Found May 27, 2013 on
SF Lunatic Fringe:
Even if this is a Giants-oriented blog, I’m not including this weekend’s umpiring blunders that occurred against them, mostly because it didn’t affect much more than the length of the game in the end. I just cherry-picked three of the biggest and most ridiculous ones.
Seriously, why do umpires have the job safety of, essentially, a tenured professor? Umpires seemingly can’t be fired for anything less than a felony (an actual felony, not perceived crimes against a fan base). They pretty much have their jobs until they retire or die. Sure, there are some disciplinary actions…and more have happened in the last ten years than I can remember…but they seem relatively small comparatively.
I get that umpires have a hard job. Mistakes will always happen. But it seems like, especially in the last decade, such mistakes are happening more often, getting more prominent, and more blatantly egregious. Just about anyone else in the world who does their job badly suffers some form of reaction/prevention. Why not umpires?
If MLB wants to fix the problem, it’s got to come down to two things: Give umpires the tools to do their job, and give them motivation to get it right. So, here’s my suggestions on what to do:
• Give the umpires the right tools to do their job. Maybe you’ve seen this image around.
That’s the equipment that MLB gives (in at least some stadiums) the umpires when they want to view an instant replay. That 19” screen doesn’t even offer high-definition because of some deal that Sharp made with MLB to use their equipment. Do what you need to do with that agreement to get the right TVs to the umps. I’m not saying to give them leather couches and mini-fridges, but a better TV than many kids in my dorm had a dozen years ago would be good.
• Give each crew a designated review umpire. This is a suggestion that’s been around for a while, but for some reason the umpire union is against it and for the life of me I don’t know why. Someone went to that union and said “We want to start offering 20% more jobs in your field” and this was somehow a no-go. But an ump in the booth would be ideal. Replays will happen faster, and that ump will know the system to get access to the best camera angles. Hell, it’s a perfect job for older umpires who aren’t able to be in the sun or kneel behind a catcher, but still are sharp in terms of the game to stay involved. Even if you don’t give the replay ump the ability to veto any call, you can combine this with the above suggestion to give the replay ump the ability to quickly show the crew chief the best angles and help him make a decision.
• Allow anything that is not a ball/strike call to be instant replayable. Give managers two challenges a game, and they don’t lose one if a call gets overturned. Allow a replay ump to be able to make challenges to calls on the field on his own. You’ve heard all these before.
• Make umpires publicly accountable. The press gets access to pretty much everyone else as much as they want, the umps should be around, too, to answer questions about what choices they made. No one wants to be embarrassed, and the fear of shame is a surprisingly effective motivational tool.
• Take “Judgement Calls” off the list of things that can’t be challenged. First of all, there are too many things labeled judgement calls. We can questec the strike zone these days, for goodness sake. There’s less need for all these judgement calls. Not everything can or should be challenged, but judgement calls are exactly what should be the thing that can be challenged. The whole point of them is that they are objects of discussion. So let them get challenged.
• Send bad umps to the farm…or the unemployment line. It should take a lot to fire someone. A lot. But why not demote someone who’s doing a very bad job? Can’t get calls right? Well, the players who can’t do their job go to Fresno…and now, so do the umps! That should provide enough motivation to care about getting things right.
Not every ump seems as undignified about his blown calls as Angel Hernandez was at the home run earlier this year. When Jim Joyce blew the Perfect Game call against Armando Galarraga, he admitted it publicly, and apologized to Galarraga directly. While fans were appalled at the call, there weren’t as many calls for Joyce’s head just because he made it clear he knew what he did was wrong, and bad.
Now, I know someone is going to reply to this and say that if it weren’t for the blown calls, we wouldn’t have gotten Angel Pagan’s inside-the-park walkoff (runoff?) home run. And that’s true, it wouldn’t have happened. But that’s not going to be any comfort to Armando Galarraga, or the Oakland A’s, or the Atlanta Braves. Just because the human error element might allow for an exciting ending doesn’t mean those can’t happen with instant replay.
We need to get this game right, and it’s taken far too long for someone to do something to make that happen.
BEST OF MAXIM
A walkoff home run is not unusual in major league baseball. A walkoff inside-the-park home run, however, is extremely rare.
However, San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan was able to pull off Saturday night. With one on and one out in the bottom of the tenth, down 5-4 at home to the Colorado Rockies, Pagan hit a fly ball to deep right center at AT&T Park that he...
