Officiating Disaster

This blog is dedicated to the biggest scum in all of sports. The ones who have too much power and abuse it. The ones who attempt not to be biased, but blantantly are. The ones with hidden agendas. The ones we call umpires. The ones we call judges. The ones we call referees. Yes, This blog is dedicated to the officials who often sabotage the past times we know and love.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

NBA Preview

Okay, I'm a little late here and trying to catch up on some necessary posts.

So the NBA season is now underway, which is great since baseball is now over until spring and Football can really only keep me occupied on weekends.

First, I'd like to point out that I've added Jason Kidd to the list of Officiating Disaster Heroes on the left side of the page. This is due to me being a big fan of his, the Nets, and of the comments he made at the end of a 12/26/06 game against Detroit where he refered to the referees as the "Three Blind Mice".

"That's how I felt. That's how I think our team felt. It was the truth," said Kidd of his barrage after the referees swallowed their whistles on what looked like an obvious contact foul by Rasheed Wallace against Vince Carter in the final seconds. "I have no comment on the fine." (source)

Sources also say that Kidd informed other team mates to not say anything regarding the officiating of the game, and that he would make a statement on the team's behalf, to avoid multiple fines. Sure enough, Kidd was fined $20,000. Talk about taking one for the team.

And due to some offseason news you may have heard regarding a certain NBA referee, I've started a new poll to see how your view of the NBA may or may not have changed. Please take some time to cast your vote. Today is election day!

Instant Replay in MLB?

So the General Managers meetings are underway in Orlando. According to Peter Abraham, one of the topics being discussed is instant replay. The GMs of the game really have no say in the matter, but could influence a decision of the commissioner.

Personally, baseball needs instant replay. The biggest question to me is, how would you implement it? Are managers going to be responsible to challenge calls on the field, similar to the red flags thrown by coaches in the NFL? Perhaps a new job of 'Replay Official' should be introduced and work with the official scorers of the game in the booth along with monitors to watch replays, signaling to an on-field umpire when it is determined a call should be reversed.

At a minimum, I have felt that MLB needs to at least automate the strike zone. I had a poll running regarding the introduction of instant replay when I started this blog and automating the strike zone was an option. To me, this is the biggest grey area in baseball officiating. Home plate umpires far too often mishandle things in this aspect of the game. Balls are called when a pitcher misses his target, but still throws within the strike zone and strike zones vary depending on who the home plate umpire is.

The strike zone should not change for any situation, other than vertically to compensate for the height of the batter during his swing. Automating the strike zone can be done rather easily, as seen by the pitch location graphics shown on the television replays, and of course QuesTec. A strike or ball call can be relayed to the home plate umpire who would signal for a ball or strike, as he normally does. The job of the home plate umpire would then be a bit simpler. Mike Mussina would agree.

When the technology is available to improve the game, it should be taken advantage of. I hear arguments against instant replay in baseball stating that it would take the human element out of the game. This is ridiculous really. Human Element? By this logic, players should not watch video, pitch velocity should not be looked at, and players would be using bats carved by hand in the off season. Go see a vintage league game if that's what you want. Honestly, I hear they are great!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Landis to Bring Case to CAS

So, I wrote about Landis almost a month ago after he was found guilty of using synthetic testosterone in the 2006 Tour de France. As I hoped, Landis is appealing this ruling to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS), despite the low success rate of appeals.

I thought I would start another poll for this. Take a minute to vote your for your opinion on Landis case. I think I covered most of them.

I'm also interested in what type of reception Oscar Pereiro will receive when he accepts the yellow jersey that was taken from Landis. This event is scheduled for Monday. It's kind of odd when you think about it. Will he be viewed as a true winner or will the 2006 race just go down as a disaster in general? Do you think whoever finished third was even trying to pass Pereiro or just conceded to the fact that they couldn't pass Landis, and considered the race a lost cause at some point?

Landis takes his doping case to CAS

Friday, October 5, 2007

The NFL's and it's Priorities

So let me get this straight. A player is found to be using steroids after running around the field like the Incredible Hulk and the penalty is 4 games, then going on to win awards and appear in the playoffs.

A player after laughing a lot and being kind of lazy gets caught smoking some weed, and he's now facing up to a year long suspension.

This is the penalty the NFL issued and hopes to issue against Shawne Merriman and Travis Henry, respectively.

"Pending an appeal, Henry would be subject to a yearlong suspension if he
tested positive .... " (


I don't know about you, but this has MLB circa 1998 thru 2000 written all over it...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

First Post-Season Umpiring Disaster (Well, kind of...)

Okay, so it really wasn't a post-season game. Stats are counted as regular season stats, which I guess is only fair. You can't ignore the stats in such a high pressure game. You can't count them as post-season because they are not on 'post-season' rosters and you can't include the Padres as a post-season team (well, at least now we know that). I thought it was odd when I first heard that these stats would be considered regular season stats. They are getting a 163rd game to accumulate stats, something most players and teams do not get. I guess the best way to look at the game is like an extra-innings game from inning 1. There's also the other case when 'if necessary' rain outs aren't made up.

But enough of that, and on to the actual game itself.

