The Umpire In Me


As I was listening to Darvish’s second Cactus League start today I heard the announcer whose name I cannot recall say something that I’ve been thinking about for some time now:

“That’s a pitch the umpire needs to give Darvish if he wants this game to be fair.”

Now, before I ramble on I should clear some things up.  First off, I am not one of those fans who think more computers and less umpires will be good for baseball.  The human error aspect of the game is necessary and should always be around.  In the history of the game, the blown call has influenced just as many wins as anything else.

What got me thinking about this was a post I read by Scott Lucas about Jerry Layne and his strike zone in Game 7 of the World Series.  Basically he uses Pitch f/x and other tools to break down every pitch and show which ones were the correct call and which ones weren’t.  In doing this he has brought to light a few major problems in my mind, why is this happening so often, and why in the most important baseball game of the year.

I understand that everyone makes mistakes and that the outcome of the World Series had nothing to do with his strike zone, but it still hurts to read such a well written piece on a painful topic.  Still, this is something that needs to be fixed in the MLB, and fixed quickly.

Like I said before, I’m not advocating for a super-computer system that calls the balls and strikes, but instead a rating system for the umpire,s or something similar.

In my genius opinion, every game should be reviewed by some sort of head umpire, and each blue-shirt given a rating based on his performance.  Things like blown calls, floating strike zones, and irrationality should be used to deduct points on a certain scale for each umpire.  With a certain low rating, umpires should either be fined, not allowed to umpire Major League games, or something of the sort.  This way, there is still the possibility and

likelihood of human error in the game, and a constant strive for the umpires to make sure they make the right call.

Now, I could be way overthinking all of this and by doing so come up with a terrible idea for our beloved game.  Either way, I’d like to hear what everyone else has to think.  Stay thirsty my friends, Go Rangers.