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Jonathan Papelbon: home plate umpire “sucked”

Jun 5, 2012, 8:15 AM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

Jonathan Papelbon is gonna get a nice big fine.

Last night, he thought he had Dee Gordon struck out looking. Home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn, however, thought differently.  After the inning was over — and after Gordon had come around to score the winning run — Papelbon sought out Reyburn and jawed at him.  But that was nothing compared to the jawing he did in the clubhouse after the game.

Upon being informed that Reyburn was a Triple-A callup ump, Papelbon said:

“Doesn’t surprise me. He probably needs to go back to Triple A … You’re up in the big leagues to do a good job and when you don’t do a good job you should be demoted or fired. It’s just like anybody’s job. If I don’t do my job, I go down to Triple A. There’s no room for that up here. It’s not a knock on the umpires. It’s the integrity of the game. You want to be able to go out there and play the game the way it should be played. All night long, from [Dodgers starter Clayton] Kershaw to [Phillies starter] Vance [Worley], all the way to the ninth inning, it affected the outcome of the game.

“I thought he was terrible – all day. It wasn’t just that pitch. All I wanted to know was if he could throw me out for what I was thinking, and if he could, I thought he sucked. It’s that simple.”

OK, that’s what he thinks. But looking at the pitches to Gordon, I’m not thinking he has a good case. The fourth pitch was called a ball and Papelbon thought it was a strike. It’s right on the edge. It was close, and maybe missed, but certainly not egregious and certainly not the kind of call that someone typically makes a federal case out of.

But Joe Torre’s gonna. And Papelbon’s wallet is gonna be a bit lighter for it.  Hope his rant made him feel better.

  1. jerseybando - Jun 5, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    Reyburn was bad the whole night. Bad calls both ways at the plate. That’s why Mattingly and his bench coach were tossed earlier.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Jun 5, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      No, they were tossed for violating the rule book.

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:21 PM

        Really? How did they violate the rule book? Are we talking American Pie violating pastry or some other way?

  2. illcomm - Jun 5, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    Pappelbon is right. I don’t normaly ever complain about impact, but that crew last night was horrible. The home plate ump was inconsistent all night and the second base ump missed two calls in the first inning. Just horrible all around.

    • mJankiewicz - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      Absolutely. The umps were really bad last night. Herrera was out twice at second base in the first. He would eventually score. Pap was right to complain, as were Mattingly and his coaches earlier in the game. Come on Craig, he wasn’t complaining just because of the pitch to Gordon.

    • paperlions - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:28 AM

      Having looked at the pitch FX data, the home plate ump did a decent job of calling balls and strikes last night, if anything, he was generous on the outside corner to righties….but compared to most games, he called the zone just fine. The camera in Philly is offset (not in straight away center) and with such cameras it is very hard on TV to call the corners correctly….in the few stadiums that have the camera in straight away CF, it is much easier to see if pitches are balls/strikes.

      • paperlions - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:30 AM

        Of course, TBI won’t remember I said such things because I didn’t bash the umpire….but my opinions are always data driven….the data say the home plate ump was not bad at all.

      • phillyphreak - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:24 AM

        Twas what I thought after looking at the PitchFX too. In fact, could we even find a PitchFX plot that fans would consider golden?

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:28 AM

        One time that a defense of an umpire might be appropriate, and TBI isn’t here…yet, anyway—though his defenses have, on occasion, taken a knee-jerk and exaggerated tone.

      • purnellmeagrejr - Jun 5, 2012 at 12:37 PM

        paperlions – everybody always thinks their opinions are data driven. “I’m a reasonable person.” ever heard that?

      • paperlions - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:06 PM

        Feel free to find an opinion of mine that is not data driven…..when your job/career/profession requires evidence based opinion to succeed, it becomes a way of life. Again, feel free to track down any opinion of mine posted here that is not evidence/data based….I’ll wait (I won’t really).

