Thursday, June 4, 2015

Dagnabbit !!!

The year is 2015, umpires are not automatons, they are human so you cannot expect Umpire Davis to have the same strike each and every fifth game it is his turn to be behind (the catcher) home plate. (The rotation is counter-clockwise: home to third to second to first.)

Every day major league baseball has a game you have the potential of a Gerry Davis strike zone. On May 27, 2015, with the Giants in Milwaukee ( according to Giants’ announcer Jon Miller) he had a strike zone that used how the catcher framed his pitches as opposed to whether the ball entered the rulebook strike zone or not.

The strike zone was adjusted a few seasons back when it amended an interpretation to read that a pitched ball can be no more than the width of two (2) baseballs above the belt (of the batter).

There are thirty (30) major leagues teams so there can be as much as fifteen (15) umpires at the helm of distinguishing balls from strikes, or vice versa, on a fully scheduled day of baseball. ‘They’ say you always see something new at a ballgame, well, I wonder if all 15 umpires calling balls and strikes have their own interpretation? You better believe they do and if you had the capability of watching each and every one of them bungle the strike zone I’d bet you would be outraged by the inconsistencies of each umpire. The standard of umpiring has fallen off over the years and I believe it is due to the allowance of umpires to have their “own” interpretation of what a strike is versus the rulebook definition of what a strike is… It’s there in print for all to read and yet they choose to ad lib this portion of the rulebook.

In the Memorial Day game, also at Milwaukee, Khris Davis of the Brewers hit a home run off of Tim Lincecum but failed to touch home plate. Someone on the Giants alerted Manager Bruce Bochy and before Lincecum made his next pitch he stepped off the rubber and appealed that the batter-runner had missed home plate. The home plate umpire ruled the batter-runner OUT!!

Feeling like he must have been in a dream, Milwaukee manager, Craig Counsell wanted to challenge the call. The umpires went to the area where the headphones are plugged into New York’s Replay Central (for all disputed calls) and awaited the verdict. A couple of minutes later the umpire-in-charge gave the safe signal showing that the home plate umpire of the game, the person with the best view of any camera angle was over-ruled.

This is all conjectural because decisions from New York’s Replay Central come without explanation.

Why the secrecy? Let the fans know what determined the decision, dagnabbit!
There is no need for confidentiality here. These aren’t someone’s medical records it’s a game people paid good money to see. They have a right to know, as does everyone watching the game, what the deciding factor was in over-ruling the original call or why the call was not changed.

It’s the mysterious handling of arriving at the decision that makes both Major League Baseball and the National Football League suspicious in their appalling actions.

Kevin J. Marquez