First off, I thought TBS did a great job. They were not shy at pointing out the flaws of the umpires at all, and if you watched the game, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. I think other media outlets tend not to point such things out and think it may damage the integrity of the game. I think at that point, it's more insulting to knowledgeable fans than anything else.

Cal Ripken called out the extra outfield umpires for not being in position. They (LF-Fieldin Culbreth, RF-Jim Wolf) were practically positioned just beyond the 1st and 3rd base umpires and coaches. A little redundant, don't you think? It sure seems like a case of them going through the motions to get extra cash for an extra day of work. The purpose of the outfield umpires I would think is to get a better look at questionable home runs and to determine if fly balls were trapped or caught cleanly by an outfielder. These guys looked like part of their job was to possibly get a better angle on a call on the base path. Horrible job. I'm interested to see if this continues throughout the playoffs, even after Cal calling them out.

Now, aside from the umpires being out of position to make the call, I think the right call was made on the non-HR. The ball certainly seemed to bounce off of the top of the railing before coming back onto the field. Due to the outfield umpires being out of position, Tim Tschida at 2nd base was in the best position to make the call. After an argument from the Rockies manager, the umpires conferenced and left the call as is. Perhaps extra cameras should be installed to show such things better. Foul poles may be a good place for them. Then again, that may expose bad calls to the viewers and there still isn't an instant replay in MLB (yet).

The other disaster would be the final play of the game. Once again, I think the umpires got the call right. The execution of the call was is an entirely different story. Matt Holiday was attempting to score on a sac fly, beating a throw from right field. Michael Barrett had the plate blocked and lost the ball as Holiday slid. It's really tough to tell from the replay if Holiday's ever did touch the plate, as every replay had something (Holiday's body and Barrett's foot) blocking the view of the hand and the plate. Honestly, if you saw the slop Trevor Hoffman was dealing, it probably wouldn't have mattered either way.

There's really no excuse for why Tim Mcclelland took so long to make the call though. The same can be said for his strike calls throughout the game. This is just stupid. You are an umpire Tim. If you want to make a name for yourself in the industry, come up with a unique way to call strikeouts or something. We don't have time for your quirks.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Padres Season Sabotaged!!!

So now the question is whose to blame: Milton Bradley or first-base umpire Mike Winters?

If you think I'm going to blame the disgruntled man who was named after a board game manufacturer, you haven't been reading this blog long enough.

First off, Bradley was upset and reacted to what he thought was a bad call on a 3rd strike. So why would an umpire at first base need to further any argument 3 innings later? I'm sure working under crew chief Bruce Froemming would help uphold the integrity of these umpires.. Yeah, okay....

According to Bradley, Winters called him a "Bleeping piece of Bleep". Wait, is that profanity? I think you're overreacting here Milton! But if the Padres first base coach Bobby Meachum (uh, the memories!) is siding with this guy, you would think the umpire said something out of line, contrary to Froemming's claim that Winters simply told Bradley to "knock it off".

The rest of the story is now the beginning of the end to Milton's season. Manager Bud Black restrained Bradley, giving him a season ending knee-injury in the process. If I had to guess, if it weren't for the injury, Bradley would have been thrown from the game and suspended a few games, during a playoff push, nonetheless.

But will anything come of Mike Winters and his prodding of a loose-cannon type player? I wouldn't hold my breath. Todd Helton, the first baseman of the opposing Colorado Rockies, would be the only impartial person who was there for the entire exchange. He should probably speak out, but I don't blame him for not doing so. He is on a team that is also in a playoff race and a distraction like this really doesn't benefit him or his team. The only hope is if Selig somehow questions Helton on the interaction. Again, I'm not holding my breath.

I've kind of been routing for the Padres this season, only because they were my pre-season favorite for the NL West. To be honest, I don't really care about the Padres at this point. Winning the wild card does not give my pre-season division winner picks any credibility. If the NL Wild Card race continues to go down to the wire, you'll hear a lot about this incident in weeks to come in Southern California. Milton Bradley was doing pretty well on an offensively lacking team.

Ahh, another day, another official abusing his power with zero consequences....

If there's any justice, the Padres will keep winning

Update 9/26 4:16 PM

Okay, is MLB reading my blog? Maybe I'm not paying close enough attention, but not even an hour after writing the initial entry to this post I see the headline "MLB suspends umpire over confrontation".

Hooray for something actually being done! MLB, I am impressed.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Floyd Landis found Guilty

Guilty Landis will lose 2006 Tour title

I'm sure most have heard of the the case, so I won't bother with linking too many stories from the past year. The news has been pretty quiet about it since the hearing a few months ago. But today the verdict was made public and the results will force Landis to give up his 2006 Tour de France title.

I'm personally shocked. When I followed the hearing, I really didn't see how the USADA had a leg to stand on considering the sloppy lab techniques and the fact that I don't think the French can swallow the idea of a 2nd American dominating their sport. Nearly half of the interviews from French officials simply referred to him as "The American". The French people are most likely happy with the ruling, but doesn't this really give the whole sport of cycling a big black eye?

Hopefully, Floyd will do all he can to appeal this, and I'm sure he will considering the time and effort put into this so far. I doubt he'd give up now. I'm shocked that the panel of arbitration for the hearing only consisted of 3 members and that a 2 to 1 ruling was enough to find him guilty.