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Quality of Umpiring?

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  • Quality of Umpiring?

    In light of the refereeing debacle during the Super Bowl (and in general in the NFL nowadays), how do people think MLB Umpires perform? Do you think that baseball would benefit from instant replay?

  • #2
    The umpires made a couple mistakes in the postseason, but for the most part it was fine, in my opinion. As far as instant replay, I'm really torn on this. I'm sort of in favor for it if it adopts NFL rules. Only certain plays can be reviewed (foul balls originally called fair, interference, NO pitches) and teams can only have 2 reviews per game. One concern I have are coaches burning reviews to give their relievers extra time to warm up in a jam. Sometimes the games are too slow without instant replay, the last thing it would need are bogus reviews thrown out late in the game.


    • #3
      The 2005 post-season umpiring was very poor. But, I do believe the overall caliber of umpiring is good. The elimination of Richie Phillips is no small part of this. Also putting umpires under the MLB umbrella rather than league is giving the umps a single source of instruction and evaluation.

      The introduction of Quest-Tec to assist in the evaluation and training of calling balls and strikes was an outstanding move. Over time it will bring all umpires closer together on what a strike is.

      Like most folks I think umpires generally do a very good job at a task that occasionally is very hard.
      Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball


      • #4
        As a baseball and football official I was appalled at the officiating in both the Rose Bowl and the Super Bowl. I maintain that instant replay actually is a factor either concsiously or subconsciously as to some of the poor officiating that we are seeing.

        If you look at the professional baseball umpires, for the most part they do an excellent job and their biggest problem is getting too complacant in their jobs. Football officials, are part timers, partially due to the nature of the game, and since most come from the college ranks, getting to the NFL is often in timing and who you know.

        It seems to me that the replay make some of the official hesitant in calls, or the other extreme in making a call too quickly since replay will bail them out. After replay, what are we going to demand, just have QUESTEC call all the balls and strikes?

        Now the NFL and college game are so much quicker than high school and other youth levels of any game and some calls are going to be missed, with that being said, I would have been embarrassed if one of my high school crew would have made some of those glaring errors we saw in both the Super Bowl and the Rose Bowl. Frankly, what I saw of the Big 10 football officials this season, I was not impressed.


        • #5
          Not too crazy about Instant Replay. As Blue Steve mentions, if people have IR to bail them out, they may be more complacent on their original calls. That just leads to a lazy attitude. It's like driving know you've got another guy/gal in the next seat who'll cover you in case you make the wrong move. Always having that safety net can leave people less alert.

          I'm more concerned when it looks like umps "squeeze" one pitcher on balls & strikes, but the other guy throws stuff high & wide, low & inside, but they're all called strikes.

          Nothing's perfect, and last night, even Jay Leno complained to 4x Super Bowl winner, Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw about the officiating.

          Lots of calls would've been reversed had IR been used, but then you'd just opening up a huge can of worms. Competent guys getting overruled could be a regular thing even on plays not too close. Who even decides whether the IR ruled in one team's favor or the next?

          Umpiring is as fallible as the legal justice system, but I'll take it.
          Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting. 2007-11 CBA
          Rest very peacefully, John “Buck” O'Neil (1911-2006) & Philip Francis “Scooter” Rizzuto (1917-2007)
          THE BROOKLYN DODGERS - 1890 thru 1957
          Montreal Expos 1969 - 2004


          • #6
            MLB has one of the best officiating in professional sports. NFL refs are not as well trained as MLB umps. NFL refs miss calls that are easily seen. Ex. PIT vs IND, that offsides/false start call that didn't happen. At least MLB umps can explain what they saw.
            Unlike most other team sports, in which teams usually have an equivalent number of players on the field at any given time, in baseball the hitting team is at a numerical disadvantage, with a maximum of 5 players and 2 base coaches on the field at any time, compared to the fielding team's 9 players. For this reason, leaving the dugout to join a fight is generally considered acceptable in that it results in numerical equivalence on the field, and a fairer fight.


            • #7
              As long as the media has access to instant replay with ultra slow motion and views from all angles, umpires in any sport will be called to task for even the most minor mistake - that seems to be the self perceived role of the media in sport. But that does not mean that instant replay should become an integral part of umpiring. Making a split second decision on a close call will always result in occasional incorrect rulings, and always has, but that does not and should not reflect on the standard of umpiring. Umpires are human and will make mistakes, the same as players make mistakes, and the media boffins make mistakes.

              From the limited amount of baseball I get to watch I have no problem with the standard of the MLB umpires, and I find that, with the benefit of being able to watch instant replay on TV, the umps get it right a much greater percentage of the times than they get it wrong, it is just that the commentators focus on the wrong decisions, which makes the umps look bad!! My opinion is to forget instant replay and continue with the human element of the game. Mistakes will happen and we have to just live with that!

              As with the Superbowl, two glaring, and possibly game changing decisions, were viewed on instant replay and still the wrong decision was made in my opinion.
              "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." ~Humphrey Bogart

              No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference. ~Tommy Lasorda


              • #8
                i agree with the above poster who said that the problem is that the broadcasters look at close calls over and over and over again as soon as the play is made. they make the umps look bad on calls that at the speed things are done are so close as to make it reasonable to see the call going either way. if it weren't for the broadcasters' ability to see instant replays of the call right away, and see them over and over again, i don't think there would be as many issues with "bad umpiring."

                the primary problem i have with umpires that take over games. the umps and refs are there to regulate the game not play it or decide it.


                • #9
                  My first thought is that human beings are full of errors and we must expect that they are going to be wrong a lot of times. I wish I had instant replay in my counseling sessions - I'm sure that I would do things differently. However, maybe the errors that they make during the course of a baseball game will make the team that is effected work a little harder to overcome the umpires mistakes.

                  My second thought is what if instant replay was ONLY allowed during the 9th inning or extra innings - in situations that determined the outcome of the game? Only during the playoff? The World Series? I say this only because those are make or break situations.

                  But, then, I'm only being theoretical.


                  • #10
                    Evewry sport wonders whether replays would be good (there's a constant debate over here in england with soccer) but i think that they are a bad idea. I think they make sport more interesting (unless they are completely outrageous). Plus it gives you something to talk about with mates in the pub.
                    Don't blame us if we ever doubt you,
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                    • #11
                      I think replays should be used in Postseason only, and only for debates on whether or not a ball cleared the fence for a homerun, or whether or not a ball that was called fair was actually foul.

                      These replays would be initiated by an official of some sort up in a press box somewhere with all the benefits of slow motion replay and various camera angles, and that official would decide the correct call and relay it down to the crew chief on the field, much like the NCAA football system.

                      That is pretty much the extent of a replay system I would like to see.


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