Friday, May 17, 2013

Seems Like it is Always About the Officiating

In the National Basketball Association you cannot believe your eyes with the types of fouls called or missed.

In the National Hockey League you have refs skating at a frantic pace to keep up with the phenoms and there is the appearance that most of what is called is what the stripe-shirted fellow thought he saw. Even with the best video replay usage to date, in the NHL like with all leagues, there are some things the guys on the field of play (at that particular place) have to get right. Whether it's getting the proper positioning for making a call or just refraining from blowing the whistle because the doubt you have kept you from being an over-caffeinated Barney Fife, you cannot expect the replay to cover your blown call.

While the video may not lie, it certainly doesn't always tell the whole truth of what happened.

Sure, baseball has its flaws. Most of those have to do with the umpire's reluctance to admit to their wrongdoing. If they owned up to their mistakes (as Jim Joyce did when he missed a call that would have been a perfect game) everybody would accept their reactions, however overzealous they may be.

But I still think baseball is the least effected in the post-season because the umpires rarely are out of position. It all depends on the strike zone of the home plate umpire. This is why there has to be a grading period throughout the year. With 162 games being played by 30 teams, totaling 4,860 games, the powers that be must be doing their homework to see that the best home plate umpires are in the post-season. This is first and foremost to assuring the baseball world that the BEST TEAM has a chance of proving such a declaration is accurate. (The combination of the local and national media folk insistence as well as our own take on the subject).

In 2010 and 2012 when the San Francisco Giants got their pitching staff together and those talented hurlers began to hit their spots no call by the official/umpire was going to deter the outcome of the game. In baseball, you can get into a cruise control that makes calls by the umpire seem almost incidental to the game. You most certainly cannot say that in the NBA, NHL and Holy Toledo, especially the National Football League.

If the best teams are playing one another how can you miss calls and expect the team on the short-end of the call to come out ahead? Field position, getting to the free-throw line, short-handed due to erroneous calls made by people who thought they saw something and the video replay couldn't verify what they thought they saw. Holy Putty Tat!!

Baseball has a leg up on the other sports. Provided they do their homework during the regular season and the best umps, specifically the home plate umps, are chosen to show the world what is and is not a strike. If baseball slacks and doesn't work out all the kinks during the regular season then that leg up is man's best friend relieving itself and we all suffer.

Kevin J. Marquez