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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Yankees and Dewayne Wise benefit from blown call by umpire Mike DiMuro as fans hide ball in stands

“OH OOOOOOOOHHH…IT NEVER ENDS! IT NEVER ENDS!”

This was very easy for Girardi to say, because Mike DiMuro’s imperfection worked greatly to the manager’s favor on Tuesday night. DiMuro didn’t ask to see a baseball that was not in Dewayne Wise’s glove, when any sensible arbiter would have made that simple request. DiMuro appeared a bit slow getting a decent angle on the foul pop from Jack Hannahan in the seventh inning. And when the ball glanced downward and away from Wise’s glove, DiMuro didn’t order Wise to open his mitt and produce the goods, which is why we have this big fuss today.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/yankees-dewayne-wise-benefits-blown-call-umpire-mike-dimuro-fans-hide-ball-stands-article-1.1103018#ixzz1z02prJr7


...“(DiMuro) said, ‘Out,’ right away,” Wise said. “So what was I supposed to do? Run back to left field?”

Such honesty would have been considered traitorous folly. As for the baseball itself, that elusive, deceitful sphere had bounced off Wise’s glove, onto the floor. There a fan, Vinnie Pellegrino, plucked it from the cement and handed it to his West Islip buddy, Sal Azzariti.

Azzariti, loyal Yankee fan, said he tried to stick the ball back into Wise’s glove before the left fielder lifted himself back onto the field.

Repoz Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:15 AM | 105 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hidden ball trick, indians, yankees

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   1. JJ1986 Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4167520)
“I believed the ball was in his glove when he came out of the stands,” DiMuro said afterward, to a pool reporter. “In hindsight, I should have asked him to show me the ball since he fell into the stands and out of my line of vision.”


What the ####? This ####### should be fired on the spot.
   2. bunyon Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4167522)
I just came to put this up, surprised it wasn't already. Here is the mlb link:

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=22614397&topic_id=11493214

And, yeah, I think this one should be grounds for discipline on the part of the umpire. This wasn't a judgment call, it was just incompetence.
   3. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4167523)
Yeah, I saw this garbage. How many freaking gifts are the Yankees going to get from MLBs sh*tty umpires this season? They're a good team; it's not like they need a whole lot of help.
   4. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4167526)
I can't believe that the ump didn't ask him to produce the ball. I guess the only logical thing is that he thought that Wise caught it and then lost it in the scrum of the stands. I don't know the exact standard for an outfielder to "maintain possession" in that spot.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4167529)
Ah, just one of the quirks of having humans umpires! It makes the game more interesting, and at least we're not slowed down by silly replays.
   6. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4167530)
I didn't RTFA. If that's what the ump said, he should be suspended.
   7. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4167531)
We truly live in the best of all possible worlds. We get a new candidate for worst call of all time almost every week!
   8. Dale Sams Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4167532)
Usually when the home team makes a spectacular play, like diving into the stands to make a catch...they will show the replay on the jumbotron.

I'm going to guess that didn't happen here.
   9. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4167534)
DiMuro then doubled down on his stupidity and ejected Hannahan when Hannahan had the audacity to challenge the call.
   10. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4167535)
I'm going to guess that didn't happen here


Pretty sure it did. I believe that is what Hannahan saw that made him discuss the play with DiMuro.
   11. baudib Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4167536)
Get rid of human umpires. There's absolutely no reason why a mega-billion industry like baseball can't develop robot umpires.
   12. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4167537)
DiMuro then doubled down on his stupidity and ejected Hannahan when Hannahan had the audacity to challenge the call.


That's not fair. Regardless of how badly he called the play, he shouldn't be forced to stand in the middle of a stadium full of people and get berated by an angry player.
   13. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4167538)
DiMuro then doubled down on his stupidity and ejected Hannahan when Hannahan had the audacity to challenge the call.


“I believed he would argue with me when I missed the call,” DiMuro said afterward, to a pool reporter. “In hindsight, I should have waited for him to argue before I ejected him.”


   14. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4167540)
I also really like the article headline - "as fans hide ball in stands""as fans hide ball in stands". That is some good hiding.
   15. Lassus Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4167544)
Such honesty would have been considered traitorous folly.

In pee-wee ball I did correct the umpire once when he called a guy out on a tag I had missed on the first part of a tag-runner-throw-to-1B double play on a grounder to me at second base. His reaction was a blank stare and a "What?", so I repeated it louder, and everyone in attendance heard and either laughed or yelled at me. He looked flummoxed for a second and then said something like "Well, I thought he was out, so he's out."

The MLB umps are clearly not helping themselves out lately.

Is it possible this is all a bit of domino effect from whomever was good who got purged in the labor dispute? How long ago was that, anyhow, and did any of the 19 that were jettisoned make it back?
   16. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4167547)
"Show me the ball" is umpiring 101. That's a truly awful error.
   17. SteveF Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4167549)
Yeah. Essentially DiMuro ejected Hannahan for suggesting that he should have asked to see the ball. In other words, Hannahan was ejected for calling Dimuro out for not doing his job correctly, not for arguing he got the call wrong.

