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UPDATE: No discipline for Phil Cuzzi

Jul 20, 2010, 5:06 PM EDT

Yesterday we thought Phil Cuzzi was going to be called on the carpet. Today we learn that he's getting a pat on the head and sent back to work. What a disgrace.

UPDATE:  Surprise!  No discipline at all for Phil Cuzzi. Graze a guy with a fastball or flip your bat in an impudent manner and you’re suspended and dined, but if you’re an umpire you can pick fights with players and make horrendous calls all you want, and baseball won’t touch you.

There is no accountability in umpiring today.  This is a complete joke.

Monday, 4:17 P.M.: As I mentioned in the recaps this morning, Phil Cuzzi, the home plate umpire in yesterday’s Giants-Mets game made a monster screw up. In the bottom of the ninth, Travis
Ishikawa came in with what should have been the game-winning run
, but Cuzzi called him out, costing the Giants the win in regulation. Even Henry Blanco, who applied the late tag, admitted that Cuzzi blew the call.

that inning Cuzzi started jawing at Francisco Rodriguez when K-Rod took exception to a call. You can’t argue balls and strikes, but (a) K-Rod wasn’t arguing, he was merely sulking; and (b) there is no need for an ump to ever get all prickly and defensive like that. Toss the player if he goes over the line, but until then, the ump should ignore pouting players and maintain professional decorum.

Thankfully, it appears as though Major League Baseball is going to call Phil Cuzzi on the carpet. He could face a fine and — if there is any justice in the world — a suspension.  Not only for his awful behavior and poor performance yesterday, but also for past umpire sins, most notably the foul ball call on what should have been a double off the bat of Joe Mauer in the Twins-Yankees ALDS last season.

Maybe that’s too much to ask. And yes, umpires make mistakes. But the aggressive confrontation of ballplayers we’ve seen from umpires this season is inexcusable, and Major League Baseball needs to nip it in the bud in a hurry. 

  1. scatterbrian - Jul 19, 2010 at 4:39 PM

    Called on the carpet? That sounds like a Chollyism.

  2. Ditto65 - Jul 19, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    Nah – Cholly would have ’em “take a ride downtown, so’s the big cheese can let this flat tire know he’s all wet.” Or something like that.
    Stay Classy, HBT.

  3. scatterbrian - Jul 19, 2010 at 5:09 PM

    Aces, Ditto. Aces.

  4. Dan in Katonah - Jul 19, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    The K-Rod pitch was clearly a strike and Cuzzi was out to lunch. It looked like he tossed K-Rod (or Blanco) when they did little but react with disbelief. He also blew a call when a ball was hit in front of the plate (I think by Ishikawa) and the 3rd base umpire was permitted to call the live ball dead as if it hit the batter’s foot. The last 2 innings of that game were brutal for both Mets and Giants fans.

  5. RichardInBigD - Jul 19, 2010 at 5:35 PM

    It’d great that it appears that umpires may finally be held accountable for sucking, and then being douches about it. The greater question begging to be asked is: when will the commissioner be held accountable? When will Sir Bud be forced to get with the program of the 21st century, and use a little thing called instant replay to help these guys get it right? I mean, it’s not like the technology is anything new… I remember being at Aunt Joan and Uncle Ed’d house for one of those Sunday afternoon get togethers, and I was watching the Mets game on their 25″ color TV (a big deal in and of itself). As I was watching, Ed Kranepool hit a huge home run over the right field wall, and Lindsay Nelson took pains to explain that what I was about to see was, in fact, NOT another home run, but the same one AGAIN! The year was something around 1968, and this was a new, exciting facet to the game I loved so much. Point being, it was a LOOONG time ago, and all the other major sports use it. Why can’t the best sport use it more? Especially when it’s really important, like on safe/out calls at the plate? Maybe the reason that so many umpires have become such a-holes is that they KNOW they blew it, and that everyone’s gonna know it, and that really pisses them off… Now THAT’S Bud’s call, and HE’S blowing it, again!