      • The Baseball Idiot - Jun 5, 2012 at 3:12 PM

        See, I would have said something nice, but you called me out before I even replied.

        Hoyle would disapprove.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Jun 5, 2012 at 3:13 PM

        Utley, I’ve had much more important things to do today, like spend it with my daughter.

        On days like today, I could care less if the umpires are perfect, or miss every call.

        But it’s nice to know you guys value my opinion.

      • paperlions - Jun 5, 2012 at 5:17 PM

        It is just that you act like we are always on the umps, because you only care about when umps are bashed for being wrong and ignore the times umps are supported for being right. When the evidence shows that umps are right, I don’t bash the umps….and I typically don’t bash them simply for making a mistake on a call, which is understandable, but for letting ego and arrogance get in the way of them doing an effective job, which is not.

  3. flyinhighwithvick - Jun 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    The problem, was that the inside pitch that Papelbon was upset about was called a strike all night long. Watch the entire game and not just one batter before you write a column about it.

  4. jerseybando - Jun 5, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    And the second base umpire was Derryl Cousins, the Crew Chief. That’s the state of umpiring today. Yo, Bud still think we don’t need reply for boundary calls and plays at bases???

  5. hasbeen5 - Jun 5, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    Papelbon has a point about the pitch.

    MLB network was comparing save and no save situations for him this morning. No runs in save situations but he’s been terrible if the S isn’t on the line. Doesn’t that say something about his make-up? It seems as though he’s letting a meaningless stat motivate his performance as much as managers let it dictate their strategy.

    Or am I reading too much into a small sample size?

    • Jeremy Fox - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:08 AM

      You’re reading too much into a small sample size.

      • Mike Luna - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:50 AM

        You can’t win every argument by saying “small sample size.”

        Everything relievers do is a small sample size. And where exactly does the small sample size become a regular sample size? Or a big sample size, even?

        To say that Papelbon can’t be effective in non-save situations is silly, but it sounds like he’s had trouble so far in 2012.

      • Jeremy Fox - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:29 PM

        “Everything relievers do is a small sample”

        That’s not far from the truth. Which is why the performance of the typical reliever fluctuates a lot from year to year.

        “When does a small sample size become a regular sample size?”

        Glad you asked! I found the answer in less than 10 seconds with an invention called “Google”: (this post summarizes the answer; follow the links at the bottom of the post for details on how the answer was calculated)

        To say that Papelbon can’t be effective in non-save situations is indeed silly. Here are Papelbon’s career stats in save vs. non-save situations:

        Save: IP 274.2, ERA 2.26, WHIP 0.998, K/9 10.7, K/BB 4.43,

        Non-save: IP 162, ERA 2.44, WHIP 0.988, K/9 10.7, K/BB 5.51

        Not a dime’s worth of difference.

        Papelbon has pitched 8.1 innings in non-save situations this year. Are you seriously going to claim that’s a large enough sample to be worth talking about?

        By the way, his batting average on balls in play in non-save situations this year? .400. Which is not only totally out of his control (it’s down to a combination of luck and the quality of defense behind him), but is extraordinarily high and very likely to come down.

        As long as we’re telling stories about meaningless blips in Papelbon’s stats…Papelbon is allowing a .798 OPS at home this year vs. .277 on the road. Hey, maybe that means he can’t pitch at home, because the roar of the crowd interferes with the flow of his adrenaline! Papelbon is also conceding a 1.038 OPS (!) to guys hitting 6th in the order. Clearly the problem is that he relaxes after getting through the heart of the lineup! And he’s conceding an .820 OPS on 2 days of rest. Clearly the Phillies should just pitch him every day to keep him sharp, since on no rest he’s only conceding a .286 OPS this year!

        Or maybe people should quit pretending that they know squat about why it just so happens that Papelbon has had a few shaky innings in non-save situations.

        Now have I won the argument?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 6, 2012 at 8:27 AM

        See this is what burns me up about the “small-sample size” crowd. They forget about every other factor that has changed and just assume these buys are robots.