DiMuro should be suspended a game.
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4167550)
In pee-wee ball I did correct the umpire once when he called a guy out on a tag I had missed on the first part of a tag-runner-throw-to-1B double play on a grounder to me at second base. His reaction was a blank stare and a "What?", so I repeated it louder, and everyone in attendance heard and either laughed or yelled at me. He looked flummoxed for a second and then said something like "Well, I thought he was out, so he's out."


I've had the occasional player correct me while officiating soccer. I;ve changed the call, then thank the player for his/her honesty.

   19. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4167552)
That's not fair. Regardless of how badly he called the play, he shouldn't be forced to stand in the middle of a stadium full of people and get berated by an angry player.

I agree. The person who should be berating these clowns is the commissioner. But for some reason I can't fathom, Selig appears to be pretty satisfied with having the worst, most incompetent crew of umpires I've seen in over thirty years of watching baseball.
   20. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4167554)
That's not fair. Regardless of how badly he called the play, he shouldn't be forced to stand in the middle of a stadium full of people and get berated by an angry player.


This was not a Lawrie or Alomar level flip out by Hannahan. He went back to the dugout, grabbed his glove and cap, saw the replay then went over to DiMuro and talked to him. He does say something to the effect of "he didn't have the ####### ball" but in no way is he berating the ump. And yeah, DiMuro should have taken it. He should have just turned his back and walked away.

EDIT: - not clear what he said beyond 'fcuking ball'
   21. JJ1986 Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4167555)
Is it possible this is all a bit of domino effect from whomever was good who got purged in the labor dispute? How long ago was that, anyhow, and did any of the 19 that were jettisoned make it back?


I don't know if I have this right because I just looked it up, but it appears the position of Vice President in Charge of Umpiring was simply eliminated by MLB two years ago when Torre got his job. I would guess that the new MLB structure is part of the problem.
   22. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4167556)
DiMuro should be suspended a game.


I'd up that to a week.
   23. Lassus Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4167557)
This also seems another case where one of the other umpires could have interceded, especially if everyone in the damned stadium knew he didn't have the ball.


DiMuro should be suspended a game.
I'd up that to a week.


Absolutely, definitely more than one game.
   24. shea80 Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4167558)
Usually when the home team makes a spectacular play, like diving into the stands to make a catch...they will show the replay on the jumbotron.

I'm going to guess that didn't happen here.


You are correct. It never appeared. I was at game (couldn't see the play from upper left field stands) and replay was never shown. At first we figured it was because they were in a hurry to get to God Bless America, but now it's obvious why they didn't. I stuck around to watch the game highlights on the jumbotron after the game but it didn't appear then, although a later play when A-Rod went near the stands to make a nice play in the ninth did.
   25. bunyon Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4167565)
That's not fair. Regardless of how badly he called the play, he shouldn't be forced to stand in the middle of a stadium full of people and get berated by an angry player.

As said above, he was berated. And, yeah, he should take it. If it wasn't slowing or interfering with the progress of the game, a guy who has screwed up that bad has to stand and take it for at least a few minutes or unless contact and/or seriously egregious cursing starts. You used to see this a lot. Ump blows a call, realizes it later and then lets the agrieved party have at it for a good long time. Sometimes the guy venting goes too far and the ump has to run him but very often the ump just takes it and the guy gets it off his chest and everyone feels better.

Here, the ump makes, not a bad call, but an egregious procedural mistake, one most junior high umps would get right, and then runs the guy within 30 seconds of the guy he screwed arguing pretty reasonably.

I'm absolutely serious, the ump should be fired. Not suspended, not disciplined, fired. I usually think calls for firing are over the top. Even calls that, in slow motion, look like terribly easy calls are judgements that have to be made with a fraction of a second, or maybe even a full second. Humans will blow some of those even when they're competent, conscientious workers.

This wasn't that.
   26. Lassus Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4167566)
As just about the biggest umpire-defender on the site, I think bunyon is probably right.

I do wonder if there's a "sent down" option, something slightly less death-pentalty, though. Sent down, not for a few weeks, but a few years. Guy loses seniority, and then back to AAA for a long period.

It would probably also not hurt to look at his record prior to this. Jim Joyce held on after his collossal screw-up because it was known he was a very good umpire who made a quick, terrible error. I have no idea if DiMura has that reputation.
   27. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4167569)
I'm absolutely serious, the ump should be fired. Not suspended, not disciplined, fired.


I respect your opinion here and I know how you arrived at it.

I think "fired" is a workplace thing. There are factors that we don't know - how long has this guy been an MLB ump? Does he have a record of problems? How have his last few performance reviews gone?