  6. Mavix - Jul 19, 2010 at 8:07 PM

    Agreed…the ball hit in front was a live ball and the player should have been out. So with that, the ‘home plate’ call would have never happened.
    Also, if you watch the replay, you will see that Ishikawa did beat the throw, BUT as he was sliding in, his foot was elevated above the plate and Blanco did in fact apply the tag, before Ishikawa’s foot actually touched the plate.
    Thus, 3 outs, extra innings, Mets win.

  7. KWRegan - Jul 19, 2010 at 8:46 PM

    As I had earlier posted in the video’s own comments section, I agree with Mavix in this thread. Here’s what I wrote there, OK I got the wrong catcher with a “B” on his shirt, it was Blanco :-):
    I believe the call can be argued as correct. It is not clear to me that Ishikawa’s lead foot ever touches the plate—it is in the air over the right-field side of the plate, dragging dirt in front of it onto the plate. I believe Barajas’ glove does nick Ishikawa’s hip on its way down, before Ishikawa’s trailing foot touches the plate. In any event, on video review I would not see convincing evidence to overturn the call.
    I’m really glad to see someone agree with the observation about the foot, as I’ve gone out on a limb with this kind of thing. E.g. Google my username + “baby killer” (the Texas congressman told the truth); I think David Wright suffered a minor-but-meaningful shoulder injury during the 2006 HR Derby (Matt Berry published my e-mail to that effect in his 7/13/06 TMR column then-hosted by; the Krush-Zatonskih Armageddon; and more.

  8. Nic Geerz - Jul 20, 2010 at 11:01 AM


  9. The Beer Baron - Jul 20, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    You’re out of your mind. Multiple angles on the replay and his foot was clearly down and hit the plate well ahead of the tag. Blown call, and a couple of delusional Met fans aside I think everyone can see that it is painfully obvious that Cuzzi “kicked the shit out of that call”

  10. King Ding-A-Ling - Jul 20, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    Phil Cuzzi is a clown.

  11. RichardInBigD - Jul 20, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    If they dont do something about these a-holes, my kid is gonna always be in trouble in 10 years. He’s the master of the “WHAT?? You’re gonna call that a BALL????” icy stare. I assume that, at the current rate of escalation, the first second look will be good for a 100K fine and a 30 day tilt in the unemployment line…

  12. Ditto65 - Jul 20, 2010 at 6:22 PM


  13. KWRegan - Jul 20, 2010 at 10:17 PM

    If his foot was down, you’re right. Henry Blanco said he was “way safe”, but he wasn’t looking at the foot. I stand by my look that in the replay looking toward right field foul territory, which is the best angle (and only a little rotated from Cuzzi’s), his foot is *not down*.

  14. walk - Jul 20, 2010 at 11:59 PM

    The attitude Mlb takes with umpires is completely different that the position they assume with players. When an umpire is involved the stance taken by the commisioners office is along the lines of “the games over, issue resolved”. To me they are litterally telling us with that attitude is that they are above any type of reproach. When a player is involved their attitude is entirely different, punishment is a players case is swift and fines and suspensions are made public. Not so with umpires. It is like pulling teeth to get any information on a censored umpire. Even if an umpire is disciplined we likely wont find out anything. A small arguement over a ball and strike can turn into a 20 year arguement because of this lack of closure. Sorry folks i got of track some and a bit wordy here.

  15. Professor Longnose - Jul 21, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    My guess is that the first thing that MLB has to do to get the umpires under control is to institute replays. Umpires right now are in a tough position–everyone knows they’re blowing calls, and the information to get the call right is given to everyone in the universe except the umpires themselves. They’re taking a lot of heat, attitudes toward umpires everywhere are changing, they’re being held in contempt, and the one way they can get their respect back–by being able to use the replay tool to help them rather than castigate them–is refused them. I think that might be a major reason why this is happening.

  16. BC - Jul 21, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    MLB should fire every last one of these guys and bring AAA umps up. 90% of these guys are confrontational and think they’re the show. That, and they can’t umpire their way out of a paper bag. They’re all fat, dumb and happy and think they can’t be touched. Dump the whole union and bring up some guys who MLB can get under control. Ridiculous.

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