Umpires striking themselves out with bad calls

Home+plate+umpire+Marty+Foster+ejects+Tampa+Bay+Rays%E2%80%99+Joe+Maddon+for+arguing+a+call+at+the+plate+in+the+second+inning+of+a+MLB+game+against+the+Toronto+Blue+Jays+at+Tropicana+Field+in+St.+Petersburg%2C+Florida%2C+Tuesday%2C+May+7%2C+2013.+%28James+Borchuck%2FTampa+Bay+Times%2FMCT%29
Home plate umpire Marty Foster ejects Tampa Bay Rays’ Joe Maddon for arguing a call at the plate in the second inning of a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, Tuesday, May 7, 2013. (James Borchuck/Tampa Bay Times/MCT)

Home plate umpire Marty Foster ejects Tampa Bay Rays’ Joe Maddon for arguing a call at the plate in the second inning of a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, Tuesday, May 7, 2013. (James Borchuck/Tampa Bay Times/MCT)

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Home plate umpire Marty Foster ejects Tampa Bay Rays’ Joe Maddon for arguing a call at the plate in the second inning of a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, Tuesday, May 7, 2013. (James Borchuck/Tampa Bay Times/MCT)

Kale Williams, Staff Writer

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When going to a game most, if not all of us, go to see the ones actually doing the playing. The issue of late has been those not playing are having a huge outcome in the games.

Refereeing is all in all a thankless job. To be great at it the fans shouldn’t even notice that you are there.

Somewhere along the lines many officials lost track of that and have tried to become the center of attention. Pick up almost any sports page and it won’t take long to see this in action.

In the month of May alone there have been numerous accounts of this.

On May 8 in a baseball game between the Cleveland Indians and the Oakland Athletics, there was a ball hit to the left center gap that looked like a home run at the time, but was ruled a double.

The fact it was called a double to start off was a travesty. The ball clearly ricocheted off of something that was hard enough to make it change direction quickly. The padding on an MLB fence doesn’t allow for that as it was made to absorb impact for the players’ safety.

This being the case, common sense would have said the ball cleared the fence and hit a railing that was in the stands. Have no fear though, Major League Baseball has put in the instant replay for such instances like this, knowing umpires are human and can and will make mistakes.

When a review takes place in baseball, it’s not like football where only the head official gets to take a look at the replay. The whole crew, all four men, get to take as long as they want to make sure they get the call right.

In this case they did the exact opposite, saying there was inconclusive evidence to the fact that the ball cleared the wall.

Forget the fact that on every single TV screen, smart phone or computer screen the ball is clearly above the yellow line. The evidence of physics says that the ball hit something hard not soft.

There have been many times when umpires have blown calls in baseball games; just ask any Kansas City Royal fan alive in 1985. The difference is those umps have come out and said they made a mistake.

Granted that doesn’t change the outcome of anything or make the play right, but it does show the umpire has a brain.

Angel Hernandez, the one who made the call for the Indians/Athletics game, stuck by his call. If this had been Hernandez’s first time of trying to be the “star” of the show it would be different, but he has a long history of being this way.

Baseball isn’t the only sport that succumbs to the prima-donna officials though. The NBA has more than its fair share of them as well, most notably Joey Crawford.

Crawford has a long history of being a hot head, dating back over a career that started in 1977.

Back in 1997 he had a run in with Tim Duncan when Duncan wasn’t even on the floor. Watch any game Duncan has played in and you are more likely to fall asleep from boredom than you are to see him get a technical, let alone one while not even on the floor.

There is a general understanding that come playoff time, the games in the NBA get a lot more physical. Teams are within reach of their goal of winning the championship and put forth the extra effort. This time of year the emotion is also ratcheted up. Referees know this and most take it into account, especially someone who has been around as long as Crawford.

This year in the playoffs alone Crawford has called 14 technical fouls in just six games. The fact he calls so many isn’t always the issue either. Most if not all have been warranted it’s the way in which he does it.

He has an arrogant attitude about himself, almost as if he is above anyone who is playing the game.  A quick search in YouTube and there is a long list of blown calls and theatrics of Crawford’s for all years.

No one cares how many championship games Joey Crawford officiates, people care about how many rings LeBron James can collect in his career. Most can agree on the one rule with officials in that there are bad ones and worse ones; even so they shouldn’t negatively impact a game. With as much money as fans and TV pays to see these sporting events they deserve better.

 

 

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