Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Umpires and Baseball jargon

Official game: A game that can be considered complete. If more than half the game has been played before being called by an umpire.

Umpires in the major leagues have a good paying life. Let's not talk about the long and winding road that led them to our door for watching big league baseball. Rather than that, let us share what we see now that the door is open.

Ford Frick, Baseball Hall of Famer, came up with the Ten Commandments of Umpiring (1949).

If you look at each one of these commandments, and every umpire adhered to them like the Rule Book should be his Bible, then I wouldn't go (what must seem like out of my way) to pounce on da bums!

(Note: all commandments with asterisks are those that hit the bullseye in regards to the Women Without the Shapely Curves.)

  1. Keep your eye on the ball.
  2. Keep all your personalities out of your work. Forgive and forget.*
  3. Avoid sarcasm. Don't insist on the last word. *
  4. Never charge a player and, above all, no pointing your finger or yelling.*
  5. Hear only the things you should hear- Be deaf to others.*
  6. Keep your temper. A decision made in anger is never sound.*
  7. Watch your language.*
  8. Take pride in your work at all times. Remember, respect for an umpire is created off the field as well as on.
  9. Review your work. You will find, if you are honest, that 90% of the trouble is traceable to loafing.
  10. No matter what your opinion of another umpire, never make and adverse comment regarding him. To do so is despicable and ungentlemanly.*
More Jargons:

OFP: Overall Future Potential. Have the baseball stat-heads gone Star Trek? With a stat like this there must be a galaxy of unnecessary numbers, good for getting little boys and girls who don't like math to like math. Or at the very least, computer geeks to become interested in Fantasy baseball now that they can factor in all of these newfangled stats. That could be the only purpose for such frivolous numbers tied to what ifs.

The actual definition of OFP is: a scouting assessment of a young player's potential as a future major leaguer. Scored from 20 to 80. The criteria are different for pitchers and position players. See also tools. (Not like the people who figured this gem out aren't "tools.")

Can an umpire get an OFP rating if he exhibits an unusual ability to call balls and strikes. Through unordinary focus, the ump is able to consistently call rulebook balls and strikes (ie, balls/strikes according to the rulebook definition and strike zone graphic). And what separates this ump is his ability to call strikes for the elite pitcher and the rookie. No squeezing of the strike zone, just callin' 'em like he sees 'em, and this guy sees 'em better than any one who ever donned the dark blue suit.

Make the Overall Future Potential stat work so a new breed of fan can go to the ballpark and root for an ump! Ya think this could happen? Probably not in our lifetime, huh?

Kevin Marquez