This was a really bad situation, but I'd have a lot of trouble running someone out of a long career for five minutes of crapitude.
   28. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4167570)
Since the "Edit" feature doesn't work, I'll add in a separate post that although I would probably suspend for a day, I could easily be talked into a week instead.
   29. bunyon Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4167571)
I want to add that I think even with replay a lot of calls will continue to be blown either due to lack of angle or humans continuing to make errors.

I like Lassus' idea. Perhaps umpires need relegation.

   30. bunyon Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4167574)
“In hindsight, I should have asked him to show me the ball since he fell into the stands and out of my line of vision.”

In other words, "I didn't really see the ball, but the fans were cheering, so I figured he was out."


I think "fired" is a workplace thing. There are factors that we don't know - how long has this guy been an MLB ump? Does he have a record of problems? How have his last few performance reviews gone?

Yeah, you're probably right. Coloring my opinion is that I think, in general, umpire performance the last 5 years is on a dreadful decline. And I don't like the guy's attitude at all. He said words that would fit but how he said them and his seeming to think Hanrahan's behavior was worse (which you seem to agree with) make me think he doesn't really give a damn if he gets calls right or not.

Good umps blow calls. Bad umps don't care.
   31. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4167575)
How long has this guy been an MLB ump?

To me, this question should have virtually no relevance whatsoever. I hate this notion that because someone has been doing something a long time, by definition that must mean they're one of the best in the world at it. It's pernicious myths like this that lead to benign neglect and decline.
   32. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4167580)
Joey, I should have probably used "meritorious service" or some other phrase like it. What I'm trying to say is that if he has performed his job flawlessly for twenty years, I have a lot of trouble calling for his head for a situation that happens in a few minutes. You're right that if he has barely hung onto his job for a long time, that shouldn't "buy" him any extra sympathy.
   33. Lassus Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4167586)
Despite not having a problem with his dismissal, he also does not deserve the level of very public humiliation a trumpeted firing would cause. Even for this mistake, that would be over-the-top. You or I screw up to that level at work, few people are witness to either it or the firing. Here, a massively-reported, internationally-witnessed screwup followed by a kick in the face and loss of livelihood lives with this guy FOREVER.

Nothing he did deserves that, so... there are some factors to consider.


To me, this question should have virtually no relevance whatsoever. I hate this notion that because someone has been doing something a long time, by definition that must mean they're one of the best in the world at it.

I agree, with Coke to TVErik, and as noted in #26, Joyce was considered one of the best in the world, which is why he wasn't hit harder. DiMura, well, none of us have much of an idea, do we?
   34. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4167589)
You or I screw up to that level at work, few people are witness to either it or the firing.


I came in at 8AM this morning after being here until 10:30PM last night. I immediately proceeded to stumble around and not do anything really well for awhile. I caught a phone call about ten minutes into my day and gave them exactly the wrong information; I messed up on a "101" thing in my job. I've righted the ship and at this point I am fine, but I don't feel I should have been actually canned.

I've spent fifteen years here doing a really good job. Stuff went against me personally and I had a bad couple of minutes.
   35. bunyon Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4167590)
Despite not having a problem with his dismissal, he also does not deserve the level of very public humiliation a trumpeted firing would cause. Even for this mistake, that would be over-the-top. You or I screw up to that level at work, few people are witness to either it or the firing. Here, and massively-reported, internationally-witnessed screwup followed by a kick in the face lives with this guy FOREVER.

Nothing he did deserves that, so... there are some factors to consider.


This is why I like the idea of relegation in umpires. What the hell does a 45 year old MLB ump who gets fired do? It isn't like there is another baseball league somewhere where you can make a living. Evaluate them at the end of the year, send the bottom 3 to AAA and bring the top three AAA umps up.

I'd also add a 5th ump to the rotation to give the guys some days off or to be a replay ump - more jobs would also play with the union. I'd also favor paying the AAA guys enough that you could make a decent living (I have no idea what they're paid now or if it is sufficient).


BUT, there has to be some consequence for being a terrible ump and there are a handful that are. And whether or not this guy deserves to be publicly fired or not (I agree he doesn't), if you screw up this badly at your job you should at least get a sleepless night thinking you MIGHT be fired. Not, "oh, ho! I made a really bad call, whaddya know!" and move on.
   36. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4167591)
Joey, I should have probably used "meritorious service" or some other phrase like it. What I'm trying to say is that if he has performed his job flawlessly for twenty years, I have a lot of trouble calling for his head for a situation that happens in a few minutes. You're right that if he has barely hung onto his job for a long time, that shouldn't "buy" him any extra sympathy.

I do agree that if the guy overall is a truly stellar umpire, then one big screwup shouldn't cost him his job.

The problem is that MLB hasn't been nearly serious enough about independently grading these guys and keeping them on their toes, and now all the years of neglect are really coming back to haunt them.
   37. bunyon Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4167592)
I messed up on a "101" thing in my job. I've righted the ship and at this point I am fine, but I don't feel I should have been actually canned.

Hey, I disagreed with your posts above, but I don't think they were THAT bad. ;)


   38. JJ1986 Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4167594)
I just don't see what reason there was for missing this call. It wasn't too fast. It wasn't hard to see (the catch might have; asking to see the ball wouldn't be). The umpire wasn't out of position; he wasn't distracted. The umpire didn't think he had seen something and end up incorrect, he knew he hadn't seen it.

I would guess that he thought it was going to be a catch beforehand and locked that in his mind. But there's still no conceivable reason not to ask to see the ball.
   39. bunyon Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4167596)
Actually, Erik, the key thing is you corrected the mistake. Not "DO NOT QUESTION ME!". It's often impossible for these guys to fix their mistakes but they shouldn't have that attitude of being infallible when they are clearly not.
   40. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 27, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4167607)
JJ, the thing that has been drilled into me by my friends who have been through the umpire training is that people like you and me have three options when presented with a call - "out", "safe", and "I wasn't looking - leave me the hell alone." Those guys don't have the third option; DiMuro in that spot couldn't say "I don't know". He had to decide quickly and stick with it. He decided wrong and then compounded the mistake.
   41. JJ1986 Posted: June 27, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4167610)
JJ, the thing that has been drilled into me by my friends who have been through the umpire training is that people like you and me have three options when presented with a call - "out", "safe", and "I wasn't looking - leave me the hell alone." Those guys don't have the third option; DiMuro in that spot couldn't say "I don't know". He had to decide quickly and stick with it. He decided wrong and then compounded the mistake


Thousands of times I've seen umpires wait to see the ball before making a call. They'll point deliberately at the player and then not signal anything else until the ball is shown. He could have waited.
   42. salajander Posted: June 27, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4167612)
This also seems another case where one of the other umpires could have interceded, especially if everyone in the damned stadium knew he didn't have the ball.


I was there, and so far as I could tell from my seats a few hundred feet away it was an out. I'm sure there were a few hundred in the near vicinity of the play who saw it wasn't a catch, and add in those listening on radio or watching the TV broadcasts in the concourses you probably get a few thousand.

Hell, I didn't even realize there was any controversy or that Hanananananhan got ejected until this morning.
   43. bunyon Posted: June 27, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4167617)
DiMuro in that spot couldn't say "I don't know". He had to decide quickly and stick with it.

No. That is what is so bad about this call. It absolutely wasn't a quick decision and it wasn't a call that couldn't be reversed. I've seen umps signal out in that situation and when no ball was produced, call safe. Same as a play at a base. Out call made, then, when the bodies move, the ball rolls out, call is changed.

This idea that the ump can never, ever change a call seems a modern one to me.
   44. Blubaldo Jimenez (OMJ) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4167618)
It isn't like there is another baseball league somewhere where you can make a living.



What about Japan or NCAA?
   45. Fanshawe Posted: June 27, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4167619)
Thousands of times I've seen umpires wait to see the ball before making a call. They'll point deliberately at the player and then not signal anything else until the ball is shown. He could have waited.


That's particularly true in this specific case, because no matter what call DiMuro makes the play ends with no further consequences. If Wise catches the ball, it ends the inning. If he drops it, it's a dead ball that's out of play. DiMuro can't sit there for 20 minutes thinking things over, obviously, but there's no reason he can't take an extra 10 or 15 seconds to ensure he has a full picture of what happened.
   46. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: June 27, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4167620)
Relegation: I'm not opposed to it in theory, but:
1) you can't just implement that unilaterally, that'll need to be negotiated with the union. Thaaaaaat's gonna be a tough sell vis-a-vis what MLB would be willing to give up in order to get it. (And this is even noting that baseball's got a much stronger negotiating position with umps than with players)
2) wouldn't this open MLB up to charges of retaliation, etc... for demoting a guy if you could plausible construct an off-field case as to why they wouldn't want to keep him around the bigs / would want to punish him (including, far from from limited to, union activity)?
   47. Fanshawe Posted: June 27, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4167635)
Relegation: I'm not opposed to it in theory, but:
1) you can't just implement that unilaterally, that'll need to be negotiated with the union. Thaaaaaat's gonna be a tough sell vis-a-vis what MLB would be willing to give up in order to get it. (And this is even noting that baseball's got a much stronger negotiating position with umps than with players)
2) wouldn't this open MLB up to charges of retaliation, etc... for demoting a guy if you could plausible construct an off-field case as to why they wouldn't want to keep him around the bigs / would want to punish him (including, far from from limited to, union activity)?


