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Monday, December 17, 2012

MLB.com: Skipper vs. ump arguments not always as they seem

Bob Davidson thought he had made the correct call. In his mind, it wasn’t even debatable.

Nevertheless, after the umpire declared a runner safe on a swipe of second base during a contest at Dodger Stadium in 1984, Los Angeles skipper Tommy Lasorda stormed out of the dugout.

Davidson, then in just his third big league season, prepared for the worst. He got something different.

“All he talked about was an Italian restaurant he ate at and how the wine was bad,” Davidson said. “He said, ‘Hey, you have to throw me out, because I have 48,000 people in the ballpark.’ I remember the ‘argument’ was heated.”

A shouting match between a manager and umpire doesn’t always contain the dialogue fans envision. Umpires must wear an assortment of hats. Aside from delivering the proper calls, they often moonlight as therapists when a skipper voices his frustration about his team’s play or, in Lasorda’s case, vents about lousy Italian fare. The masked men must also perfect the art of acting, because the slightest hint of a grin or laughter can reveal the true immaterial content of the supposedly tempestuous talk.

“There have been times when I thought it was quite hysterical the way a manager was going about it and what he was doing,” said umpire Tom Hallion, who has 22 years of big league experience. “Obviously, being a professional, you can’t show those emotions out on the field. You have to stand there and argue back at them, or take it like it’s a serious matter.”

As Lasorda spouted off about tortellini and vermicelli, crew chief John Kibler joined the huddle to listen to the skipper’s gripe.

“Kibler had to put his hand over his mouth, because he started laughing and that would give it away,” Davidson said.

Delicious Cake Posted: December 17, 2012 at 08:40 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: managers, ten dogs, umpires

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   1. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: December 17, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4326630)
Rays manager Joe Maddon typically employs a more caring approach to his rendezvous with umpires. After Maddon disputed a call in 2007, Barrett told him that one more word would trigger his ejection, so the skipper simply replied, "I love you." Sticking to his guns, Barrett tossed him.

"I ejected him and then realized, 'What do I put in my report, that I ejected him because he told me he loved me?' That just stumped me," Barrett said. "I had never had a manager tell me he loved me before."


Heh.

I've always wondered what arguments over some of the more basic disputes sound like. When Fredi Gonzalez was arguing the infield-fly call in the wild card game, OK, there's a lot to discuss there. But when you're talking out/safe or ball/strike, how much can you really say?

Manager: That was a terrible call! He was safe.
Ump: No, he was out.
Manager: He got his hand in before the tag!
Ump: No, the tag was there first.
Manager: Nah-uh!
Ump: Uh-huh!
   2. dave h Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4326653)
If you're actually trying to get the call changed, or get some sympathy for the next call, I think you start by asking the umpire what he saw. Once he's on record, you can figure out where he has doubts, and either make him think he might have blown it (hoping for a makeup call later) or get him to ask for help.

Pretending to argue so you get thrown out happens all the time in the movies, it's kind of surprising that it might actually be a real thing.
   3. JE (Jason) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4326728)
Pretending to argue so you get thrown out happens all the time in the movies, it's kind of surprising that it might actually be a real thing.

Perhaps it's like how "The Godfather" influenced Mafia mannerisms, rather than the other way around.
   4. phredbird Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4326753)
similar to the lasorda thing, goose goslin tried to get himself thrown out of a game by arguing calls. in 'glory of their times' he claims he was in line to win a batting title or some such, and could clinch it by sitting in his last game of the year, so he argued calls with the ump, but the ump told him he knew what he was trying to do, so made him hit. goslin told the interviewer he got his hits.
   5. phredbird Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4326762)
actually it was his last at bat of the year. he was virtually tied with heinie manush of the browns in the last game of the year, and the senators (goslin's team) were playing the browns. due to bat in the ninth, goslin was barely ahead of manush, and figured out if he sat, he'd win the title, but his teammates goaded him into batting. goslin got behind 0-2 and then hit on the idea of getting thrown out, but the ump wouldn't go for it. goslin ended up getting a lucky hit. anyway, that's his story ...
   6. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4326786)
Just before the end of that season, Goslin had a 25-game hitting streak in which his average dropped seven points, from .381 to .374. He had 16 games with one hit, eight more with two hits, and the last game was his only 3-hit game. The first 24 dropped his average by ten points.
   7. guelphdad Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4326947)
Ron Luciano wrote about this in The Umpire Strikes Back in '82 or so. It isn't news, just a rehash of what's been going on for years.
   8. BDC Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4326965)
I was trying to find a video of a commercial I remember where the umpire and manager are going at it while saying the nicest, most complimentary things to each other, but who knows if I really saw it. This umpire-manager commerical shows a related idea.
   9. Kris Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4326998)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0Y9EfiJSF8
   10. Walt Davis Posted: December 17, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4327111)
Not that I think any of this matters, but why should the umpire "help" the manager by participating in the farce? If LaSorda isn't pissed but is trying to fire up his team or the crowd, if anything the umpire (as independent arbiter) should try to foil this bit of gamesmanship.

Also, while I'm sure LaSorda can give me the lowdown on where to go to get a good quantity of food, I'm not sure I'd trust his opinion on quality.

My favorite Harry Caray -- Steve Stone moment went something like this:

"And the catcher goes out to the mound. What do they have to talk about Stoney, where to go for dinner tonight?"

"He's telling him that the batter is peeking back to steal location so he's going to set up on one side of the plate but wants the pitcher to throw to the other."

"Oh."

And that's what happened.
   11. Ron J2 Posted: December 17, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4327152)
#4 A pitcher on a Rogers Hornsby managed team got a called strike on an 0-2 and started a furious argument. Hornsby fined pitchers who threw a strike on an 0-2 count.

The pitcher (obviously) lost the argument with the ump (don't recall if he was tossed) and Hornsby had no sympathy for "the ump blew the call" as an argument.
   12. smileyy Posted: December 17, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4327160)

Not that I think any of this matters, but why should the umpire "help" the manager by participating in the farce? If LaSorda isn't pissed but is trying to fire up his team or the crowd, if anything the umpire (as independent arbiter) should try to foil this bit of gamesmanship.


How? Wouldn't that just play out like this?

Umpire: "You're being dumb. Go back to the dugout..."
Manager: "...has this subtle mix of oregano and cumin..."
Umpire: "No, really, stop talking and get back to the dugout."
Manager: "...after you put the penguin meat in..."
Umpire: *ejects*
   13. Ron J2 Posted: December 17, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4327191)
the umpire (as independent arbiter) should try to foil this bit of gamesmanship.


The only problem with that is that you'll immediately be in a real and really heated argument if you don't play along.

I've been on the receiving end of arguments when somebody is genuinely ######. No fun.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: December 17, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4327204)
How? Wouldn't that just play out like this?

I meant why not laugh if LaSorda's making a fool of himself? Why go along with the act?

Umpire: "You're being dumb. Go back to the dugout..."
Manager: "...has this subtle mix of oregano and cumin..."
Umpire: "No, really, stop talking and get back to the dugout."
Manager: "...after you put the penguin meat in..."


Umpire: go back to the dugout now or the next time one of your players complains at all, he's gone. And don't waste my time again.
   15. bookbook Posted: December 18, 2012 at 07:53 AM (#4327493)
Yeah, but... Baseball is entertainment. That's like telling a pro wrestler he shouldn't fall down when a chair is broken over his back.
   16. J.R. Wolf Posted: December 20, 2012 at 03:33 AM (#4329181)
Yes, referring to penguin meat will always get a manager ejected.

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