        Sure, if Papelbon was a robot, then this would make perfect sense. “I am pitcher…I go to mound…I throw exact same way every single pitch, every single batter, every single inning, every single day.”

        But he is not a robot. Isn’t it fair to think that maybe, this year, with all the money he got and the fact that he is now on a new team, with a new life basically, that maybe, just maybe, he isn’t that same person he was before this year? Oh no…this is a small-sample size. He is just Papelbon v 2.0 and he is a robot. Nothing has changed with the guy. He pitches the same exact way as his whole career and if he is struggling this year in non-save situations, then you STUPID MORON, it’s simply sample-size.

        And if you think anything differently, then I will condescendingly send you a link to the bible-writer of the sample-size cult, fangraphs.

        Before you wrongfully declare that I am denigrating sample-size a whole, I am not. What I am saying is that you can’t always just say “SAMPLE-SIZE” and that explains everything. In this case, I think there is a good argument that Papelbon is pitching differently based on the situation. If you were a Phillies fan, you would know that he has been in this situation quite a few times this year. And if that dummy managing this team would have been smart enough to have him warming up to put him in last night to get one stinking out in the 8th, they may have won.

        Papelbon started a new chapter of his career this year. You may think he is a robot who just “sees THE ball and throws THE ball”, but there has only been one robot in MLB that I know of and his name was Manny B. Manny.

      • Jeremy Fox - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:49 AM


        No, Papelbon’s not a robot. Sure, maybe something has somehow changed this year that now, for the first time, is causing him to pitch badly when a save is not on the line.

        But here’s the thing: you have NO evidence for that. You’re just making up stories after the fact, and the only evidence you’ve got for those stories are the very same stats *that caused you to make up the story in the first place*. I could equally well make up a different story–say, Papelbon is being paid by gamblers to pitch badly in non-save situations–and there’d be *just* as much evidence for it.

        And if Papelbon suddenly starts pitching well in non-save situations and badly in save situations, you’ll make up a different story to explain it. Somehow he’s suddenly feeling the pressure in save situations and relaxed in non-save situations or something. Unlike you, I’m willing to actually stick my neck out and make a prediction (namely, that Papelbon will start pitching better in non-save situations). Not just make up stories about stuff that’s already happened.

        I wish I had your psychic powers, so that I could somehow read the meaning in the tea leaves on the bottom of every cup. Because that’s pretty much what you’re claiming you can do.

        Again, as long as you’re making up stories: Why is Papelbon pitching so poorly against #6 hitters this year? Why is he pitching so poorly on 2 days rest as compared to any other amount of rest? Because there is just as much reason to think that he has problems against #6 hitters, or on 2 days rest, as there is to to think he suddenly can’t pitch well in non-save situations. I don’t demand that you like stats, but I do demand that you be consistent. If you’re willing to “explain” why Papelbon is suddenly unable to pitch well in non-save situations, you should also be explaining why he’s suddenly unable to pitch well against #6 hitters and on 2 days rest.

        Looking forward to hearing your stories, storyteller.

      • Jeremy Fox - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:47 AM

        Oh, and by the way: I *am* a Phillies fan. I listen to the games all the time on the radio (they’re not on tv much here in Calgary). I am fully aware, as shown by my comments on the Cliff Lee post last night, of how badly Charlie is managing the bullpen this year.

        I also played baseball my whole life up through college, and I’ve spent years as a youth coach.

        Please don’t assume that, because I prefer not to tell stories about every little blip in every little stat, that I am not a Phillies fan or not a real baseball fan or don’t watch the game or don’t know the game or haven’t played the game or any of the other baseless insults that get trotted out by people who like to tell stories about every little blip in every little stat.

        And please don’t say that you buy that in general, but that in this particular case you know what’s causing this particular blip. Because you don’t.

