Thursday, April 28, 2011

What's with the baseball umpires?

I love baseball but have no fondness for umpires. I would like to see them all sacked. We can track the ball with computers now so we know for sure when the ball hits or misses the strike zone -- so why is there still an ump at home plate? I could see keeping a few of them around for odd situations -- like a fight, for instance -- but that's it.

My complaints don't stop there. That's Jim Joyce in the picture. My beef with him is not that he ruined Gallaraga's no-hitter with a missed call. That's just one of those things. But why, please god why, does this man sound like a wounded hog when he makes the calls? Have you heard his calls? They don't sound human.

Beyond this complaint (and all the bad calls; don't get me started), I don't understand why the home plate umpires yell something other than "ball" or "strike" after a pitch. It's a binary choice, no? Yet it seems they choose any old rude sound they want -- and bellow it out for the rest of their lives. What are they doing? If you want to keep these relics in the game, make them say "strike" or "ball" -- and make them say it clearly. After all, they each make up their own versions of the hand signals too. One guy points, another punches the air, one calls balls while another doesn't, etc. It's a mixed-up mess.

And don't you love it when the umpires review a call? En masse, they trot off to a TV to watch a replay -- the same one we've seen five times; the one that shows it's definitely a home run -- and they come back and say it's a double. How can this be? Reality is reality, no? Apparently not, when you're an ump.

Nope. No fondness for the umps here. Absolutely none. I say "tro da bums out!"

PS: I've got a ton of baseball talk in my trusty notebook, just itchin' to go out to you. I can feel a baseball-language post coming on. Hang on! It's coming.