Thursday, August 24, 2006

What is with the umps?

update, 8/24, 6:20 pm - further research uncovered this fantastic interview with a Ques-Tec operator. Great questions and skilled answers. Anyone weaned on modern journalism, prepare to be astounded by how well it can be done.

Gee, look at the Minnesota/Baltimore game... There's Angel Hernandez, well-documented as one of the major league's worst umpires, and wouldn't you know it, he's tossing a guy out of the game! What a shock.

But there was more in store. The Padres/Dodgers contest featured one of the more bizarre sequences I can recall. To set the stage, a Dodger has already been ejected at first base for spiking his helmet after a close call. Then there's this sequence:

LA starter Brad Penny has a minor injury problem, so the trainer goes to check on him - joined eventually by his manager, Grady Little. The ump notifies both teams that this does NOT count as a mound visit (by rule, a team must change pitchers after two mound visits in one inning). But later, Little does make a first visit. That's when it gets odd...

Little and home ump Rick Reed start to swap some phrases - Penny claims it was started by Reed, but who knows for sure - and Little leaves the mound to do his yelling. Problem is, he then returns to the mound to continue his visit. No dice. Once you leave the dirt around the mound, the visit is over - so somehow, manager Little visited his pitcher once, but it didn't count, and then visited him once, but it counted twice!

Long story short, none of the Dodgers liked that much. Little winds up getting sent off for good; Penny, since he already has to come out anyway, has a good long jaw with Reed before officially being ejected as well.

What is with the umps? Even if the Dodgers were jawing at Reed, why does he have to answer? Or, why not reply with the time-honored, "No way." This grows ridiculous.

No comments: