Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Ongoing Saga of MadBum

The ongoing saga of MadBum (according to me, a Giant's fan who has umpired since the age of 9. I am pretty comfortable in distinguishing a ball from a strike)could be called, As the Umps Mess With the Kid.

Are the umpires messing with the kid?  Think about it, he joins the team midway in the season and nobody messes with him.  Then he does better than anticipated in the postseason. 

Giants win the World Series! Next to the New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl, who saw this coming?

So the umpires do a little research. Upon further review, it is discovered that Madison Bumgarner (a.k.a. MadBum) had a moment that some might see as psycho and yet others might craft down to mere competitive edge. (My recollection is that MadBum, in his Fresno days, threw a ball into the centerfield bleachers from around the pitcher's mound. Because of little defensive support and shady umpiring.)

Do the umpires interpret this as disobedience?  As a fan I say, "Why do the umps think they are so special?"  Umpires seem to have this leeway where they can fuss with new entries into the major leagues. (How this came about would be good knowledge for the revision of this "umpire hazing." In other words, who initiated the need to do this, from the umpire's perspective?)

Baseball needs to eighty-six the umpire initiation faze of the game. Because it generates more reason to distrust the arbiters of the game. It does nothing to make the players better but it does disgrace the boys in blue. (In much the same way a borderline great ballplayer is judged by his demeanor, why doesn't this belief work for the umpires? And if they are totally separate in how things are run in baseball, could we please stop seeing the umpires who show up the players even though this is something the umpires abhor when it happens to them. The double-standard must stop, agreed?)

I mean, c'mon, how many ball/strike calls, or calls in general, do the umpires miss, in a game?  Bob Fitzgerald of KNBR680 has it right. It's these guys jobs to get the call right. Not sit on the laurels of their brethren and boast about how they are the best at officiating. Nowadays with baseball umpires it's more like the Get Smart phrase of, "Missed it by that much!"

It's bad enough that you cannot question a ball/strike call but to allow them to haze rookies in the MLB is a bit too much.


Why? Because I'm not questioning a ball/strike if it's done once in a while. I'm questioning the inconsistency of why one inning it's a ball and another inning it's a strike. I am not asking because I'm questioning the umpire's authority, I am asking him because I need to have a better idea when it's my turn to bat of how I can make the pitcher's pitch work for me. 

Kevin J. Marquez