I don't think (2) is that big a problem. It's easily mitigated with a robust performance review system. Under a relegation system MLB would have to demote someone, so it wouldn't be quite the same as most other workplaces where major demotions are relatively uncommon. That said, MLB would be well served to stick pretty closely to whatever evaluation system they came up with. I think the bigger problem are that any useful rating system will significantly shuffle the existing pecking order (I bet Angel Hernandez does not share your opinion of his umpiring ability, for example). Relatedly, umpires, in general, have shown themselves to be thin skinned about job evaluations and criticism, so I think we'd end up with a watered down and near useless rating system.
   48. bunyon Posted: June 27, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4167640)
As ever, proposals such as this are BTF chatting rather than a realistic proposal. In reality, I'd be happy if MLB appeared to ever discipline umpires for anything and in anyway. I think a one game suspension is terribly low. But, in reality, I'd be thrilled with it.
   49. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 27, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4167647)
We're depending on public information to tell us everything that's going on. What if DiMuro's supervisor smacks him around? What if he loses vacation picks or plum assignments? What if he is told to fly coach, not first class? Or his hotel room is less than he's used to?

There are a lot of administrative actions that can be taken quietly and have real impact on an umpire. Some sort of Neanderthal justice system is not the only tool in the belt of the league office.
   50. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4167653)
This is not a "he missed it" situation. He didn't do his job properly. There is no possible way to "miss" this call if you do your job and ask to see the ball. That is all that was required.

And then when Hannahan argued, yes, the ump should have sat there and taken it.

All of that said, if I were King I wouldn't fire him. I'd suspend him two weeks and put him on notice that if he screws up like this again, he's going to be in serious trouble.

I don't know the workplace rules here, since the Richie Phillips debacle. Does the commissioner's office basically have authority to mete out any punishment they want, or is there some sort of CBA in effect?
   51. McCoy Posted: June 27, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4167682)
Some sort of Neanderthal justice system is not the only tool in the belt of the league office.

Except the umpires are in a union so the system of discipline is already on paper. They can't give him a crappier room or put him in coach if if his traveling accommodations are spelled out in the CBA and I'm betting they are. The CBA is also why the league simply can't fire him for this and why the punishment will probably a slap on the wrist.
   52. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 27, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4167693)
You know what would rank among the great moments in Yankee Stadium history? If Yankee fans included "Mike DiMuro" in their daily lineup callouts. I guarantee that'd be the viral baseball video of the year.
   53. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: June 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4167708)
I'm so damn sick and tired of "it's a union" being used as an excuse to not do anything. The horrendous current state of umpiring is absolutely a situation where the Commissioner needs to grow a pair of balls and invoke his executive authority for the good of the game.

The umpires' union should be given one of two choices: agree to amend the CBA to accept expanded instant replay, or agree to amend the CBA to accept an expanded system of independent review, along with performance-based rewards and punishments.

If the union refuses to accept either one of these choices within a reasonable period of time (say like a month or so), they should be treated the same way Reagan treated PATCO: they should all be terminated and replaced and the union should be disbanded.
   54. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: June 27, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4167716)
I'm not saying it's an excuse, Joey - but there's an existing CBA. For now, you work within it. When you suggest changes going forward, be prepared to negotiate things away in the process and/or accept the consequences of playing hardball (hiring replacement umps, etc...). The easiest way to get major changes on MLB's part is to raise pay - that's unlikely.

It's not like MLB hasn't gone down this road before (prior to the WUA, there was the MLUA...).

***

Fanshawe, 2) was more of an addendum - 1) was my key point.
   55. Lassus Posted: June 27, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4167719)
...they should all be terminated and replaced and the union should be disbanded.

You think umpiring is bad NOW?
   56. cardsfanboy Posted: June 27, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4167720)
I'm a proponent of instant replay. This is not a play that I would use as an argument for instant replay. This is a play I would use as an argument for umpire disciplining and training.

Good umps blow calls. Bad umps don't care.


That could be a quote from Jim Joyce

The problem is that MLB hasn't been nearly serious enough about independently grading these guys and keeping them on their toes, and now all the years of neglect are really coming back to haunt them.


I think that is the first thing Joey has ever said that I agree with.
   57. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4167722)
56/cfb - agreed. Punishment is definitely warranted here.
   58. bunyon Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4167723)
The easiest way to get major changes on MLB's part is to raise pay - that's unlikely.

I don't see why. A 100% across the board raise would be approximately the equivalent of a decent free agent? Am I just not apprciating how much they're paid?


1) Double the salary at each level.
2) Add a 5th man to each crew to act as replay ump - make this position part of the normal rotation (this gets 15 more union jobs).
3) Revamp performance review
4) Drop worst performing three to AAA, bring best 3 AAA umps up.


   59. McCoy Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4167724)
they should be treated the same way Reagan treated PATCO: they should all be terminated and replaced and the union should be disbanded.

That's nice that you think this but it isn't even close to within the realm of reason.
   60. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4167730)
4) Drop worst performing three to AAA, bring best 3 AAA umps up.


