Monday, March 07, 2011


It seems the players wanted to talk about the complaints they had about the umpires last season, so the two unions and MLB sat down to discuss some issues. MLB was represented by Joe Torre, who would be taking his daily naps at the meeting.
The major problem seemed to be that any punishment or censure of the umps was never announced and the players felt the umps weren't being held to the same standard as the players. Granted, the multitude of HD cameras at all the games magnify any errors made by the umps, but other than balls and strikes, I think they do a decent job.
There are still the "neighborhood" plays that are allowed: if the ball gets there first, the runner is automatically out, etc., but by and large, they're okay. Balls and strikes are a completely other issue. I have no stats to corroborate me feelings, but I'll bet their calls are wrong 30-40% of the time.
The issue they should talk about but won't, is the umps control of the game. Someone has to explain to the umps that baseball is a competition between two sets of athletes, trying to perform better than their opponent. The umps act as though baseball is sport where players perform so umpires can show off their "skills" at making calls and woe betide anyone who questions their ability. I don't think umpires should have carte blanche to throw out a player. The circumstances should be well-defined and any ejection should be investigated for cause on BOTH sides. And "showing up" an ump should never be a cause.
Never happen.

In spite of Girardi's statements, there is talk in the front office of moving Brett Gardner into the leadoff spot instead of Derek Jeter, and moving Jeter to the second spot. I think that's a big mistake. Sure, Gardner may get on base more and be able to steal more bases, but batting Jeter 2nd increases the chances of doubleplays, what with Jeter's penchant for hitting ground balls.
Jeter has also been much more aggressive at the plate the last few years, which would also curtail Gardner' chances to steal.
So what's the answer? Either bat Jeter 1st and Gardner 2nd, all but eliminating double plays, or (gulp) move Jeter to 8th or 9th.
Never happen.


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