        Look, it *kills* me when Papelbon blows a game, or when Charlie leaves the starter in too long to blow a game. Just like it kills you. The difference between us is, I don’t pretend that 8.1 innings worth of data give me any insight into what goes on in Papelbon’s head.

        There are a million things that affect the outcome of every pitch Papelbon (or anyone) throws. What pitch was it? Exactly how hard was the pitch thrown, with exactly what spin and from exactly what release point (tiny differences in any of those can affect where the pitch goes)? Exactly how is the wind blowing between the mound and the plate as the pitch travels towards the plate? Who’s the batter? From what side does he bat? What pitch was the batter looking for, if he was guessing at all? Exactly how well did he pick up the pitch? Exactly when did he start his swing?…And because of all that and much more, the ball strikes the bat (or not), and goes somewhere (or not)–but where it goes (if it goes) can be totally different depending on *exactly* where it hits the bat (it’s a game of inches!). And then you have to ask who’s playing defense, and exactly where were they positioned, and on and on…Shall I keep going? You think that, with all that and much, much more going on, you can look at 8.1 innings worth of outcomes and figure out that not only is there one simple reason why Papelbon has pitched badly in non-save situations this year, but that you know what that reason is? Give me a frickin’ break.

        Look, go ahead and tell yourself stories if it makes you feel better. But don’t expect me to believe your stories. The stories that appear to comfort you are no comfort to me. You see meaning in the tea leaves. Good for you. I just see tea leaves.

      • Mike Luna - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:03 PM

        You can make your point without being condescending. Oh, wait, this is the internet. Never mind.

      • Jeremy Fox - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:30 PM

        Mike: hey, you’re the one who said I was trying to win an argument by just shouting “small sample size”. So I gave you my full argument.

        You’re the one who asked “what’s a big sample size”? So I linked to the answer.

        I never said anyone was dumb, or a moron, or whatever. I’m sure you’re not, and I’m sure Chris is not. All I said was that you and Chris and others don’t actually know why Papelbon has struggled in 8.1 innings of non-save-situation pitching this year. And when asked why I said so, I explained myself.

        I’m sorry if you find detailed explanations condescending. But you’re the one who asked for the explanation. If you don’t like feeling that you’re being condescended to, well, I don’t like being told that I’m just shouting “small sample size” without knowing what the hell I’m talking about. Or being told (by Chris) that I’m not a Phillies fan when in fact I am.

      • Mike Luna - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:17 PM

        When you use the phrase “an invention called ‘Google'” you’re suggesting that I don’t know what Google is, which is condescending.

        You did make your point, but your tone was that of someone talking to an idiot child. You never specifically used the word “moron” but it sure seemed like you were thinking it loudly.

        Finally, I never said that you shouted anything. To myself and someone else all you said was “small sample size.” I pointed out that, at that point, SSS was your entire argument.

    • Damon - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      He has too much of a #closermentality

    • Mike Luna - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      I think you’re spot on. Jose Valverde was perfect (51 for 51) in save situations last year. In non-save situations he had an ERA of 6 or something. Lots of closers talk about that adrenaline rush they get when the game is on the line.

      Somehow the game isn’t on the line when the score is tied, I guess.

      • Jeremy Fox - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:35 AM

        You’re reading too much into a small sample size too.

  6. skids003 - Jun 5, 2012 at 8:51 AM

    Papalbon is an idiot and a cry baby. I bet he couldn’t umpire, he can barely pitch.

  7. ermur22 - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Papelbon is a crybaby. Put on you big boy pants and do your job. You blew it, get over it.

  8. heyblueyoustink - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    First and foremost, Paps should be concentrating on bearing down and getting the out, even if he disagreed with the call, it’s his job to get guys out. He could have made a better pitch following that one.

    With that being said:
    ” I’m not thinking he has a good case. The fourth pitch was called a ball and Papelbon thought it was a strike. It’s right on the edge. It was close, and maybe missed, but certainly not egregious and certainly not the kind of call that someone typically makes a federal case out of.”

