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Baseball trying to encourage civility between players and umpires

Mar 19, 2012, 12:03 PM EDT

Yost Estabrook

Buster Olney reports in his column this morning that Major League Baseball has been trying to encourage a more civil discourse between the players and the men in blue:

In short, they are encouraging that there be a more civil discourse. “I don’t think they mind us asking questions of the umpires, like ‘Was that pitch outside?’” said one player. “I think what they don’t want is any of us to get into questioning integrity.”

I’m curious about what they’re telling the umpires. Because most of the high profile run-ins we’ve seen in the past few years have been the result of umpires escalating things, not players. Joe West, Angel Hernandez and that crowd reacting angrily to players even questioning calls.  Umpires walking over to dugouts to confront managers when someone squawks.

There’s a lot of bad behavior to go around. I hope MLB’s little rap sessions are two-way streets.

  1. Stacey - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    The fact that fans know so many umpires by name and by reputation – usually bad – is not a good thing so I agree with you, I really hope it was a two way street.

  2. bleedgreen - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    I think they need to concentrate MORE on the umpires. Remember when the ump (forget who it was) was jawing at Ryan Howard after Howard turned his back to walk back to 3rd base?

  3. proudlycanadian - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Why do we never hear of umpires being disciplined? Are they ever disciplined? If so, why is it hush hush?

  4. Jonny 5 - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    Replay will end much of that ugly discourse actually. Won’t be as much to argue about. It won’t fix it all, but it will help some.

    • cur68 - Mar 19, 2012 at 9:12 PM

      Actually, I think it’ll help a lot. Many umps, I think, take pride in getting it right. Replay would give them a chance to do just that more often. Only a very few (likely those mentioned by Craig) would then go on to be douches about it.

  5. cubear34 - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Sounds like umpires and police have a lot in common. Have you ever tried to ask a police officer a question and had him look back at you like you were a criminal. I’m not talking mayberry police. City police, sounds like umpires are similar.

    • Old Gator - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      Actually, no. It’s usually been my experience that when you’re civil and respectful to police officers, they’re civil and respectful back.

      • mrfloydpink - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:08 PM

        You don’t live in Los Angeles, obviously.

  6. drewsylvania - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    The main problem is that nobody–umpires, players, broadcasters–knows what the strike zone is.

    • garlicfriesandbaseball - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:54 PM

      They all know what the strike zone is. They’re just not consistent.

      • Stacey - Mar 19, 2012 at 3:11 PM

        And the inconsistency is from inning to inning which is even more frustrating. It makes watching baseball maddening.

  7. stex52 - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    I agree. Most of the high profile stuff for the last couple of years comes from umpires losing their cool or trying to show players up. I’m sure they get tired of the little under-the-breath comments and stuff from players, but – guess what? – it goes with the job. Immediately discipline any ump who ever flies off the handle and it will slow down. If it is the player or manager that goes crazy, they have tapes of the confrontation. MLB can deal with that.

    • Old Gator - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:03 PM

      Agreed. MLB could start showing it’s serious about this by shitcanning troublemakers like Joe West.

      • cur68 - Mar 19, 2012 at 9:15 PM

        “Shitcan”? What’d the poor ole shitcan do deserve Cowboy Joe? Naw, man. Not the can. Use a septic tank…one that the contestants of the Nathan’s Hotdog Eating Contest use.

      • jwbiii - Mar 20, 2012 at 2:38 AM

        OG, I can’t wait until the first time that Joe West (or one of the above mentioned umpires) walks over to the Marlins’ dugout and gives Ozzie Guillen the heave-ho. And Ozzie steps out on the top step, points at the umpire, and gives him the heave-ho sign right back.

  8. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Can baseball also work on awkward pointing? Yost looks like he’s about to dislocate his elbow.

    • Old Gator - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      You have to hope that both of them brushed their teeth that morning….

      • jimbo1949 - Mar 19, 2012 at 2:30 PM

        slip this in with the Double Bubble
        http://www.skrew.com/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=12

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 19, 2012 at 3:55 PM

        The Ump DOES look like he’s saying “Whoa!!!!”

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