Jeff Passan, a well-known hater of the St. Louis Cardinals, wrote a column yesterday about the issue of player-umpire relations. While I agree with Passan that more needs to be done to fix this problem, I found it interesting that he waited until a St. Louis Cardinal, in this case Yadier Molina, made a dramatic show of arguing a called third strike to write the article.
Of course, Passan likes to rile up Cardinals fans so that may be why. It also bothered me that the Yahoo! Sports Minute showed the clip with the commentary from the Brewers broadcasters and not the Cardinals broadcasters. Yeah, like the Brewers announcers are going to say that Yadi had a point. They aren’t stupid. Their market is Brewers fans, not fairness to any situation.
It’s a point of contention with Cardinals’ fans that the national media ignores our team or just shove it to the side with such blatant lack of real journalistic ethics. If Yahoo had any journalist ethics, they would have used the commentary from BOTH teams. But I digress….
Back to Passan’s column.
Did Yadi spit on Drake? Maybe. I know that when people are yelling that spittle flies. Happens to the best of us, after all. Regardless, it’s an unfortunate situation and he does deserve a punishment.
But what about the umpires?
Really? In situations like this where a call is blown, what punishment to they get?
The most famous blown call in Cardinal history came in the 1985 World Series. Cards fans know this one by heart. In case you don’t know the story, Don Denklinger blew an easy call at first during the eighth inning of game six. The Cards lost momentum and eventually the championship. While Denklinger dealt with the ire of fans, what punishment did he receive from MLB?
Then there was the blown call last year that didn’t cost a championship, but it cost a player something almost as hard to achieve: a perfect game. Armando Galarraga lost el perfecto when umpire Jim Joyce pulled a Denklinger. Joyce and Galarraga handled the situation with more professionalism than any bank CEO has. Still, other than being added to the list of Worst Calls in MLB History, what punishment did he receive?
Players make mistakes. Umpires make mistakes. They are human. It’s part of the game. Yadi deserves whatever fines/suspensions he gets. He lost his cool. BUT shouldn’t the umpires be fined for making the bad calls that make things like this happen? Shouldn’t umpires be held to the same standard of MLB players?
Maybe if there was equal ground, there would be equal respect…