Blind Consistency

November 4, 2009

Not to rain on our party, baseball fans, but after watching Cole Hamels last year, throwing “strikes” four or five inches off the plate, I realized two things: (1) if the umpires had been furnished with hand held computers, Hamels wouldn’t have won any series series games and (2) Kazmir would have been 2 and 0.

This year, the Yankees Burnett, in his first series stint, looked like a star, getting strike calls on pitches 3-5 inches outside.  Pedro Martinez pitched well, but was hurt by a few “good” pitches thrown “inside” for homers.  Why bother, Pedro, to waste good pitches inside, when you can throw 4, even 5 inches outside and get the call?  Take advantage of the umpire, Mr. McGoo, he’s blind, not crooked. 

In game 4, Burnett was shelled, not so much because of his poor control, but because the umpire was not blind and he had to pitch the ball, at least, in the vicinity of the strike zone. Like Hamels, he is not very effective with a competent umpire.  Such is the state of our national pastime; the game depends not on the players or even the rules, but on the officials.

My advice: give the umpires hand held devices in the preseason so, at least, these guys can see for themselves, just how many balls and strikes they miss.  And baseball announcers, do us a favor and never say that its alright for Umpire McGoo to miss 50 or 60% of his calls “as long as he is consistent.” You’re penalizing the poor umpire that misses only a handful of calls for not consistently missing them!!!

Allen Finkelstein, D.O.