Comments

  1. Rob in CT said...

    Holy crap.  I mean, it was a bad call, and I wish it had been made correctly, but you’re seriously asserting that they’ve fixed the games?  Come on.

  2. David said...

    Alex K- Where is your proof?  You seem pretty certain that it was an accident, how do you know?

    ——-

    Seriously, though, it’s just a simple inference to the best explanation.  A man was standing ten feet away from the incident (one needn’t be a professional to see the ball fall on one side of a line or another) and he said that the opposite of what happened happened.  The default explanation for such a totally false statement is intent until one provides evidence otherwise.

  3. Chris W said...

    The burden of proof is on the person MAKING the outrageous claim, not the person wondering why the outrageous claim should be taken seriously.

    Your evidence is: it was an easy call to make and he didn’t make it.

    That would be compelling evidence if people never erred on easy calls (or easy fastballs, or easy outs, or easy fly balls…Matt Holliday). But as it is, it seems as if Occam’s Razor neatly covers this as: “MLB coddles their umps and we have mediocre umpires at the MLB level who aren’t held accountable for their mistakes.”

    Pretty straightforward stuff. Phil Cuzzi’s always been a pretty #### umpire. But then again, lots of umpires have been shitty. It seems the rational mind would say “MLB has its share of lousy umps” but who knows. I guess anything’s possible.

  4. Craig Calcaterra said...

    All—David has been beating this drum all year. He thinks umps are crooked, he believes MLB has the fix in, and he is adamant that people prove that otherwise rather than he provide any evidence for his claims.  You try to convince him how ridiculous it is, but he is utterly immune to reason on this point.

  5. Jeff said...

    I’m pretty sure they’re going to have to shuttle Phil Cuzzi in a bulletproof car from the airport to the Metrodome on Sunday.

  6. David said...

    All—Craig has been beating this drum all year. He thinks umps are sacred, he believes MLB is incorruptible, and he is adamant that people prove that otherwise rather than he provide any evidence for his claims.  You try to convince him how ridiculous it is, but he is utterly immune to reason on this point.

    ——-

    Alright, enough screwing around.  Wouldn’t the fact that I’ve been “beating this drum all year”, like, support the thesis?  This means that I provided incident after incident after incident after incident (which I did)….and yet people still refused to consider the potential. 

    The very fact that people refuse to consider it is proof that MLB knows they can get away with it.  “Our sheep customers have invested so much idolatry into the myth of our incorruptibility that we can do anything we want.” 

    Like I wrote before, you see the same thing in government, where we now routinely have banana republic-style assassinations (I could literally list a dozen since 2003)….where private investigators are hired to investigate the murders and then soon run screaming from their own investigations yelling, “Look, I can’t finish this job – here, take your money back!!!”….

    ….The murderers know they’re inoculated from even being investigated, let alone prosecuted, because of this same reason: the myth of the Incorruptibility of the Powerful.  (Actually, I think it’s people pretending that the powerful are incorruptible, but they all know it’s bulls—-.)

    (Incidentally, the late, great Michael Crichton was going to right a book about people’s “secret, private wish to live in a totalitarian state”.  Unfortunately, cancer took him, but the idea still stands.) 

    Let me ask you this: where were all the ESPN and Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports reporters in the late-90’s and early-00’s when NBA game-fixing was rampant and completely obvious?  Answer: they were right where THT and all of you guys are right now: participating in the corruption by pretending it didn’t exist.

    It’s cool.  MLB=WWE=THT’s Happiness.

  7. David said...

    ESPN glossed over it (and it’ll be forcefully forgotten within 20 minutes….ago).  They aired a clip of the lead umpire saying that the umpire will not be penalized because….(wait for it)….he feels bad

    ‘Course, it was done intentionally.  Saying that declaring that fair ball foul was an accident is as abjectly bogus as saying that this Shysterball post was typed as Craig accidentally fiddled with his keyboard.  Kinda like, ya know, putting three bullets in Pat Tillman’s forehead from 30 yards away.  “It was an accident!!!

    There is such a thing as the work of an intelligent agent, and then there are the works of randomness (such as an accident).  Being able to distinguish between them is not just the work of police detectives, insurance fraud investigators, and archaeologists….it’s a part of basic everyday human reasoning.

    Alas, this is America.  In modern day America, servility before authority trumps human honesty.

    ——-

    On another note….A-Roid is a fraud and was only good because of steroids and must be banned from baseball!!! A-Rod is a clutch hero!!!

