Thursday, June 3, 2010

Quick Thoughts on Umpires

Well this has been an interesting last 24 hours. We had Joyce-Gate in Detroit last night. And today, the Mike Estabrook circus set up shop at the K.

I'll start with Jim Joyce. At first, I was outraged. How dare an umpire take away a perfect game? The third perfect game in ONE MONTH? What a joke. Then I remembered. This man is a person. He has a family. He probably had dreams about a moment like this. Well, his moment came and it is now going to be one of the most infamous moments in Major League history. I disagree with the call. 99% of America disagrees with it. But the thing that has stood out the most in this whole ordeal is the professionalism of Armando Galarraga and personal responsibility of Jim Joyce that was on display in the last 24 hours. The fact that Jim Joyce was man enough to admit his mistake AND man enough to apologize to Galarraga and Jim Leyland just minutes after Leyland was filling Joyce's face with Marlboro breath, is a testament to the kind of human being that Jim Joyce is. Which is more than enough to make up for his blown call.

Now onto a more cowardly and ridiculous topic. Earlier today, let's just say that home plate umpire Mike Estabrook was having a little trouble discerning the strike zone. Fed up with seeing his Cy Young winning pitcher getting squeezed, catcher Jason Kendall decided to say something about it. Estabrook then fee-fi-fo-fummed in front of Kendall and made a scene in front of the plate. Well that didn't sit too well with Ned Yost, who stormed out of the dugout with fervor and rage that had escaped his predecessor. Yost gave it to Estabrook. Hard. It was like the shower scene from American History X, except with words. And Mr. Estabrook deserved it. There's a reason why players get paid more than umpires. Because people go to watch the players, not umpires. Call strikes, keep track of the outs and don't try to be a part of the game.

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