Friday, October 08, 2010

I umpire you when you're stupid

Let's get one thing straight: I have no tolerance for people who refuse to think or who are not as smart as they think they are. The worst is people who think they are entitled to their opinions even though they have no clue what they are talking about and have never put an ounce of thought into forming arguments to support their opinions. Nor do they understand that simply saying something doesn't make it true, that you need evidence to back up a case, and they don't even understand that they don't understand, that their underdeveloped, underused brains are not capable of grasping the notion that they don't understand.

Take, for example, the needlessly outraged who claim Major League umpiring is getting worse. Not only do they have no evidence to back up those claims (nor is it possible to obtain that evidence), but they fail to take into account that technology is what is permitting us to see more bad calls. Some guy writes "Major League umpiring has gotten progressively worse over the last 20 years." Prove it, I say. You can't - it is impossible, because the technology to capture it wasn't there. There was no X-mo twenty years ago. There weren't cameras at every angle with the zoom power we have now. Hell, there really wasn't internet 20 years ago. Technology has given us the power of sight that our eyes can't give us and the ability to spread that information in a click. Technology is the reason umpiring seems worse now. Major League umpires have been umping baseball for decades; they didn't suddenly become incompetent.

Umpires have always blown calls just as players have always made errors. Our "I'm Special!" culture makes people believe they are perfect and they can do no wrong, so when they see others being human, their blood senselessly boils. This is the epitome of American stupidity. Baseball is a game played by human beings, managed by human beings, watched by human beings, and umped by human beings, AND HUMAN BEINGS BY NATURE ARE FLAWED. YOU TOO.

Calm down, STFU, and just enjoy the game of baseball. The Braves had 27 opportunities to score a run but did not do so. The umpire did not lose that game, the Braves did.

Edit: I'm not making a case for or against replay, just that umpiring hasn't gotten worse and the screaming is out of proportion to the "crime."


Bill said...

"The umpire did not lose that game, the Braves did."

Not so. It's impossible to lose a game when you don't permit a single run to be scored against you.

Look, I agree with the point that umpires are human and people shouldn't be so hard on them, and I agree that our enhanced ability to see and analyze their calls is probably what makes it seem like umpiring is getting worse.

But the answer isn't to "sit back and enjoy the game of baseball" -- it's to realize that we have the ability to get these calls right, quickly and easily. The fact that no human being can do the job perfectly is an argument for, not against, implementing a machine that can do it perfectly (more or less). They should be replaying everything that can possibly be replayed, and it's a big black mark on Selig's record (not that you can see it for all the other black marks) that they haven't already been doing that for at least a few years now.

Daedalus said...

I think I have two points here that I am blurring together. My main point is that there are people going around saying umpires are getting worse when it's just the technology getting better that allows us to see blown calls where we wouldn't have before (though the Posey call needs no technology to see it was wrong.) That's what I started with, got sidetracked by something for work (heaven forbid), and moved on in another direction.

The other point is that there is nothing we can do about changing the call, so people should stop saying these playoffs are "marred" by umpiring. Journalists who somehow maintain jobs as professional writers despite their obvious lack of writing skill are drumming up "controversy," which will only serve to diminish the accomplishments of the teams. Selig and the others who make decisions can see the umps messing up without having it sprayed all over the interwebs in faux outrage.

I'm still unsure of what I think about replay. I'd rather not have it, as I like the human element of the game, and just like it takes "luck" to have a ball go an inch fair or foul, I suppose it takes some "luck" to have the calls go your way. I mean, technically, according to the rule book, the umpires are a part of the field as much as the chalk lines. But I'm not going to be all bent out of shape if replay is expanded.

jaxtigerfan said...

I agree. Just like people always want to say a player is the best ever, when they never saw Cobb, Ruth, or DiMaggio. Fans see a blown call, and say the umpires are getting worse, but don't give the umps credit for the other 99% of the calls that were routine, and correct.