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Book Review: "As They See 'Em"

A review of a not-so-new book about umpiring.

Baseball Replays Would Make Umpires ‘Robots,’

"Using video to review plays such as tags and whether a ball is fair or foul would interfere with the pace of games and turn umpires into "robots," according to Lamell McMorris, chief negotiator for the World Umpires Association." Getting warmer...

Blown calls prompt umpiring changes for World Series


Blown calls prompt umpiring changes for World Series. Finally... MLB says / does something.

NYT writer on instant replay: "The technology is available. Get it right."


Nothing mind-blowing here, but it's nice to see someone at the Gray Lady beating the drum in favor if increasing the use of instant replay (though he doesn't touch on balls and strikes). Excerpt: "There is an inherent accountability gap between players and managers on one hand and umpires on the other. When the St. Louis Cardinals’ Matt Holliday dropped a fly ball with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 2 of their National League division series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, there were swift consequences: the Cardinals lost the game, and Holliday had to face the news media to talk about his gaffe. Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon made a mistake with a pitch against the Angels’ Vladimir Guerrero in Game 3 of their American League division series, and Guerrero smashed a game-winning hit that eliminated the Red Sox. Papelbon was held accountable, too. But when Umpire Phil Cuzzi made a blunder in the Twins-Yankees series, calling a fair ball foul and potentially costing Minnesota Game 2, the crew chief apologized, and that was it. There was no redress for the Twins."

ALCS Umpires Strike Zone Analysis, Game Calling Abilities


A look at how Sports Gamblers and Baseball Analysts view the umpiring crew for the ALCS.

Joe Poz on Umpiring


There are two things that drive me absolutely nuts. The first thing that drives me nuts is when people complain incessantly about umpiring and officiating. I get it. These guys makes mistakes. Their strike zones vary. They blow pass interference calls all the time and call phantom holdings against your team twice every game. They screw up the block-charge call seven out of ten times, and in hockey they often seem to be making it up as they go along. I get it. And the fact that we now get so many more television angles doesn’t leave much mystery — these guys blow calls all the time. So, OK. The umpire blows a call against your club, and you beef for a few minutes. Fine. That’s part of being a fan. That’s part of the story of the game. And I’m not suggesting that umpires should somehow be above criticism — I think it’s ridiculous that leagues FINE managers or players for saying that an umpire blew a call. What kind of totalitarian attitude is that? Umpires DO blow calls, and managers, coaches, players SHOULD get ticked off when it happens. In my mind they should be allowed that night to say whatever the heck they want about a bad call. But only that night. Look, after a while … hey, enough already. When you constantly complain about umpires, you begin to sound petty and delusional. What happens is you first complain about a bad call, but then you start to see ghosts and shadows and Jorge Orta’s around every corner, and you start whining about VERY close calls, ones that could go either way, ones the umpire might have gotten right, and then you cross over and complain about correct calls. And that’s when you start to sound like a big ol’ loser. That’s why it drives me nuts. I say this for a reason: I’ve noticed lately that my very good buddy Ryan Lefebvre, who I believe is an excellent announcer and a wonderful guy, has been moaning way too much about umpiring lately

The Thome Walk


As Jesse mentioned below, the Monday loss was entirely down to a bad seventh inning by the bullpen - and the whole Sox rally got started with a walk, by Matt Guerrier and issued to Jim Thome. At...

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