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Well whaddaya know? The players and umps WILL meet after the season

Oct 8, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

Peace in our time?

This morning I linked to Amy Nelson’s story about the players wanting a sit-down with the umpires and the league after the season. My take: “This is so manifestly reasonable that you know damn well it will never happen.”

Shows you what I know:

A rare meeting between Major League Baseball players, umpires and
league officials to discuss player-umpire relationships, and possibly
instant replay, is set for Dec. 3.

I’m not sure what will come out of it really, but I see the following two outcomes as the best and worst case scenarios:

Best: Umpires hear what the players are saying about the umps’ attitudes, players get a better appreciation for how difficult and how stressful the umps’ job is, and it results in calmer, more rational on-field disagreements and a new sense of transparency and accountability when bad calls are made, which they inevitably will be;

Worst: The umpires use the meeting to document specific player complaints, thereby allowing them to add to their list of players they intend to screw with bad calls next season.

But hey, this is progress, right?

  1. ThatGuy - Oct 8, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    I personally hope its the later, the more umpires screw stuff up the better chance reply will be expanded.

  2. V... - Oct 8, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    My 2 cents….
    They should follow umpires accuracy throughout the year using Questec, Pitchtrax, and any other method used to show whether a pitch REALLY was a ball or strike… Each Umpire then gets graded throughout the season, and the ones with the highest grades, get to umpire the games in the postseason… (This would involve growing some gonads and standing up to the umpires union).
    The only conditions for which replay SHOULD be used….
    1. for plays that will either cost or gain a run…
    2. if the umpires huddle up, and decide they’re unsure, and THEY want a replay…
    3. each manager is given the right to one replay (for a non-run scoring play) request per game… (if the manager was correct, and the play is reversed, they then retain their right for one replay, if wrong, they lose it).

  3. geoknows - Oct 8, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    V…This is being done already. Mike Port, MLB’s VP of Umpiring, discusses the grading in this article:
    http://www.cleveland.com/dman/index.ssf/2009/05/mlb_umpires_seemingly_always_s.html

  4. btberry - Oct 8, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    Three years ago I would have said that umpiring in MLB had improved a ton and was continuing in the right direction. Most of the bad umpires with bad attitudes had not been re-hired after the mass resignation fiasco and new steps were taken to improve accountability. But now, for whatever reason, we’re seeing just flat bad calls in spades and all these calls seem to come at the worst times. Seems that every time they’ve been blowing a call saying someone is safe that player ends up scoring a huge run, breaking up a perfect game, etc.
    Three years ago I would have been against expanding replay. Now I think they should have an additional crew member watching the same thing we get to see on TV. The roughly two times a game it obvious a call is at least questionable he can buzz the crew chief, they can look at it more carefully and get the call right. Managers can still go out to argue to give the guy more time to look at it (which they will anyway) but if the replay guy indicates the call is right, the manager is probably going to waste less time arguing.
    P.S. My personal favorite was when Posada and Cano were both two feet off third, both got tagged and only one was out.

  5. BC - Oct 8, 2010 at 2:20 PM

    Unless Bud Light is in the meeting as well, nothing will happen. It’ll just be a b—- session.

  6. CJ - Oct 8, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    There’s a bit of a fallacy in your thinking in regards to your first reason for replay. For example last night: No one really knew whether Posey’s “stolen” base missed call would have costed the Braves a run at the time, so it wouldn’t have been reviewed at the time, unless Cox would have used a challenge of some sort.
    I’m not sure how replay could/would work in MLB, but it needs to be figured out and done anyway. In the NFL there’s a natural break in play for a few seconds, and this can be drawn out by different circumstances. In baseball, there really isn’t, unless you’re going to send the catcher out to the mound to screw around until someone decides whether or not to use a challenge. But what if it was the batting team wanting to challenge? Could a pitcher quickly pitch the ball to avoid a potential challenge as soon as the batter steps in? Additionally, in the NFL there are coaches in the booth with replay access and headsets. In baseball, not really unless you have some staffer in the locker room watching on TV and running out to tell the manager when to challenge.
    It will be a royal pain to install replay, which is why MLB doesn’t want to do it, but these missed calls are getting ridiculous and need to be fixed. Just use replay on every shady call and move on with it. Like I said in an earlier post, I think managers and coaches could really force the issue with this and argue every questionable call and drag it out as long as possible. After the manager gets tossed, let the next coach have at it on the next blown call. So the game down so much so that they have to install it to speed the game back up again. It’s so crazy it just might work, and it’d be actually entertaining to watch all of those guys get tossed over the course of the season anyway.

  7. V... - Oct 8, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    I know that it is taken into consideration… but like it says in that link you gave…
    PD: How are postseason assignments determined?
    MP: It begins with a meeting of supervisors that normally lasts about three days. We go through every umpire, covering 10 or 11 categories, and eventually forward our recommendations to the commissioner.
    I think the graded accuracies should be the most important consideration…. but as we all know.. it really boils down to senority…. they wont pass up the 20 year veteran for the rookie ump, just because the rook has a 95% rating, and the vet has a 78% rating…
    I say let the best man have the job…

  8. Mr. Heyward - Oct 8, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    Joe West will provide atmosphere by playing with his band. Johnny Quiznos will kick him in the face with his cleats. Everyone will laugh.

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