SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Taking on the Umpires

Score it AAA Ump Todd Tichenor 4, the Red Sox and the Twins 0 in last nights Sox' victory of the Twins. Tichenor ran Twins' catcher Mike Redmond and skipper Ron Gardenhire, and, later, Bosox catcher Jason Varitek and skipper Terry Francona, from the game.

As if. . . we pay to see the umpire go WWE on the contestants and provide the highlights of the evening. Either a lot of bad things happened to the home plate ump (or bad things were said) or by trying to maintain control of the game he lost his own composure and found himself the subject of much criticism this morning (including from ESPN.com's Peter Gammons). You can read a benign version of the game here.

Of course, crew chief Jerry Layne rose to Tichenor's defense (as if he's supposed to do anything else), but read Layne's comments and see if you agree with him or if he's being a bit (at least) intellectually dishonest about what Tichenor was trying to accomplish. My view, on watching the video, is that Tichenor has way too quick a reaction to Redmond and Gardenhire, had a point with Varitek (unless he provoked it) and got too literal on the "you can't argue balls and strikes at all" rule with Beckett. The bottom line is that like players, umps can have awful nights, and Tichenor had an awful night.

Why? Because no one is talking about the Sox' win or Varitek's two homers. They're talking about the ejections.

And that's bad for baseball.

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