I like your proposals in general, but I'd quibble with this one. Umpires who score below a certain level should be "relegated" - whether there are 10 such umpires, 3 such umpires, or 0 such umpires. If feasible, perhaps even do a combined rating system of all umpires at every level and re-assign to leagues every year based on that - the top X go to the majors, the next Y go to AAA, etc. Arbitrarily relegating 3 and only 3 leaves open the possibility of either relegating good umps or failing to relegate lousy ones (more likely the latter, at least initially).
   61. bunyon Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4167734)
Kiko@60: good points. In my little dreamworld, I'd do your plan rather than mine (3 and only 3).

As for money, I suppose getting good data on minor league umps might cost a good bit of money. I'm not sure how many angles you get on a low A game, for instance. But they ought to be trying to get that data.
   62. Kurt Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4167736)
Despite not having a problem with his dismissal, he also does not deserve the level of very public humiliation a trumpeted firing would cause.

I don't agree with this. Either he deserves to get fired or not, but players, managers and executives all accept the possibility of the "public humiliation [of] a trumpeted firing" as part of the deal of being involved in MLB. I don't see why umpiring should be any different. If the public humiliation of a firing is too much for DiMura, there are a million other professions he could have entered. The complete lack of public accountability for umpires is a big part of the problem.
   63. Davo Dozier Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4167737)
55. ...they should all be terminated and replaced and the union should be disbanded.

You think umpiring is bad NOW?
Just wait til it's free!
   64. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4167744)
Is Mike DiMuro a son or nephew of ump Lou DiMuro? Lou is pretty famous for checking out baseballs...
   65. TDF, situational idiot Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4167749)
The umpires' union should be given one of two choices: agree to amend the CBA to accept expanded instant replay, or agree to amend the CBA to accept an expanded system of independent review, along with performance-based rewards and punishments.

If the union refuses to accept either one of these choices within a reasonable period of time (say like a month or so), they should be treated the same way Reagan treated PATCO: they should all be terminated and replaced and the union should be disbanded.
In other words, you fully support the idea that contracts have no value and that the superior side should have the authority to amend or cancel any contract at any time for any (or no) reason.

Yea, that's reasonable.
   66. A Random 8-Year-Old Eskimo Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4167763)
This was particularly bad by DiMuro. We've all seen this play dozens of time where the player falls into the stands and, even when everyone is sure the player caught it, the umpire (nearly) always either peeks his head into the stands to confirm this or waits for the player to show him the ball and then signals out. DiMuro's failure to do so here is quite egregious. I'm in agreement one bad call shouldn't cost a generally competent umpire his job.

Does the NHL engage in some sort of monitoring and ranking system of its officials? I recall that there was a referee (or maybe linesman) who retired at the end of this season to spend more time with his family, but it was suggested that the real reason was that his ratings were so low that he was in danger of losing his job and chose to retire rather than demoted or fired. Does anyone know if that was the case or just internet rumouring?
   67. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4167768)
I think there needs to be an umpiring auto da fé. Put one of these guys in a dunce cap and march him around the stadium in a burlap sack, the other ones might learn their place.
   68. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: June 27, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4167847)
I don't see why. A 100% across the board raise would be approximately the equivalent of a decent free agent? Am I just not apprciating how much they're paid?

Because I don't think they're interested in significantly increasing what they pay umpires, even if it yields higher quality work. Above a certain threshold, improving umpire quality probably has little impact on the bottom line.
   69. PreservedFish Posted: June 27, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4167898)
What's the rule regarding making a catch outside of the boundaries? If you have time to step into the first row and make a routine catch from a seat, does that count as an out, or do you need to leave your feet in bounds?
   70. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 27, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4167912)
My understanding as it was explained to me years ago by an umpire at a insurance league baseball tournament (so, it may be entirely wrong) was that it's last point of contact by the player determines if it's a legal catch. If a player jumps from the playing surface into the air and catches the ball and then lands in the stands, it's an out.
If a player jumps into the stands and makes contact with the stands in an appreciable manner (standing in them, or using them to hold himself up) before catching the ball, he's out of play and the ball is ruled foul/home run.

Basically, you can't jump into the Red Sox bullpen and stand there to catch a home run ball, but you can leap over the fence, catch the ball, and then land in the bullpen.
   71. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 27, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4167918)
. . . they should be treated the same way Reagan treated PATCO: they should all be terminated and replaced and the union should be disbanded

Labor law is a little more complicated. PATCO broke the law when they went on strike, opening themselves up to being fired.
   72. SoSH U at work Posted: June 27, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4167927)
What's the rule regarding making a catch outside of the boundaries? If you have time to step into the first row and make a routine catch from a seat, does that count as an out, or do you need to leave your feet in bounds?


