Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Another AT&T Night Game

AT&T is sometimes a common place, if somewhat grim if you are the home plate umpire and you personify inconsistency.

This unsocial event known as a nightime party where the guest of dishonor was a chowboy named Rick Reed. It wasn't like he was a moment away from a rope, a short dance several feet off the ground and then the dark eternity all umpires- who choose to adhere to whichever interpretation of whatever rule they come face to face with- go when their actions are that of an impersonator of the ambassadors of the rules of the game.

Afterall, what IS the purpose of an umpire? Why has it gotten to the point that a player, coach or manager cannot ask where a particular pitch missed?

Mr. Rick Reed, who when the Good Lord passed out a conscience, a heart and a feeling for fellow men, must have been out for a beer and missed out.

I'm sure when he came up through the ranks of an umpire's instructional training he played the game just the way the instructors would have liked it only to do it his way once he made the big time.

It didn't matter who was pitching because the plate as every fan in the stands-and armchair experts- saw was its usual diamond shape. Only with Reed the corners were covered in dirt and the height of each pitch was not measured by the batter in the box and or his stance because Reed seemed to have no guidelines at all. From my perspective, the armchair-expert vantage point, he appeared to go by the flight of the ball in an imaginery spheroid and just randomly called the pitches according to what he thought he saw. Rather than use the conceptual three dimensional right angle pentagonal zone over home plate as described in the rules of baseball's strike zone. (Hey, it all seems complicated to me to but I don't think I would discard the whole idea for some fly-by-night derivation like our Rick Reed!)

Sylvester the cat, of Warner Brothers cartoon fame, always cried that he "thought he saw a putty cat," so I suppose it's okay for Rick Reed, of MLB umpires, to say he thought he saw a strike!

(Thanks to Wikipedia and the great Rod Serling who inspired this piece as I was flipping channels in-between innings of last night's Giants' 5-4 win over the Diamondbacks.)

Kevin Marquez