    That’s kind of errouneous to say if you hadn’t been watching the entire game to see where this schlub’s strike zone was. Typically through the evening, that had been a strike, even in the bottom of the ninth. It was a pedestrian effort by the home plate ump at best.

    • thefalcon123 - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:23 AM

      “. Typically through the evening, that had been a strike, even in the bottom of the ninth.”

      Pitch F/X simply does not agree with you. Two pitches were on the edge of the strike zone there against lefties all night. One was a ball (obviously), one was a strike. Four more pitches were further down and in and were all called balls.

      Looking at the normalized strikezone plot for the entire game, of 11 pitches near the bottom right left of the zone, only 3 of them were called strikes.

      • heyblueyoustink - Jun 5, 2012 at 12:41 PM

        Hey, if you want to rely on some hybrid Cyclon/Skynet compluter to tell you right or wrong, have at it.

      • Jeremy Fox - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:35 PM

        Hey, if you want to rely on that horseless carriage to take you from one place to another, have at it.

        Hey, if you want to rely on machines rather than your eyes to track the position of a small, fast-moving object, have at it.

  9. Jeremy Fox - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we don’t have to argue about the consistency of the calls last night. Here are the data:

    • paperlions - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:32 AM

      Yep, and compared to the average MLB game, that is not a bad job of calling balls and strikes.

  10. florida727 - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    “I thought he sucked.”

    $50K fine. $12,500 per word. Not bad when you think about it.

  11. Jonny 5 - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    Could have gone either way, should have been a strike.

  12. chadjones27 - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Is umpiring getting worse? Or is technology just getting better and now we know when the umps screw up? I won’t advocate replay for balls and strikes, but MLB has to expand replay for other plays. Two bad calls by the same ump to the same baserunner in the same inning… come on, man. And I hate to bring this up, but, Johan’s Nohan, he pitched a great game and all, but replay would have changed the outcome of that game as well. Regardless of whether it was a no-hitter, that kind of call needs to be correct.

    • paperlions - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      Technology is simply far better than it was even 10 years ago, we can now tell what the correct call should have been within fractions of an inch and hundredths of a second….even 10 years ago that kind of video/digital precision wasn’t possible…now it is used to cover every single game.

    • phillyphreak - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      To be completely fair those plays happened pretty quickly. You can’t really fault the ump for those. Replay expansion will help in these cases but even on the stolen base it was hard to tell conclusively.

      • chadjones27 - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        I know. Where the ump was standing he was blocked by Rollin’s foot. There’s always going to be missed calls. And sitting on my couch drinking beer I obviously have the slo-mo replay available to me that the umps on the field don’t. I’m not trying to come off as “all umpires suck.” I was just pointing out that he then missed the next call on the same player, probably same at-bat and that some form of replay would have caught one of those.
        And I don’t buy into the “that’s how it’s always been, it’s just baseball” argument. The technology should be used that’s available.

    • sabatimus - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:32 AM

      I agree in principle. But those pitch zones that are sponsored by corporations or whomever are consistently inconsistent–and it doesn’t help when sometimes the center field camera has the pitcher off to the left, and sometimes it’s over his head and toward home plate in a straight line. Networks don’t compensate for this, so the pitch zones are always directly over the plate (when they shouldn’t be, in the former case), and they are the same size vertically when players are of all different heights.

      So the tech in this case, even if it is accurate, is being misused.

      • paperlions - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:08 PM

        Pitch FX data is not sponsored by anyone, it is not the same as the stuff they put up on most telecasts.

      • chadjones27 - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:14 PM

        I don’t think we’ll have the technology anytime soon to get an accurate pitch tracking system. Too many variables. But, boundary calls like we have for the homerun… easy.