  8. Alex K said...

    David- I wasn’t the one making unsupported claims. That means I don’t have to offer proof.

    I don’t know for sure if the fix is in or not. I do, however, know that you don’t know either. That’s all my comment was saying.

  9. David said...

    Alex,

    That makes sense.  But, like I said, this was so facially bogus that I think that the obvious, default explanation is corruption, not stupidity.

    If you were wearing a red shirt and I said “You’re wearing a blue shirt”, you wouldn’t immediately assume it was a mistake, you’d assume that such a total mistake was done intentionally.  Same idea here.

    Like I wrote earlier, detecting intelligence vs. randomness is a fundamental thought activity we all do all the time.  I guess modern Americans just bypass it when they’re facing powerful entities.

  10. Grant said...

    David catches the real story. And good for A-Rod. He’s always been good, and now he’ll be recognized again.

    For the record, I’m an O’s fan and would like nothing more for him to fail and be an albatross for years to come. But my second biggest wish is for jerk journalists to eat it.

  11. Dan Friedman said...

    Hey David, check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_attribution_error

    Basically, the fundamental attribution error is a proven, observed phenomenon wherein humans too frequently attribute behavior to personality instead of circumstance, i.e. “this person is late, he must lazy,” instead of “this person is late, maybe there was traffic.”  Or: “this umpire made a bad call, he must be crooked,” instead of “this umpire made a bad call, maybe he missed it.”

    I’m all for instituting replay and computerized ball and strike calls, just for the sake of accuracy. But until you come up with actual proof of fixing, your accusations only hurt the cause, because they seem so baseless.

    I realize that I’m probably arguing with a dining room table here, but I thought I’d give it a shot.

  12. John Ziccardi said...

    That’s the worst strike zone umping I can ever remember seeing. C B Bucknor’s rep only worsens, and he got a playoff nod. Wow what a system.

    We saw pitches called balls and then strikes one pitch later, and that happened all night. Balls almost a foot outside to lefties called strikes. And Ron Darling, after a ball six inches too high was called a strike, saying that the ump had called it consistently all night, when just a minute before the same pitch location was a ball. All in cahoots, all insiders refusing to criticize a bad system and bad performances, just to keep up appearances.

    You gotta do something to get all the calls right and let the players determine the outcome of games and of championships, not umpires or other officials. As we see in Tennis, the proper use of technology virtually eliminates arguments and doubt. The time is now.

  13. David said...

    I like how you think it’s cool to insult me.  I’m as dumb as a dining room table.  Dude, we’ve never even met, I’ve done nothing to you or anybody you know, but my failure to c-suck authority figures outrages you so much that you insult a total stranger.  Sweet.

    Anyway, you cited the “fundamental attribution error”.  First off, I put, like, minimal stock into fuzzy pop-psychology hypotheses (Freud’s theories having been each summarily pulverized by real science in the past few decades and all that stuff), but I get your point: you’re saying that I’m detecting intelligence where there’s only randomness (or an “accident” as you’d call it).

    So, I’ll refer you to another idea, one laid out in the book, The Design Inference.  It’s a mathematical method for determining what’s done through intelligence and what is random.  The details are too arcane for this discussion, but the overall point applies: some events have hallmarks of intelligence, others do not. 

    A ball plopping down 6” on one side of a line and an individual saying that it landed on the other side of a line is manifestly the work of intelligence.  It’s not an accident.

    What if Mauer’s ball had landed in center-field and the umpire ruled it was a foul ball?  Would you still say that that was an “accident”?  What if it’d landed 10’ in fair territory and he called it foul?  Would you say that that was an accident?  So, it landed 6” in fair territory and the man was the length of a couch away from it.  I absolutely don’t believe that that call is an accident.  Your claim that the umpire made that call by accident is just totally preposterous. 

    It’d be like if I were a detective and a wife was dead from being stabbed in the eye with steak knife and the husband said it was an accident.  Well….it’s possible, I guess, but the logical inference is that there was intent.

    ——-

    Regardless of your guys’ belief in the moral virginity of authority figures….you should still be uniformally calling for big-time changes to MLB’s umpiring system.  Whether it’s morally corrupt or it’s just incompetent, it’s clear that the system is broken.  There was systemically bad umpiring in MLB this year (I’ve been watching closely since ‘98, and I personally saw more bad calls this year than all the preceding years combined) and it’s clear that the umpires do not competently officiate MLB games.

