish on the game of baseball.

All that drama led to the Phillies not having ANY players left.  As a result, starting pitcher Roy Oswalt was put in to play left field; it was the first time since Bill Wilson on Aug. 6, 1971 that any pitcher had been made to play another position.  Raul Ibanez, having some experience at first base, was moved to take Howard’s place.

And of course, the first batter of the 15th inning hit the ball right to Oswalt who snagged the fly ball easily and had a nice giggle over it.  Ibanez did a descent job at first, considering he has not played there in years.  He did drop a ball in the 16th, but no one can really blame Ibanez for the loss.  Same goes for relief pitcher David Herndon who gave up 2 runs that inning.  He got all ground balls, they were just hit in odd places.

I was at the game for the first 9 innings but having to get up early for work today, I did not stay for extras.  I listened on the radio in the car and then saw the last 3 innings on TV at home.  Here is the full Photo Album from the first 9 innings.

 

As for tonight, the Phillies had better find their bats if they are going to avoid losing this 4-game series to the Astros.  Roy Halladay will pitch against former Phillie JA Happ who will be in another uniform in Philly for the first time.  Game time is 7:05pm.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

Oswalt Swats The Nats

Before the final game of the Nationals series today, umpire and Philly native Jerry Crawford was honored for his 33 years of MLB service.  Today was to be his last Phillies game as he will retire at the end of the year.  Crawford was given a standing ovation and a present from the Phanatic; a baby Phanatic doll:

0822 Crawford.jpg

Once the game began, Roy Oswalt was in control.  Though he had a rather high pitch count and led off several innings with runners, Oswalt got the job done when he needed to.  He was also very effective at the plate with two hits and in his third at-bat, almost hit a home run.  The ball went all the way to the warning track in deep center before a Nat tracked it down.  A little bit to the left and it would have gone out.

0822 Oswalt.jpg

Oswalt gave up 5 hits and a walk in 7 innings without allowing a run.  His day was cut short when the skies opened up and dumped buckets of rain onto the field.  The 1 hour, 44 minute delay sent many fans home early.

But to that point, the Phillies offense started to hit again.  Jimmy Rollins double to lead off the game and a sac fly from Placido Polanco scored him.  Later in the 3rd, Oswalt scored after one of his hits and a Polanco single.  The 6th inning was interesting as well.  With 2 men on and 2 outs, the Nats decided to intentionally walk Carlos Ruiz to get to Wilson Valdez.  With the bases then loaded, Valdez made them pay with a 2-run single.

There were a lot of good play both on offense and defense:

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And then there were some not so great plays, like a Ruiz throwing error to second.  And some weird plays too; if you look at the top row of photos below, you will see Ryan Zimmerman checking out Valdez’s leg; Nats shortstop Ian Desmond, who caught a ground ball which got stuck in the netting of his glove, allowing another hit from Oswalt; and finally, Adam Kennedy puts his hand in a place that Rollins probably did not appreciate:

0822 Oops.jpg

With a 4-0 lead coming out of the rain delay, Rollins got another hit and Raul Ibanez cranked a 2-run homer to give the Phils a 6-0 win and a 2 game to 1 win in the series.  Ibanez, Polanco and Valdez each had 2-RBI on the day.  Valdez played in place of Chase Utley who was given a day off to rest.

And now the real fun begins; the Astros are coming to town for a 4-games series.  It will be like the Phillies vs. all the guys the Phillies no longer wanted.  Both Brett Myers and JA Happ will pitch in the series, plus we will see more old teammates like Michael Bourn, Nelson Figueroa and Jason Michaels.  Myers will pitch tomorrow against Joe Blanton at 7:05pm.

Here is the full Photo Album from the game.  If it is not working, try again later.  TypePad is having issues with photo albums right now.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Umpires Live Up To Their Reputations

Manue and umpl.jpg

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:

- Revenge: After years of being harassed and demeaned by angry fans, coaches and players who claim that they are terrible,

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these umpires decided to show us all the true meaning of “You suck, ump!”

- 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.

- Sheer entertainment value:  Who doesn’t LOVE a good argument?  

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And watching two 60-something year-old men go at it like hormonally enraged teenagers just adds to the appeal and the TV ratings.

- 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

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

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