      • paperlions - Jun 5, 2012 at 5:13 PM

        We already have the technology, and have for several years, to have an accurate pitch tracking system. With the current camera set ups, we can get real time information of release point, speed of pitch leaving the hand, movement, where the pitch crosses the plate (I don’t know if they use the front of the plate, the middle, or what), and so forth. The system is more accurate than required for baseball utility.

      • davidpom50 - Jun 5, 2012 at 5:38 PM

        Paperlions, that’s all obviously perfect for inside/outside, but every player has a different strike zone vertically. How does PitchF/X account for that in determining zone?

      • Jeremy Fox - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

        davidpom50: pitchF/X data are normalized in the vertical direction. Roughly, that means the vertical location of the pitch is scaled relative to the top and bottom of the strike zone for that batter. So for any batter, at pitch right at the top of the zone for that batter has a vertical position of +1, while a pitch right at the bottom of the zone for that batter has a vertical position of -1. Click through the brooksbaseball link I provided to read a brief description of how this is done. It’s not (and can’t be) perfectly precise, because you can’t perfectly *precisely* measure (down to the nearest mm or whatever) where the top and bottom of the strike zone is for any given hitter. So when looking at those plots you should think of the top and bottom boundaries of the normalized strike zone as being a bit fuzzy.

        If you follow the link I provided, you can see non-normalized as well as normalized plots of pitch location.

  13. ezthinking - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Ummm… Papelbon is out of options and has a huge salary. He’s not going to AAA. What a dork. Make your pitches and it’s not a problem.

  14. delawarephilliesfan - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    Saw the whole game – he was terrible both ways. Within the same at bat, identical spots were called differently.

    Terrible umpiring all around. It happens. Move on.

  15. thefalcon123 - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Papelbon is waaaaaaay out of line here. It was a borderline pitch that didn’t go his way. He then coughed up a run and is, sorry to say, being a whiny little bitch about it. Per Paperlions earlier, the Pitch F/X data shows that the home plate umpire was decent all night compared to most games.

  16. mungman69 - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    The umps have been bad for years. They should just worry about doing their jobs and not becoming stars themselves.

  17. eagles512 - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Umps are a joke. Phil’s threw Herrera out at 2nd twice in the first and he was called safe both times and came around to score.

  18. icanspeel - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Pitchers get squeezed all the time, along with getting calls their way too.. the important part is to keep pitching and not let 1 bad call get to them. Which he didn’t

  19. BLEED BOSTON - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Reblogged this on BLEED BOSTON and commented:
    SO what happened against the Orioles last September Jon?

    • Utley's Hair - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:38 AM

      Yeah…thanks for telling us that.

      • BLEED BOSTON - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:52 AM

        I guess you enjoy hearing your closer make excuses for blowing games? Loser.

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 5, 2012 at 12:21 PM

        No. I enjoy reading shamelessly stupid plugs for other blogs on here. We don’t care about you reblogging your comments. Loser.

      • BLEED BOSTON - Jun 5, 2012 at 12:53 PM

        And I don’t care about utley’s hair you tool.. you don’t care.. don’t read. If you don’t want to read peoples blogs you are in the wrong spot.. first time using the internet?

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:07 PM

        Nope. I’ve been here since it was Circling the Bases, dumba$$. How about you? I read HBT just about every day—and quite often, I comment, or reply to comments. You, on the other hand, based solely on my unfamiliarity with your username (so if I am incorrect, my apologies), are relatively new.

        Why not take a poll of the users here and see if they want to see plugs of other blogs on HBT? Based on the thumbs down on your comment, as well as those of other commenters who do the same, you could probably figure it out.

        By the way, it seems that you do, in fact care. Otherwise, why would you have replied to my comment? Twice, even. Tool.

    • sabatimus - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      I’m betting it’s probably against the terms of service to advertise like this anyway.

      • BLEED BOSTON - Jun 5, 2012 at 2:32 PM

        if it was it wouldn’t be possible.

  20. sabatimus - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    “It’s not a knock on the umpires”……just ONE umpire, right Paps?

