Thursday, June 19, 2008

There goes the neighborhood...

The situation outlined in Rick Reilly's latest column for is just plain wrong and unacceptable, if it's true.

A Georgia high school baseball team, playing in the state championship, got so irritated with the umpire's call against him that they may have tried to do something about it. In the fourth inning, the pitcher threw a high fast ball and the catcher put his glove up to catch it. But, according to Reilly's column:
"... He drops to his knees before the ball gets to him. Doesn't even try to catch it. Just flops to his knees, with his head looking down at the plate. Never looks up or back. The ball, meanwhile, conks umpire Jeff Scott square in the face mask. Rocks him back. Then squirts up the third-base line."
If this in fact was done intentionally, how low can people possibly get? We've all played in or watched games where the officiating was awful, but come on. Is this really how we fix problems now?

The catcher explained he was expecting a curveball and just dropped the ball. Reilly didn't believe him:
"Yeah, surrrre. I used to catch a little. Happens all the time. You're expecting a curveball and instead you get a fastball so you say, 'Boy, didn't see that coming. I'll just drop to my knees and wait for the next one.' "
My friend TJ may be able to tell some umpiring stories. He was an umpire for Little League games at one time.