High school sports in Texas can get pretty intense. Football is the No. 1 sport in the state, but baseball isn't too far behind. The kids get into it, their families get into it, and heck, neutral third parties get into it too. Sports are fun!
Sometimes it can go too far, however. During a recent playoff game, one of the umpires kicked dirt on home plate in an apparent attempt to get the runner to miss the plate following a home run. Had the runner missed the plate, he would have been called out.
Here's the video:
Yeah, that doesn't look too good. The first base umpire rushes over following the home run and kicks dirt on the plate. The batter, a young man named J.T. Morgan of Texas High, simply shrugged and kicked the dirt away and touched the plate after rounding the bases.
The umpire's attempted sabotage did not have any impact on the game or the playoff series -- Texas High lost the series to Whitehouse -- but the infraction is serious enough that the Texas Association of Sports Officials is investigating the umpire. Here is their statement on the matter:
The Texas Association of Sports Officials (TASO) has been made aware of the incident involving our members during the Texas High vs. Whitehouse Baseball game this past weekend. Our organization has an established process to address serious complaints of this nature.
TASO will conduct a thorough investigation regarding all aspects of the 3 game series and take any necessary action based on the outcome of the investigation.
As always, our organization is committed to our Texas student athletes to ensure a fair and impartial outcome of every game.
The play may not have had any effect on the game or the series, but it raises questions about the umpire and the validity of his calls. That's a huge problem. What else did he try to do to sabotage Texas High? Umpires are the authority figures on the field, and if they're compromised, the entire game is a sham.
That's a shame. These are just a bunch of kids having fun playing high school sports, and here you have an umpire blatantly trying to give one team an advantage. That's no good.
(h/t Big League Stew)