  21. nickynick04 - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    No one can deny that umpiring has been terrible over the past few years.
    The umpires are constantly trying to be a huge part of the game…using attention seeking behavior whenever they can…..on a full count they wait until the batter is on his way to first base, believeing its a walk,,,then ringing him up on a strike three…12 feet down the first base line…talk about showing someone up.
    They do not like to be shown up by a catcher even looking back at them,,,but they can call strije three when the batter is 12 feet down the line…
    Triple AAA Umps are the absolute worst….sinfull

  22. 24missed - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    I’d love to hear from some of the old school guys. What did “The Eck” feel umpiring was like back then compared to now? How about Steve Carlton? Not that these are guys are that old, but just a thought about the differences. Maybe there really aren’t any.

    I think pitchers and hitters know the strike zone, for the most part. Most umps do, too, I believe. Some may see the zone a little off one day. I see players ask the umps for the zone, politely, to check that they are on the same page. Pedroia has done this, Aviles has done this, Jeter has done this, Arod had done this. This is also not to say that the players, umps and pitchers haven’t been ill-tempered re: a call. I could go on, but I pretty much have rambled on.

  23. jimw81 - Jun 5, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    All refs/umpires in every league are horrible these days. The golden days of good refs/umpires are over.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Jun 5, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      They have schools for perfect people like you. Take a chance. Quit bitching about it. Go do it.

      Start working with Little Leaguers and work up to high school double headers at night with bad lighting, for $40 a night.

      Get used to working every Friday and Saturday night. Get used to gettting no respect from no one. Get used to getting cussed out by 15-years old, and their mothers. Get used to people cheering and jeering when you take a foul ball in the nads. Get used to dumbass rednecks wanting to meet you in parking lot after the game.

      Keep doing that for a few years and keep trying to get a slot in the school. Maybe get into college or the low minors, and spend years driving from game to game with worse pay than the players.

      Then maybe, just maybe, you get a chance at AAA or the majors. And all your get are dickheads like you compalinging about everything.

      You’re so fucking perfect, and so fucking good, why aren’t you out there doing it? It’s hard enough to find a job you love doing, but to know you are an object of abuse (verbal and physical) just because you show up for work shouldn’t be part of it.

      I’m happy you’re so much better than the current crop of umpires out there. But if you’re so good, why not get off of your dead ass and try it yourself?

      Or are you afraid you might actually have to read the rule book and find out you don’t really know shit about the game after all?

      Fucking punk.

      • sdbunting - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:02 PM

        This isn’t a fair argument. I don’t have to go to med school, or survive the residency period, to know that leaving a pair of forceps in a patient is not good.

        I DID survive a stint as a Little-League ump, barely, and it’s a hard and thankless job. That isn’t an excuse to suck at it.

  24. tackledummy1505 - Jun 5, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    I’m a big fan of giving judgment to umpires, but officiating in all sports have gotten a lot worse. So bad that officiating has been dictating season outcomes in all sports and how games are played out. I’ve never seen officiating being so bad in all sports in my entire life. Where phantom calls are called, calls that are obvious missed, and 1 team getting all the calls while the other gets 1 or 2. Sports need to watch it in this economy, because if sports become so predictable or badly officiated, who’s going to spend hundreds of dollars to see sports be dictated by a man (or woman in basketball) dictate how those sports end up. Funny thing is in baseball there is 4 umpires on the field. I’ve done College games where there was only 2 umpires on the field and I’ve gotten the call right more time then they do. Seriously? How are you out of position on a call you should be right there for. not buying it.

  25. timpaz - Jun 5, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    I watched that game that umpire was awful all game, have the standards to qualify to be a MLB umpire gone down this badly,live in Tucson,Az. and have seen many triple A games and moat of the young umpires are as bad as this guy, Come on Selig and Torre get off your duffs and raise the bar, your hurting the game with this ineptness.

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