Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bandits in Blue

With this recent horrific display of officiating in the big leagues I wonder if some of those bandits in blue are making calls based on the jersey rather than how the play was executed?

We always hear how some fans root for the jersey while others root for the player and it's understood that it's all a matter of preference. Hey, you pluck down the dollars for a ticket you can root how you choose. Wear whatever colors you want and root-root-root for whichever team you so desire. It doesn't have to be the home team.

I marvel at how it's always so coincidental that the popular teams (Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, Dodgers, to name more than a few) always seem to be the benefactors of fortuitous calls. Then you see the behavior of that particular bandit in blue -when questioned by the manager of the team on the short end of the call- and you are almost convinced that's the way it works. Such is life...

Then you see where all the concern is about speeding up the game. How about baseball's arbiters, a.k.a. bandits in blue, do what they were hired to do and call a consistent rulebook strike zone. Is that asking too much of today's bandits in blue?

Teams are so concerned with the pitch count and a lot of that has to do with the extra pitches that have to be thrown on account of the unaccountable bandit in blue -behind-the plate- who for some reason doesn't feel the need to call strikes according to the rulebook. How about that, the arbiter who was hired to see that the rules were adhered to and s/he shucks it all aside for his/her interpretation. I thought that was something only women did and-for the most part- were allowed to get away with? Woman's prerogative an all of that nonsense. Well, guess what sports fans, the way officiating is being handled by the powers-that-be it is as if each and every official gets a mulligan per game. Maybe it's not such a bad thing that little boys and girls grow up to be game officials?

Dear Mr. and Mrs./Ms. Fan: Get used to it! You pay your hard-earned dollars to go see a game, to get away from all the hustle and bustle and what you get instead is schtick. If only you could get away with those incidental blunders at your work place. But you cannot so GET USED TO IT.

And, oh yeah, Mister Numbers-Cruncher, Bill James, how about factoring in the success rate of batters who got more than 3 strikes (courtesy of the bandit in blue behind-the-plate) when they were batting. Probably pretty good, huh?

It's right about this time when the Elvis Presley song-Feel So Bad- plays in surround sound...of course, it's probably just me this happens to.

Feel so bad
like a ballgame on a rainy day
Feel so bad
like a ballgame on a rainy day

Yes I got my rain check
Shake my head and walk away

Oooooooh Ooooooh, people that's the way I feel
Oooooooh Ooooooh, people that's the way I feel.

(date recorded March 12, 1961.
chart debut: May 15, 1961
Peak chart position: #5)

1961 was the year the Los Angeles Angels broke onto the major league scene.
1961 was also the year the Washington Senators moved to Minnesota and became the Twins, playing their first season in the big leagues.
1961 was the year Willie Mays signed the richest contract to date...$85,000.
1961 was the year Roger Maris belted 61 home runs.

(Thanks to Baseball-Almanac)

Kevin Marquez