Blog Entry

Leyland: Tension between teams, umpires a problem

Posted on: July 6, 2011 5:28 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 5:44 pm
By Matt Snyder

Tuesday night, Tigers' manager -- and famed sparring partner of umpires everywhere -- Jim Leyland was ejected by umpire Joe West. It was Leyland's second ejection in the past nine games, the other was courtesy of Ed Rapuano (pictured right). West is no stranger to tossing guys out of games himself. Justin Verlander of the Tigers and Bobby Abreu of the Angels were also ejected during the game Tuesday.

Wednesday, Leyland told reporters that something needs to be done to remedy the league-wide problem of screaming matches between managers/players/coaches and the umpires.

"We have to work harder to eliminate some of the tension," Leyland said, via the Associated Press. "You can feel it. That's just not a good situation. That usually causes blowups."

Leyland did point out that MLB's new executive vice president of baseball operations, Joe Torre, is on the case and that it's the responsibility of all involved.

"I'm not criticizing anybody," Leyland said (via AP). "I'm making the point that we all need to work together to resolve this situation, because it's getting out of hand."

I think most people would agree that there are far too many confrontations between umpires and members of teams. It's funny that people who argue against expanding instant replay don't like delays in the game, however, the screaming matches take far longer than it would to just look at a replay and get the call correct. That might help to solve the problem, but Leyland also has a great point. There is far too much tension.

The players, coaches and managers could surely settle down and not be so quick to start screaming at umpires, but it has to be a two-way street. I've written about this before when I took West's crew in particular to task, but I'll reiterate: Baseball is the only major sport where you see the game officials yelling back at anyone. Nothing can be accomplished by responding to a yelling player or manager with equal ferocity. Just let them vent, should be the umpires' stance. The umpires can respond after the game once everyone is calmed down or do so during the game in a calm, quiet voice. Yelling back only escalates the situation. If the umpires kept quiet, quit antagonizing the team personnel and stayed relatively anonymous, we'd all be ready to start giving the respect they very much deserve for doing such a difficult and thankless job.

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Category: MLB
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 1:47 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 9:16 am

Leyland: Tension between teams, umpires a problem

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Since: Jun 15, 2008
Posted on: July 7, 2011 2:00 pm

Leyland: Tension between teams, umpires a problem

OK i hate to keep bringing this up....But The one bad call cost a tiger pitcher a perfect game...Wich we all know is very hard to do....

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: July 7, 2011 1:52 pm

Leyland: Tension between teams, umpires a problem

I disagree Cut The Bull. One call very rarely costs a team a game. A pitcher does, a batter does, a fielder does, but blaming a loss on one of literally hundreds of calls an umpire makes in a game is weak. Even if one of those calls is wrong.

Since: Jun 15, 2008
Posted on: July 7, 2011 11:31 am

Leyland: Tension between teams, umpires a problem

That might be true Buckeye Kurt, But it only takes that 1% bad call or missed call that could cost a team a win.

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: July 7, 2011 11:24 am

Leyland: Tension between teams, umpires a problem

I never understood all this umpire bashing. The absolute worst ump in the majors still gets over 99% of his calls correct. Fans are crazy. Put a pitch half an inch off the outside corner and they will whine if it's called a ball when their teams in the field and they would whine if their team was the one batting and it happened to be called a strike.

Someone else posted it was a thankless job and I believe it to be true. No fan I have ever heard has ever said the ump did a great job tonight so we won, but how many millions of times have fans blamed the umps for their team losing?

Besides, the umps in MLB are far superior and have far less impact on the game than the refs do in the NFL and faaaaaaaaaar less impact on games than the stooges refereeing the NBA.

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: July 7, 2011 9:17 am

Leyland: Tension between teams, umpires a problem

Status Quo. It's part of baseball. Dick Williams, Billy Martin, Whitey Herzog and my favorite Bobby Cox, I love watching these guys go at it. My Braves have been giving it to the umps this year Chippers has the best eye in baseball, and McCann is right behind the plate and their fed up with favoritism. Ya favoritism!When the Jays won back to back titles Cito Gaston told his players all year, when we're at the plate the strike zone is twice the size.We don't walk, just go out there and hit the ball even if it's out of the strike zone.Did the same for his pitching staff Throw the ball over and we'll play great defence, or just throw it by them. Bad umires should be accountable.

Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: July 7, 2011 8:49 am

Leyland: Tension between teams, umpires a problem

Corey made the same point that Jays' manager John Farrell made yesterday - make the umpires available to the media.  Farrell seemed to think that would diffuse some of the tension, as it's not looked on by the players/coaches that the umps are able to get away with anything.  Heck - as far as I'm concerned - make it a controlled media environment.  Even if it's just a statement at the podium after the game, make the crew stand up and be (or at least seem) accountable.  Obviously, any close scoring plays that can be disputed, the ump(s) would be "required" to address - at least what he saw/thought on the play.  As it is - and was pointed out by Farrell - only the coaches and players have to talk to the media and get questioned on things.

Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: July 7, 2011 8:37 am

Leyland: Tension between teams, umpires a problem

The author of this article is 100% right with the assertion that MLB officials are the only pro sports officials who yell and argue with the players and coaches. I don't believe it is an ego caused problem on the umps part. I believe the cause of the yelling matches is the fact that the umps have no ability to assess penalties as they do in the NHL, NBA, and NFL. In these three sports, penalties play a vital role in the games. Players in these three sports know that if they argue and harass the refs they risk hurting their team when the officials hand them a foul, a 10 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, or a 2 minute unsportsmanlike penalty. In Basebell, all the umps have is the ejection. But how powerful is an ejection when another player gets to take the ejected players spot to finish the game. Soccer has a similar situation to baseball in that it only has the power to red-card a player out of the game. What is the difference? Well, in Soccer the ejected player puts his team at a 1-man disadvantage for the rest of the game. No replacements. However, umps should be extremely frustrated. The League allows the umps to continually make bad calls because they do not support them with a review system.  I don't think the umps want the fate of the game on their hands from making a bad call.  I would think it is frustrating as an ump that the people watching the game on TV are better umpires than they are. How? The viewers never miss the right call. The viewers can always see that the runner beat the throw, or that the outfielder trapped the ball on the grass.

Since: Feb 29, 2008
Posted on: July 7, 2011 8:07 am

Leyland: Tension between teams, umpires a problem

Some umps like to be bigger than the game. I say fine them when they miss a call or what not like the players get.

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