I usually don’t have a problem with the umpires. I know the job sucks and for the most part they handle the job great, after all, they don’t have that replay that we see on our television every night. They go by the naked eye and they have other umpires to help him out if there are questions or concerns. That being said, bad calls sometimes happen. I will never forget that near perfect game by Armando Galarraga a while back.
The poor guy was denied a perfect game because the umpire just botched it. At least Jim Joyce realized it and admitted it.
All that said, I also don’t think that disrespect among players and umpires is needed either. I hated what I saw from Roberto Alomar years ago when he literally spit on the umpire. Plus, in my mind, anytime players argue balls and strikes, well, it just can’t happen, you're bound to get booted.
That being said, I have to say, Laz Diaz last night in Anaheim was the height of belittling a ballplayer and believe it or not, if the story about what Diaz did to Russell Martin is true, I believe there needs to some type of fine enforced. You can call me ridiculous but I’ll tell you why. The officials treat everything like they are superior, “Our call is law” and that’s all fine, they're the ump after all, but what happened to respecting human beings? Look, we all know that we need to respect the umpire, but I was curious so I looked through the rules of umpires in the MLB rules. Rule 9.05, section C actually has a section called General Instructions of Umpires and reads "Umpires on the field should not indulge in conversation with players." There's also a sentence that reads "Be courteous, always to club officials", you can read it HERE. Look, I'm not some detective that found the silver bullet, I'm just making a point, if the players need to respect the umpires, shouldn't Umps respect some of the rules too?
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it had everything to do with Russell Martin “not being allowed” to throw any new balls back to the Yankee pitchers. According to Martin, Diaz said Martin needed to “earn” the privilege. Read it HERE. I know, it sounds like a joke. Now, last time I checked, Russell Martin doesn’t work for the umpire, he works for the Yankees and “earning” privileges to me would have to do with anything involving his employer and nothing to do with the umpire. Not only that, how does that kind of denial affect Martin’s confidence and psyche behind the plate after that? I’m sure his mind was racing thinking “What the hell is going on right now?”
(In Photo: Laz Diaz)
Martin later said “Now thinking back, I should have shown him the gold Rawlings sign on my glove.” My response to that is simple; Sure Russell, you can do that…proving that your somebody, but this is simple thinking. This is not only human respect, it’s a double standard. Sure players can’t disrespect umpires but let’s use the respect thing all around, both ways. Message to Laz Diaz, your power trip was ridiculous, get over yourself.