Tuesday, October 28, 2008

MLB Umpires CBA Needs Revisited

I have always respected Ken Rosenthal. He's up in the Buster Olney, Jayson Stark category in my book. One of the best. Actually, I was priviledged enough to shake his hand in a game in Philly this past year. True story, my buddies and I went to a Mets/Phillies game earlier this summer which was broadcast on Fox. During the 9th inning a fight broke out down the first base line between fans - typical stuff really. We were sitting in the left field bleachers and we could clearly see punches being thrown from all the way across the field. The action on the field was delayed and Billy Wagner took a few steps off the mound. The whole stadium was aware of what was happening. The guy doing most of the punches was wearing a Mets jersey was taken away in handcuffs to the approval of the roaring crowd. Upon completion of the game, my 2 buddies and I proceed to exit the stadium and head to our car. I'm wearing a Mets Reyes jersey, my buddy's wearing an Phillies Utley jersey. As we're making our way around the stadium, out from the media entry walks Ken Rosenthal, dragging his little pull behind suitcase. Immediately I say, "Rosenthal!" and he smiles and pulls up to walk beside us. We shake hands and we begin talking. The first words out of his mouth, "That wasn't you down the first base line was it?" Haha... that Rosenthal, always very witty. We shared a laugh and a few stories as we walked. It was a cool moment for a fan. So everytime I see him, I think back to that afternoon.

Last night, Rosenthal shows up again - this time in his black overcoat, protected by his overly large black umbrella, and thick black gloves standing in the dugout. He appeared visibly frustrated as he began talking about how the umpires cannot work back to back World Series and how that is a problem. He continued his rant in an article he wrote last night on
"The umpires are less under Selig's control; their collective-bargaining agreement restricts the use of the best umps in the playoffs and World Series. That's right, umpires cannot work in back-to-back postseason series in a single year or in back-to-back World Series.

The latter provision is plainly ridiculous; if the best players can teams can qualify for the World Series two years in a row, why can't the best umpires? When the umpires' CBA expires after next season, Selig should demand a change."
The reason for this, according to Rosenthal, is to promote those umpires that would not otherwise have the opportunity to work in a high profile series. In other words, there's a good chance that the best umpires would be working in the World Series every year which would therefore prevent younger or "not as good" umpires to call games in the Fall Classic. Sounds fair though right?

Hmmm... why does this sounds familiar? Oh yeah! Could this be something along the same lines as this whole "redistribution of wealth" thing?

The proof is in the pudding, and the pudding is the absolute horrible calls during this year's Fall Classic. Let's face it... sometimes what sounds good on paper turns out to be an absolute disaster. Sorry to throw in that little political plug, but think about the brutal calls during this World Series as a potential foreshadowing to what could possibly happen if a certain politician is elected next Tuesday. Rewarding the undeserving sometimes has costly repercussions.

Oh... and Ken, if you're out there... hit me up at