    When a playoff umpire is assigned one easy task – telling players whether a ball is fair or foul – and he completely fails at it, and afterwards there’s zero punishment for him*….it’s time to make changes.

    *I’m sorry there was one punishment for the umpire: he “feels horrible.”  The world of MLB umpiring has now become Ralphie’s classroom in ‘A Christmas Story’: you don’t need to be penalized because your conscience is already suffering.  (But even little Ralphie knew that argument was for suckers!)

  14. David said...

    John Ziccardi: You gotta do something to get all the calls right and let the players determine the outcome of games and of championships, not umpires or other officials. As we see in Tennis, the proper use of technology virtually eliminates arguments and doubt. The time is now.”

    My man.

  15. Dan Friedman said...

    Chill out, David.  It was a reference to this.  I mean, I suppose you still have reason to feel insulted, but at least now you know the context.

    I’ve never read the Design Inference, but I can only assume it requires more data and analysis than you’ve put into this to determine whether or not something is random.  Maybe I’m wrong, but please actually prove it to me, instead of using specious reasoning.

    That being said, I do agree with you on the need for changes in the officiating system.  I’m not completely certain that these umpires are especially incompetent—it may just be that this is the normal level of human error—and I’m reasonably assured that there isn’t any illegal activity involved.  Either way, if there is technology available to reduce poor play-calling, it should be utilized.  It needs to be utilized.

  16. David said...

    Dan,

    First off, I applied the thesis of the Design Inference to my argument with the same rigor that you applied the thesis of the fundamental attribution error to your argument: minimal and general.  It would be impossible for me to construct an honest statistical equation out of last night’s umpiring because it would require variables I don’t have access to (the failure rate for such calls, the umpire’s eyesight….probably a lot more). 

    I’m both unwilling and unable to actually quantify the probabilities that that call was done intentionally, but the overall point still stands: it’s clearly improbable to the point of meaninglessness that any human being (and this dude does it for a living!) could not see which side of a fat white line that a ball landed on from 10’ away. 

    You copied an insult from Barney Frank and applied it to me suggesting that quoting somebody else’s insult make an insult okay.  That’d be like if I called you a motherf——- and said, “Hey, I was just quoting Joe Pesci in ‘Goodfellas’.  Chill out!”

    That said, I appreciate your somewhat apologetic sentiment and (assuming I interpreted it right) I accept it.

  17. David said...

    Dan wrote: “I do agree with you on the need for changes in the officiating system.”

    Roll call for posters in this thread stating that the umpiring system needs to be eliminated and rebuilt:

    Grant*
    Chris W*
    David
    Dan Friedman
    John Ziccardi

    That’s five posters just here in this thread alone.  Maybe THT should take a bigger poll on this?  I could make an argument for the “Yay” side.  Hey, if THT wanted to, they could form a fan’s union and everybody could sign a petition vowing to cut back on their MLB expenditures until a system is in place to eliminate the flagrant incompetence and/or corruption we’ve seen in MLB umpiring.

    *Assuming I interpreted their comments correctly.

  18. smsetnor said...

    I feel for the guy, but wtf?  That was a choke job right there.  Wow.  Not even close.  And now MLB has to listen to all of the conspiracy theorists saying games are set up.

    Damn.  I feel bad for the guy still, though.  We’ve all made countless mistakes at our jobs (some worse than this), I’m sure.  Fortunately, none of my mistakes have been on national broadcasts.

  19. Kevin S. said...

    Let’s just say that expanded instant replay would render the distinctions between corruption and incompetence relatively meaningless.

  20. David said...

    Kevin S.: A system could minimize the potential for corruption and/or incompetence.  No system could be totally airtight, but it could be as close as humans can get.

    Grant*
    Chris W*
    David
    Dan Friedman
    John Ziccardi
    Kevin S.

  21. Alex K said...

    I would also like to see some type of replay system to minimize the potential for corruption and/or incompetence.

    I’m just not going to say that there is corruption with no proof.

  22. David said...

    Alex K: You’re never going to have “proof” without a time machine.  You need to draw logical conclusions with available evidence, and then simply stipulate that it’s a theory and not a proven fact. 

    Umpiring System Overhaul Signatories
    Grant
    Chris W
    David
    Dan Friedman
    John Ziccardi
    Kevin S.
    Alex K.

    (Note: Signing this petition doesn’t suggest an agreement with signatory “David” on any other idea whatsoever.)

