You ever get in a situation where you are in the middle of making a call and as you are making it you go....OH SHIT!!!???
Had one of those today in game two of the three game series here in Indianapolis.
Ground ball to shortstop...he throws across the diamond to first base. I am in position and then all of a sudden the throw goes off line. First baseman stretches towards right field...and it appears to me as though he is going to keep his foot on the base as he stretches to catch the throw...
I get straight-lined...and I am screwed. I am really not sure. (I find out later I could have kicked a 40-yard FG I kicked it so badly).
Butler skipper Steve Farley comes out to argue...only one thing. He is arguing with my partner at home plate Matt Moore. He finally comes out to me and instead of asking me to get help...he starts in on how I can't possibly see that play and someone else HAS to help me.
Now I have been umpiring a long time...and I am all about getting the play right...but sometimes a skipper just comes out and goes about it the wrong way. Today was one of those days.
If he would have come out rationally and ASKED me to get help...I am 95% sure I would have complied..even though both of my partners were over 90 feet away. But after a couple of horseshits and yelling at me...I was all of a sudden no longer in the mood. So I said no.
I was sure enough that I got it right that I wasn't going to hang it on my partners...so I didn't.
Outcome of the game wasn't affected as Butler kicked the dog out of Youngstown in this game...but my question is this....
When did we start going to get help as umpires on every little play? I am not trying to justify it at all..my crew chief Jon Milesky told me I kicked the shit out of the call and I have no reason to doubt him, but I am standing right there...right or wrong it is MY call.
WHY are we going to get help every time some coach comes out and screams and demands it?
I heard a coach the other day say that umpires are just doing this as a vocation and that we are messing with their livelihoods.
SCREW that. I have as much pride in my work on the baseball field as I do in my real life job. In fact, probably MORE SO.
Anyway...the Baseball Gods punished the shit out of me for kicking that call...as they gave me a 3:28 plate job for game three of the series.
Maybe I should have gone and gotten some help. Those Baseball Gods are a FICKLE bunch.
Youngstown takes two out of three from Butler. None of the games were close. Milesky and Moore were both good this weekend. Also, congrats to Matt for dropping almost 30 pounds. It has made a HUGE difference in his mobility on the field. Good for you Matt.
Big week this week. Illinois-Chicago hosts Northwestern Tuesday night. With a couple of ex-AAA guys in Mark Winters and David Riley. Hopefully they can keep me out of trouble. Then the Big 10 season opens up for me at Indiana as they host Michigan on Friday-Sunday. Always fun working with Jimmy Jackson and my friend Sal Giacomantonio is coming down from Detroit.
And remember my friends...Balls and safes give you 4 hour games--Strikes and outs give you 2 hour games. We don't get paid by the hour.
Have a great week.