Tuesday, May 6, 2008

On the Outside Looking In

In the most recent Sporting News magazine (the one with a wrap-up on the 2008 NFL Draft) Todd Jones, the reliever/closer for the Detroit Tigers had something to say that I wish he had not. Because it'll make anything he says from this time forward have less impact.

He basically gives thanks for his stay in the major leagues and reflects on some of the things that have happened during his tenure. And for all intense purposes he comes across as very grateful. That is, up until he lays this egg-on ME-

Baseball is more uniform now. Umpires adhere to one governing body of accountability. Used to be, they could be fat, pompous pigs- routinely out of position- and eject you with no warning and hold a grudge. Now, they're polite and treat you with respect, and we have a much better rapport with them.

Maybe it's me, but Todd Jones' statement about the umpires really makes me feel like I'm on the outside looking in. And this brown-nosing statement does nothing to educate his readers of how it really is-between the lines of play in the big leagues- only that it's best we do what we can to cover our butts... just in case.

None of what he says is what I'm gathering in from my perspective. Whether it be the box seats, couch or barstool. The only truth to his "wink-wink" to the umpires was that there are no National League umpires and American League umpires (with their pillowy chest protectors). But the 'treating players with respect,' I'm just not getting that vibe! Am I alone in this assessment of major league umpires?

Any time I hear a reference to the word respect I think of the late comedian, Rodney Dangerfield. And with his comedy you got the feeling that 'No Respect' were the veritable words to describe his life. But as for saying a group of attitudes-in-need-of-adjustment treating you with respect, well Todd Jones those are just words. You don't mean it. You're just covering your butt for some game down the road when you don't have good stuff.

Kevin Marquez