A thought came to mind today after working at the Big Ten/Big East Challenge in St. Pete, FL over the weekend. It is a thought I have had many times before and one that I am sure I will have many times again.
In fact, I have gotten so used to going through this that it has almost become second nature.
Here it is----QUIT TREATING UMPIRES AS SECOND CLASS CITIZENS!!!
We show up at the ballpark in St. Pete last Friday and the first thing the guy who was running the show at Progress Energy Park says to us was..."Here are a few drinks for you. If you want food you are on your own. And oh by the way, the showers don't have hot water."
Are you serious?
You can't turn on the hot water at the ballpark so that we can at LEAST take a shower?
Bottom line is--They didn't even THINK about us. Never even crossed their minds.
Never mind that the game fee was half of what we normally make (1/4 of what a SEC or ACC guy would make).
But they couldn't even get the hot water turned on for us.
It is the same old tired thing...game in, game out. Year in, year out.
Guess I should be thankful we didn't have to dress in the parking lot huh?
This was the Big Ten/Big East Challenge. It should have been a big deal. This had the possibilities of being a first-class tournament.
It wasn't. Not even third-class.
And then just when you think it couldn't get worse....it did.
On Sunday, we were working over at the Naimoli Complex. This place is a minor league complex that has been used in the past by the Cardinals and Mets and most recently by the Tampa Bay Rays for their minor leaguers.
Guess what?? No hot water there either.
So a note to teams and tournament directors who host umpires.
Will you PLEASE quit treating us as afterthoughts?
And a side note to umpires.
Quit letting them. We deserve better.