RTG is correct. The relevant rule:

“6.05 A batter is out when—

“(a) His fair or foul fly ball (other than a foul tip) is legally caught by a fielder;

“Rule 6.05(a) Comment: A fielder may reach into, but not step into, a dugout to make a catch, and if he holds the ball, the catch shall be allowed. A fielder, in order to make a catch on a foul ball nearing a dugout or other out-of-play area (such as the stands), must have one or both feet on or over the playing surface (including the lip of the dugout) and neither foot on the ground inside the dugout or in any other out-of-play area. Ball is in play, unless the fielder, after making a legal catch, falls into a dugout or other out-of-play area, in which case the ball is dead. “
   73. Sunday silence Posted: June 27, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4167951)
I understand what your saying about the CBA and you cant just fire these guys. My question: is there any way that you could grade ball/strike performance and create a set of "specialist" umpires that only work behind the plate?
   74. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4167970)
A similar situation unfolded earlier this season down the right-field line of a National League park. The replay camera showed that the ball slipped out of the right fielder's glove but the first-base umpire made the out call because the player quickly picked up the ball and held it up for the ump to see.
   75. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: June 27, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4167975)
73: Don't know - I'm not privy to the agreement - but I've long thought a variation of that would be worth considering (with all crews having two b/s guys that alternate).
   76. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 27, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4168083)
. . . they should be treated the same way Reagan treated PATCO: they should all be terminated and replaced and the union should be disbanded

That's one of those comments where you don't even have to look at the name of the author in order to figure out who wrote it.
   77. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 27, 2012 at 06:08 PM (#4168102)
Is Mike DiMuro a son or nephew of ump Lou DiMuro?

Son.

   78. bunyon Posted: June 27, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4168123)
Is Mike DiMuro a son or nephew of ump Lou DiMuro?

Son.


Fire Dad, too.
   79. zenbitz Posted: June 27, 2012 at 06:59 PM (#4168129)
Was that a Sam Kinnison reference in the intro?
   80. Sunday silence Posted: June 27, 2012 at 07:24 PM (#4168144)
Its funny how the quick response to this sort of stuff is to up the penalties (such a immediate firing) on the theory that it will keep this stuff from happening.

There are things in human nature that are both simple and easy to forget that no amount of penalties will ever keep it from happening.

Like the Carthaginians would execute their generals for losing a battle. Like that would keep them from losing battles.

Or in modern times, they upped the penalties for bringing a handgun into an airport. And you know what? People still forget about this and put loaded guns in their luggage. It's just something stupid that they forget about. Increased penalties will hardly help.

I get the deMauro totally screwed that up and it was easy to verify the ball. Firing him wont keep that sort of brain fart from happening.

In regard to the ejection: I thought DeMauro felt the guy was showing him up because he had already had benefit of the instant reply and then choose to criticize him. WOuld he have done the same thing if the player had protested immediately?
   81. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 07:31 PM (#4168146)
If you ask me, it's the ejection that's really bad. Incompetence compounded by self-righteousness is the problem. And it's rampant among umpires.

I don't think he should be fired. But there's no culture of accountability among umpires. There should be.
   82. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 27, 2012 at 07:54 PM (#4168154)
Is Mike DiMuro a son or nephew of ump Lou DiMuro?

Son.

Fire Dad, too.

Lou DiMuro died in 1982; hit by a car while crossing the street to return to his hotel after calling a Rangers game.
   83. bunyon Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4168197)
Okay, crap. If Mike is reading this, I'm sorry, that's a crappy thing to deal with.

   84. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:08 PM (#4168200)
In regard to the ejection: I thought DeMauro felt the guy was showing him up because he had already had benefit of the instant reply and then choose to criticize him. WOuld he have done the same thing if the player had protested immediatelely?


Excellent point, Sunday.

If it's such an unpardonable sin, why wasn't the 3B case all over it?
   85. Dale H. Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4168225)
Come on people. The 23 seconds between the missed call and the entire viewing audience knowing he missed the ball is unacceptable. Replay simply just wouldn't work in baseball. There's no way a Yankees game could absorb a 23 second delay.
   86. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 28, 2012 at 12:46 AM (#4168265)
3b case?!?!

3B COACH. Really; he should have asked the ump to show the ball.
   87. Sunday silence Posted: June 28, 2012 at 01:19 AM (#4168273)
it almost seemed routine although it wasnt. The announcers all thought he had made a great catch, it looked like that on the video too, as he got there time and looked like he was in good position to make the catch. Everyone just stopped paying attention, including diMauro. I guess.

I think the umps get most pissed when the problem is obvious, and you show them up. Thats why I didnt think Matheny, coaching the Cards was all that brilliant in not complaining about Davidson. Hell that was just common sense, you won the game, Davidson did a clown move, and let's move on. Showing up Davidson is about the last thing you'd want to do.