  23. Kevin S. said...

    “A system could minimize the potential for corruption and/or incompetence.  No system could be totally airtight, but it could be as close as humans can get.”

    Of course, hence my use of the term “relatively.”

  24. Jack said...

    In other news, Matt Holliday was seen accepting green tea from Joe Torre today in the hallway near Dodger’s locker rooms. 

    It seemed like a mistake to me, and I’m no Yankee fan.  Was the call wrong? Yes.  But I think Cabrera touching the ball, and slightly altering its path got Cuzzi messed up.  He was most likely following the ball when Cabrera touched it.  Couple it with him setting up to get in position, and any distractions that Cabrera provided, and there is a chance that he just missed it. 

    So if the game was fixed, did MLB or whoever was “fixing” it pay off just Cuzzi because they knew a ball down the left field line in a crucial inning will play a big role in the game?  Or is every umpire corrupt now in the game? 

    Tim Donaghy situation is different, he has the ability to make a call on EVERY play.  Even NFL or NHL referees can do the same.  So anyone paying off the LF line umpire isn’t playing the odds of altering a game.  If anything you’d think the home plate umpire or 1B (Hello CB Buckner) would be the ones that are paid off. 

    But everytime something goes unexpected, there will always be a conspiracy theory.  If your toilet gets blocked, its not because there is it got clogged, its because the government blocked it so you can’t take a peaceful crap.

  25. David said...

    “Damn.  I feel bad for the guy still, though.  We’ve all made countless mistakes at our jobs (some worse than this), I’m sure.  Fortunately, none of my mistakes have been on national broadcasts.”

    I know!  Like, take poor Tim Donaghy.  Here’s a guy who was making all these mistakes and, just ‘cause he was in a position with high visibility, everybody was pouncing all over him for the mistakes.  He’s the victim, not the people on the blunt end of those “mistakes”! 

    In all seriousness, I guess that there’s some basic psychological explanation that people always respond like this, by making the perpetrator into the victim.  I think it’s just a lot easier than it is to acknowledge the powerlessness we all have over the corruption.  (I noticed that ESPN.com and their televised coverage both advocated the same idea: it was an “accident” and we should feel sorry for him.  Then, they compound the idiocy by saying that it was actually the Twins’ fault because, even though the umpire indisputably cost them a run, they “failed to capitalize on lots of opportunities!”  Well, no, they actually succeeded at taking an 11th-inning lead.  MLB stole it from ‘em.)

  26. David said...

    Jack,

    Have no idea what the Torre/Holliday/green tea comment was about, so I’ll ignore that one.

    The umpire was standing perfectly still: he’d jogged over to get in position and was stationary for a full second before it landed.  The fact that it touched the fielder’s glove even further in fair territory than from where it landed makes the call’s incredibility increase, not decrease.  This weakens your argument that it was an innocent accident.

    Game fixing was rampant in the NBA apart from Tim Donaghy.  This came out in discovery of Donaghy’s trial, but it was actually redundant information: it had been completely obvious for years and years in the NBA to even the most casual observer.

    I’m sorry that you think that nobody ever conspires.  This means that you’re allowing murderers, thieves, and other criminals to go unpunished because you think it’s impossible for people to conspire.  I hope you’re not a government prosecutor (although you’d fit right in with them). 

    I’ll make sure not to add you to the informal petition of people calling for a new umpiring system.  Presumably, you think that the umpire’s supposedly hurt feelings are punishment enough for his rank incompetence and/or corruption.

  27. Kevin S. said...

    David, would you please stop conflating the disbelief in this conspiracy with the disbelief in any conspiracy?  It really weakens your point and makes you look foolish.

  28. Alex K said...

    David- Where is your proof? You seem pretty certain it was not a mistake, how do you know? I remember from your other postings that you are very down on MLB umpiring, but you have no proof.

    Also you can’t say the umpire “indisputably cost them a run”.  Yes, Mauer should have been on second, but if he was, there is no way to know if the same sequence of pitches was going to be thrown.

  29. rcberlo said...

    I’m old enough to have watched baseball on TV for more than 50 years.  In the olden days we didn’t have the slo-mo/replay/etc. evidence we have now to prove how lousy some umps are.  I used the think the worst full-time MLB ump ever was Eric Gregg, but we certainly have enough evidence now to say that C.B. Bucknor probably is.  How did he get picked to ump in the playoffs?  Years of service? (wrong way to choose umps for important games)  Merit? (if so, they weren’t paying attention) Affirmative action? (I thought we were past this).

