Skip to content

“The Third Team” documentary looks at World Series umpires

Sep 30, 2013, 2:24 PM EDT

Joe West is quoted in “The Third Team,” a documentary by MLB Network which will air this Thursday at 9pm, saying that “every time an umpire misses a call, part of him dies inside.”

So Joe West is a zombie, apparently.

No, I kid! I’m a kidder! I’m no fan of Joe West, sure, but he and his brothers in blue are the only ones who can tell us what it’s like to be an umpire in a high-leverage situation like the World Series. And to miss a call. Or, as is far more often the case, make the right calls. And no matter what they do with the calls, to have everyone and their brother watching and second-guessing, which is more than almost all of us can say about our jobs.

And for that reason this looks pretty good:


  1. makeham98 - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    A documentary on 1980s ball girls and their hot pants sounds more compelling.

    • brianincbus - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      I saw it when it first aired after the World Series last year. It was actually quite good.

  2. heyblueyoustink - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    I always thought of ” The Third Team ” in entirely different terms. At least in my late teens and early twenties.

  3. earpaniac - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    The Joe West comment is one of the best I’ve heard in a long time!! Too funny!!

  4. thomas844 - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    I worked as an umpire one summer, and calls that I used to think should be easy to make actually ended up being more difficult than I thought. Once the ball is in play, everything happens so fast that it can be tough to see everything that goes on. I gained a lot of respect for umpires after I put the pads on myself.

  5. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Everyone makes mistakes, and no levelheaded person expects umpires to be perfect. We do, however, expect them to admit to mistakes afterword, and to use ALL available means to get a call right. That includes asking fellow umpires for their view on the play. It’s the arrogance and seeming desire to be the center of attention from a select few umpires that draw everyone’s wrath.

    • linhsiu - Sep 30, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      “…expect them to admit mistakes afterword,…”

      No point in that… How will that make the situation better???

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Oct 1, 2013 at 8:43 AM

        I’ve had several situations where an umpire blew a call, and afterwords, he came up to me and said, “You know, I just didn’t see it and had to go with my gut instinct there.” or “You know, I know I blew that one, I’m sorry.” Those are the guys I’ve had tremendous respect for and will go to bat for. There is something to be said about humility and honesty. The current policy of “I am right, I am infallible, and nobody had better DARE question my authority!” simply isn’t working.

        The NFL admits almost every week that an official blew a call, and you don’t see the world coming to an end over it.

  6. bravojawja - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    As interesting as this looks, there are two reasons I won’t watch:

    1) I don’t get MLB Network.
    2) There’s a playoff game this Thursday night.

  7. peterjohnjoseph - Sep 30, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    Unless there is a new episode of “The Third Team” airing, I’ve had this recorded on my DVR for at least 2 or 3 weeks. It actually aired again at 3 am on the night of this post.

  8. skerney - Sep 30, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    Is Gregor Blanco out at third? Is that in Detroit? I can’t recall that play.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Baez (2351)
  2. B. Crawford (2284)
  3. H. Pence (2240)
  4. A. Rodriguez (2216)
  5. B. Harper (2167)