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Sunday, August 20, 2017

MLB umpire protest: Umps unlikely to get sympathy from fans | SI.com

She’s got that right.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2017 at 07:54 AM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: umpires

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   1. Captain Supporter Posted: August 20, 2017 at 12:45 PM (#5517262)
Certainly none from me. Players who perform poorly get benched, demoted or released. Umpires who don't perform have tenure and sue MLB for racial discrimination (that would be Angel Hernandez, a poster child for affirmative action, who should thank his lucky stars every day he was given a job he never earned, and then demonstrated that he shouldn't have been given it every day for all to see clearly). And then there is Cowboy Joe West, who has always behaved like the game was about him, not the players, and then has the nerve to complain about the players not respecting authority. Its hard to believe.

There are some very good umpires and its easy to tell who they are. Unlike the aforementioned clowns, their names barely register and you pretty much don't even notice them when you watch the game
   2. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: August 20, 2017 at 01:15 PM (#5517277)
Cowboy Joe should be made to wear a big snowflake on his sleeve.
   3. Chris Fluit Posted: August 20, 2017 at 02:12 PM (#5517299)
I'll stand up for the umps on this one. Joe West got suspended three games earlier this month for talking #### about Adrian Beltre. Seems like it would have been fair for Kinsler to get a similar punishment for talking #### about Angel Hernández.
   4. dlf Posted: August 20, 2017 at 02:26 PM (#5517310)
#3 - The two have a very different role. The umpires are supposed to be impartial arbiters of the rules. The players perform within the context of those rules. There can be NO suggestion allowed by the league that the playing field is unequal because the officials favor or disfavor a particular player. That isn't an issue for a player's conduct vis a vis the ump. I don't encourage players insulting umpires, but dissimilarly situated individuals may merit different discipline even for similar conduct.
   5. bachslunch Posted: August 20, 2017 at 02:26 PM (#5517311)
No sympathy for the umps from me either. In fact, it's a good argument for getting automated umps into the game sooner.

And as the article rightly points out, things were much worse for umps a century ago. Nobody would even consider slugging an ump nowadays like John McGraw and Babe Ruth did.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 20, 2017 at 02:36 PM (#5517316)
Nobody would even consider slugging an ump nowadays

Except for Rob Manfred, of course.
   7. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 20, 2017 at 03:03 PM (#5517334)
Umps for the Cubs-Blue Jays game, including Cowboy Joe himself, are not wearing the wristbands. Len Kasper reports that the protest is over because Manfred has agreed to meet with reps of the umps' union. Talk about a decisive victory...
   8. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: August 20, 2017 at 04:01 PM (#5517364)
So, this "protest" was basically the MLB version of the various ACÁ repeal bills.
   9. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: August 20, 2017 at 04:02 PM (#5517368)
Actually, I suppose a meeting with the umps' union is more than the Trumpkins got from the ACA repeal efforts...
   10. Sunday silence Posted: August 20, 2017 at 04:02 PM (#5517369)
The thing I was thinking about umps, perhaps tangentially to this story, is that their union is taking a hard line stance against a robot strike zone but the only effect is to continue the process where the human inability to judge strikes and balls is continually being put on display for all the world to see. The only effect is for the average person to see that a) human beings are pretty mediocre at calling balls and strikes and b) isnt the umpire union being in the way of progress?

its not a good long term strategy for the union, they just continue to show how pointless it is for them to call balls and strikes. There's no redeeming strategy for them (other then keeping jobs). but of course that's what unions do, they dont really have any sort of long term public relations strategy. They are here to keep todays jobs.
   11. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 20, 2017 at 04:04 PM (#5517371)
So, this "protest" was basically the MLB version of the various ACÁ repeal bills.

Can't spell Trump without "ump."
   12. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: August 20, 2017 at 04:28 PM (#5517389)
10: I was thinking exactly what you describe in the first paragraph. For all the opposition to automated ball/strike calls, the umps seem like they're mailing it in, as if they've resigned themselves to the inevitability of robo-umps even while opposing the idea in principle.
   13. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 20, 2017 at 04:31 PM (#5517393)
Unions certainly have their strengths, but long-term strategic thinking has never been one of them.
   14. shoelesjoe Posted: August 20, 2017 at 04:51 PM (#5517422)
There's no redeeming strategy for them (other then keeping jobs). but of course that's what unions do, they dont really have any sort of long term public relations strategy. They are here to keep todays jobs.


I doubt very much the union's position is actually about umpires keeping their jobs. I've yet to see any proposed scenario involving robo-umps calling balls and strikes in which there will be fewer umpires on the field. Everybody assumes the home plate ump would simply remain around the plate in order to make the necessary calls involving balls hit fair or foul and of course the critical out/safe calls when a runner heads home.

The real reason umpires will fight to the death over robo-umps is because once you take away their responsibility for calling balls and strikes you've eliminated 99% of their power to influence the game. Either consciously or unconsciously umpires believe that they are just as much a part of the game as the players and managers. The introduction of robo-umps would be a huge blow to their egos, and therefore must be stopped at all costs.
   15. Sunday silence Posted: August 20, 2017 at 05:21 PM (#5517467)
it would also change the pace of the game. The entire pace would be directed by everyone in the stadia waiting for a sign on a wall or something to say ball/strike. Or maybe it could be in the umps earpiece I guess.