Giants manager Bruce Bochy was ejected in the eighth inning of Saturday's game against the Rockies by home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez over a call made at third base.
Marco Scutaro appeared to have evaded Nolan Arenado's tag on a throw from the outfield, but Marquez ruled the tag had been made. Third base coach Tim Flannery began to argue before Bochy came out to take over...
Santiago Casilla expects to return after the All-Star break, according to @beisbolportogas. The right-handed reliever was placed on the disabled list on May 21st after he failed to recover from a cyst in his knee. He appeared in just two games between May 8th and May 20th, wearing a heavy knee brace to deal with the pain.
Casilla will have surgery at Stanford Hospital on Tuesday...
The San Francisco Giants held center fielder Angel Pagan out
of yesterday’s lineup with a hamstring injury, according to Willie Bans of
Pagan suffered the injury during Saturday’s contest against
the Colorado Rockies, a game he ended with his walk-off inside-the-park home
run. Amazingly, Pagan suffered the injury before his walk-off.
"If you noticed...
Boy, that inside-the-park walk-off by Angel Pagan on Saturday sure was fun, wasn’t it? Well, maybe some us maybe had a little too much fun with it.
Like, say, Tim Lincecum, who reportedly tweaked his ankle jumping up and down in the mob of players that swarmed Pagan after he crossed home plate.
Lincecum is still OK to make his start as scheduled on Wednesday. He threw a bullpen...
The cyst in Santiago Casilla's knee has gotten to the point where the San Francisco Giants' reliever can no longer just hope the issue goes away. The team and Casilla have confirmed surgery will be necessary. There has not yet been an exact recovery timetable set.
Casilla will have knee surgery this week. Tuesday starter still TBA. #sfgiants
— Amy Gutierrez (@AmyGGiants...
Angel Pagan slides into a jumping gang of San Francisco Giants.
The San Francisco Giants came back against the Colorado Rockies by scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the 10th against Rafael Betancourt. Scoring 2 runs for a come back win isn’t that rare. Hitting a 2 run home run to walk off is a but rarer. But hitting a 2 run inside the parl home run to walk off. You don’t...
Oakland A’s Yoenis Cespedes made a circus attempt of a catch during Monday’s game against the San Francisco Giants. Cespedes laid fully out, in a different way, in an effort to snag a bloop fly ball. Check out the incredible matrix-like diving effort to make the catch, which he failed to do. [House of the Blue Bird] Article found on: Next Impulse Sports
After much debate, speculation and anticipation by outside observers, the Giants have finally named a human being to fill the injured Ryan Vogelsong’s spot in the rotation. And that person is…
Ha, no. Wouldn’t that be something?
Really, it’s going to be 24-year-old lefty Michael Kickham from Triple-A Fresno.
He’ll make his Major League debut Tuesday in...
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Straight hustlin’. Needless to say, that’s Pagan’s first career inside-the-park walk-off. He has three career inside-the-parkers and two career walk-off home runs.
[vid via MLB.com]
courtesy of Jeff Chiu, AP
With both the Giants and the Rockies just a half game out of first place in the NL West, every game is a must win early in the year. These two teams are so evenly match that today’s game went into extra innings before Rockies’ star, Troy Tulowitzki tried to end things in the top of the 10th inning when he smacked a solo shot for his 10th home...
Matt Cain rebounded from a rocky first inning to settle down and pick up the win as the heart of the Giants’ lineup continued to thrive.
Cain was wild from the start, walking a season high five of the first 10 batters, but retired eight Rockies in a row and surrendered just two hits on the day to record his sixth straight win against Colorado 7-3.
“He was close to coming out...
Video: Pagan sends 41,000 fans home happy
During yesterday's Giants-A's game, Oakland outfielder Yoenis Cespedes showed off his athleticism...while not even making a play. In the top of the fifth inning, Brandon Crawford hit a sinking liner to left field. Cespedes came on to make the catch, but whiffed. With Coco Crisp backing him up, Cespedes proceeded to do a front flip and a barrel roll to avoid smashing his face...
Tweet The San Francisco Giants came into Saturday’s matchup against the Colorado Rockies with just three wins in their previous ten games and were in need of a spark to help propel themselves back to the winning ways those at AT&T Park have become accustomed to. In the bottom of the tenth inning Giants [...]