Saturday, April 19, 2008

Some Calls Shouldn’t Require an Umpire

I was watching the Astros game a while ago and watched as the Rockies center fielder attempted to catch a fly ball; what should have been a lead off double by Blum turned into the first out.. Had he caught it “on the square” it would have been a great play; but the ball momentarily was dislodged from his glove, rolled on the grass and he was able to gather it back quickly. His back was to the infield and the umpire couldn’t see how the ball had gotten out and quickly retrieved.

The player held the ball high in the air to show the umpire, as if he’d caught it cleanly. The umpire signaled the out based on the fact that the player claimed to have caught the ball and, unfortunately no umpire had a clear view of the play. The center fielder lied deliberately. The camera crew caught it; but major league baseball doesn’t use the instant replay; all the same fans watching television saw the whole play.

This isn’t the same as a close call in which an umpire’s vantage point and unbiased opinion was used to determine the outcome of a sporting event; no, this was pure and simple dishonesty. The play was shown on instant replay several times and I’m hoping major league baseball has a procedure to protect the integrity of the game when it becomes clear that a ball player lacks such integrity.

This is no different than taking an item at the grocery store without paying for it; just because the store manager didn’t see you steal doesn’t alter the fact that you’re a thief. It would be just fine with me to see this jerk suspended for several games, fined an enormous amount of money and then benched for the remainder of the season. These ball players are supposed to be role models for our young people, heroes is you will. What kind of hero would intentionally lie in front of an entire stadium full of fans just to record a single out?

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