You may be right, Joe but the underlying assumption for a lot of primates has been that its about jobs.
   16. Pokey Reese's Pieces Posted: August 20, 2017 at 07:53 PM (#5517589)
Considering this was in support of Angel Hernandez, they should've worn the wristbands on their elbows or biceps...and then pick a fight with them and eject them.
   17. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 20, 2017 at 11:23 PM (#5517691)
FTFA: "escalating verbal attacks on MLB umpires"

"Verbal attacks," of course, is a dysphemism for "criticism."
   18. Robert S. Posted: August 20, 2017 at 11:37 PM (#5517697)
You may be right, Joe but the underlying assumption for a lot of primates has been that its about jobs.

I bet it is about jobs - specifically, minor league umps. How many people are going to keep doing that job at the the current level of compensation if they believe that the MLB tenure gig is a mirage? It's just a matter of time until technology will be better than humans for all umpiring calls. Open the barn door with a robot strike zone and there's no closing it to preserve the "human element" or whatever in the future: MLB umps are always one CBA away from being extinct.
   19. manchestermets Posted: August 21, 2017 at 07:21 AM (#5517716)
"Verbal attacks," of course, is a dysphemism for "criticism."


Well, yes and no. There is fair and unfair criticism. From TFA:

Last week, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected for arguing balls and strikes, got into a heated argument with umpire Angel Hernandez—who is not popular with a significant chunk of MLB players—and minced no words to reporters later. Kinsler said that Hernandez was “messing” with the games: “He's changing the game. He needs to find another job, he really does. I'm not mad at him. He just needs to go away… when it becomes blatant like this, there is a problem.” Though Kinsler said he expected a suspension for his comments, he only got a fine. In a statement announcing their protest, the World Umpires Association called for the commissioner to take “abusive player behavior” like this more seriously



Arguing balls and strikes leading to ejection is as old as the hills, so Kinsler hasn't got a case here. And when he accuses Hernandez of "messing with the game" I think he's going beyond fair criticism into a verbal attack. It's one thing to say "I think the umpire got a lot wrong out there." and absolutely another to suggest - as I think Kinsler did - that the umpire isn't acting in good faith.


(Full marks for "dysphemism", btw.)
   20. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 21, 2017 at 09:07 AM (#5517738)
and absolutely another to suggest - as I think Kinsler did - that the umpire isn't acting in good faith.


As I read it, Kinsler's taking exception to the way guys like Hernandez eject players. I think that is a fair criticism; that some umpires are looking to eject too quickly, and/or escalate the situation themselves
   21. BDC Posted: August 21, 2017 at 09:20 AM (#5517754)
Arguing balls and strikes leading to ejection is as old as the hills, so Kinsler hasn't got a case here

The sequence of events: called strike, Kinsler complains at rather greater length than usual. Next pitch, called ball way outside, Kinsler turns around and says something very brief, the umpire immediately tosses him. Some magic word got said, who knows which.

   22. Tim D Posted: August 21, 2017 at 09:36 AM (#5517761)
Kinsler asked him "what about that one?" And got run, as did Ausmus, and all the while Angel had this "make my day" smirk on his face. The called strike was ankle high. When Kinsler says Hernandez is messing with game he isn't questioning Angel's good faith; he is questioning his competence. Close pitches get missed, it's part of the deal. Some pitches are so close one side or the other is bound to complain. But a hitter has to be able to take a pitch that isn't close and have confidence it is a ball. Angel misses half a dozen obvious pitches a game. He changes at bats because neither the pitcher or batter can predict when he will just flat out blow one. It changes the game. Or "messes with it." He should be gone, but MLB has no ba!!s when it comes to the umpire's union, because for the most part, they ARE the very best, and there aren't very many of them. Angel Hernandez still having a job is a testament to this fact.
   23. manchestermets Posted: August 21, 2017 at 10:41 AM (#5517817)
When Kinsler says Hernandez is messing with game he isn't questioning Angel's good faith; he is questioning his competence.


I read the "messing with the game" as referring to the ejection rather than the ball/strike calling, but I'll concede that's a matter of interpretation and I could be wrong - the article didn't give full context.
   24. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: August 21, 2017 at 10:47 AM (#5517823)
I love how Manfred claims that a 90% ball/strike accuracy rate is good enough to fend off robo-umps. While at the same time, we have instant replay to see if a guy sliding into a base made sure a body part stayed on the base every millisecond.
   25. wjones Posted: August 21, 2017 at 11:06 AM (#5517845)
I love how Manfred claims that a 90% ball/strike accuracy rate is good enough to fend off robo-umps. While at the same time, we have instant replay to see if a guy sliding into a base made sure a body part stayed on the base every millisecond.

Good thing he isn't Director of Surgery at a medical center.

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