Wasn't it Luciano, who in his book he said that when a manager came out and started arguing. If the manager was right, he would immediately toss him. But if the manager was wrong, then he'd let him go and on. In a sort of strange way it makes sense both ways. Ump foolish: move on, dont show him up. Ump was right all along; dont make it worse on the manager.
   88. BrianBrianson Posted: June 28, 2012 at 04:31 AM (#4168303)
Man, am I glad I work in what appears to be the only job on Earth where a brain fart doesn't result in one deserving to be fired.
   89. Lassus Posted: June 28, 2012 at 07:12 AM (#4168310)
Come on people. The 23 seconds between the missed call and the entire viewing audience knowing he missed the ball is unacceptable. Replay simply just wouldn't work in baseball. There's no way a Yankees game could absorb a 23 second delay.

Strawman. Argument against replay has never, ever been that a single play reviewed destroys the game, it's that repeated reviews on multiple plays per game (many longer than 23 seconds) will simply make it more tiresome to watch.


   90. Howie Menckel Posted: June 28, 2012 at 08:02 AM (#4168314)

According to a NYC morning radio host, radio announcers John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman have yet to tell their audience that the call was botched. If so, that's amazing.
John can't see beyond the tip of his nose, of course, so he's got ground cover at least.
   91. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: June 28, 2012 at 09:29 AM (#4168351)
In a sort of strange way it makes sense both ways
I think so.

I think a punishment is warranted, as much as anything, for signaling purposes.
   92. Kurt Posted: June 28, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4168364)
Howie, that's not true. I wasn't listening during the play but I was for the top of the ninth, and during the rally they commented on how important the call on the Wise play was becoming. They didn't describe it in detail, but it was clear to me that Wise had gotten credit for a catch he didn't really make (I assumed he trapped it in the outfield).
   93. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: June 28, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4168376)
I'm certainly not in favor of firing an umpire over one mistake, no matter how egregious.

At the company I work for, there is a scale of severity for drivers who do something on the road, ranging from review to termination (we have DriveCams in our vans). Problem is, a driver can have years of service time and hundreds of thousands of miles with a safe driving record and get fired for one relatively minor accident (rear-ending a car, no injuries, for instance).

There is a difference between a momentary lapse and an established pattern of ineptitude.
   94. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 28, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4168457)
I came in at 8AM this morning after being here until 10:30PM last night. I immediately proceeded to stumble around and not do anything really well for awhile. I caught a phone call about ten minutes into my day and gave them exactly the wrong information; I messed up on a "101" thing in my job. I've righted the ship and at this point I am fine, but I don't feel I should have been actually canned.
Well, did you call back and give the correct information? More importantly, when they called back to complain that you gave them the wrong information, did you punish them?
   95. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 28, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4168464)
We're depending on public information to tell us everything that's going on. What if DiMuro's supervisor smacks him around? What if he loses vacation picks or plum assignments? What if he is told to fly coach, not first class? Or his hotel room is less than he's used to?

There are a lot of administrative actions that can be taken quietly and have real impact on an umpire. Some sort of Neanderthal justice system is not the only tool in the belt of the league office.
And if he were stealing office supplies, "administrative actions that can be taken quietly" might be the way to go. But this was a public screwup and deserves a public response, not a private one. The cop that shows up late to work should get private discipline. The cop that falsely arrests someone should get public discipline. One is an internal matter; one is an external matter.
   96. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: June 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4168469)
You know what would rank among the great moments in Yankee Stadium history? If Yankee fans included "Mike DiMuro" in their daily lineup callouts. I guarantee that'd be the viral baseball video of the year.
DiMuro did get a very, very nice hand when he was announced as yesterday.
   97. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 28, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4168470)
If the union refuses to accept either one of these choices within a reasonable period of time (say like a month or so), they should be treated the same way Reagan treated PATCO: they should all be terminated and replaced and the union should be disbanded.
That’s Kevin-level stupid. The air traffic controllers were breaking the law, as well as violating their contract, by striking. That's why Reagan could terminate them. The umpires union is neither breaking the law nor violating its contract by not allowing the league to unilaterally amend the CBA in the middle.

Note that when the umpires' union DID do something it wasn't allowed to do, Selig took advantage of it in a PATCOesqe way. Remember the Richie Phillips mass resignation debacle? They weren't allowed to strike, so they decided to resign en masse to get leverage. Rather than negotiating, MLB said, "Great. Thanks for your service. Bye."
   98. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 28, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4168633)
You know what would rank among the great moments in Yankee Stadium history? If Yankee fans included "Mike DiMuro" in their daily lineup callouts. I guarantee that'd be the viral baseball video of the year.

DiMuro did get a very, very nice hand when he was announced as yesterday.


Nice to hear that bit of drollery, since Extra Innings didn't sign on until 1:05.
   99. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: June 28, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4168667)
DiMuro obviously saw the Buehrle game and just assumed that was a routine chance for Dewayne Wise.
   100. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: June 28, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4168669)
Flip.
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