  30. Jack said...

    That was not the point I was trying to make.  I’m saying that Cuzzi was looking for the ball, and when Cabrera deflected it, he lost the ball for a nano second.  He wasn’t looking at Cabrera, so he wouldn’t know if he was in fair or foul territory.  The deflection causes him to lose that ball for a second, so he isn’t sure if its a fair or foul ball, because when the ball is bouncing up, its now in foul territory, heading further foul.  So he makes a call based on that.  Wrong call? Absolutely.  But there is enough evidence there that he isn’t one of those umpires from the Buffalo Wild Wings commercial.

    Well ofcourse whenever there is a human element involved there is a chance for corruption.  Who exactly would program these computers for judging strike zones?  Other computers or humans? So can’t a computer system be hacked by a human, and alter the parameters of a strike?  If a ball on the corner for one team is reprogrammed to be shown one inch further outside, would you be able to tell the difference?  If you go to all computer based system, then there is more chance of corruption because all of them can be hacked. 

    But no, no one makes mistakes!!! AWAY WITH HUMANS!

  31. Daniel said...

    I thought about getting involved in this, but I like my relationship with my dining room table, so I’m staying out.

    Go Angels.

  32. umpty said...

    the burden of proof is on the accuser.  that’s not a modern interpretation of the rule of american law, this has been taught in civics classes for a long, long time…and saying that folks who point to this and agree with it are modern wimps who lay down in front of authority is an insult to folks who’ve sworn to uphold the consitution and lay down their lives for our way of life.  we are a country of laws, and this is one of the most basic.

    on the other hand…boy, what a shitty call.  i’m all behind using technology to improve on human error.

  33. smsetnor said...

    Shot in the dark here, but I’m guessing David has never officiated a ball-game that ever meant anything before…

    So, really, it’s hard for me to take someone so ignorant seriously and I never plan on responding to him again.  I hope others follow suit.  It’s just not worth the time.  I’d rather bang my head against my dining room table.

  34. David said...

    I never said conspiracy.  I stated facts and you guys started talking about conspiring.

    I do absolutely suspect that there is corruption in MLB umpiring recently, but I don’t know what last night’s umpire’s motive was for that particular choice to lie.

  35. Rob in CT said...

    1.  The umps have been bad, and for that reason I agree there needs to be change.  I’m for expanding the use of replay (to things such as fair/foul).  I just hope they can manage to do it relatively quickly.

    2.  “I never said conspiracy.”  Suuuuuure you didn’t. 

    I wonder how much of this comes down to so many of us watching in HD?  The combination of slow-mo and HD = every umping mistake revealed.  And we do see a lot of them.  The Cuzzi call was really bad, and yet I can honestly say I can think of equally bad or worse ones.  Even allowing for the fact that it’s hard to do what they do with the naked eye in real time (and it IS hard), the umps have some ‘splainin’ to do.

  36. Rob in CT said...

    “Unfortunately, the games we watch and play REWARD deceptive behavior and practices.”

    That’s actually one of my pet peeves about professional baseball.  Players who fool umps are lauded for having done something good.  I hate that. 

    So yes, in my perfect world, Melky admits to the ump that he touched the ball, and the ump changes the call (well, in a perfect world Cuzzi makes the right call in the first place).

  37. David said...

    Umpiring System Overhaul Signatories
    Grant
    Chris W
    David
    Dan Friedman
    John Ziccardi
    Kevin S.
    Alex K.
    Umpty
    Greg Simons

  38. Greg Simons said...

    Calling balls and strikes is a complex task, with the ball traveling around 90 MPH through a three-dimensional box with a catcher obstructing the ump’s view.  That can’t be easy, but I would expect the best in the world to be better at it than they are.

    Calling a ball fair or foul from ~25 ft. away, especially one that glances off the fielder’s glove and STILL lands several inches fair – well, that was just gross incompetence.  I’m for the use of replay to get those calls correct.

  39. Kevin S. said...

    Oh, I’m not arguing for replay on balls and strikes (yet), but the pitch in question was square in the middle of the zone.  I’m not blaming the run on it or anything, just noting that terrible calls get made each way.

  40. chattanooga said...

    I think David is perfectly within reason to question the play.  It was an obvious call, and the ump was in perfect position to make the call.  With things being so clear cut, you are left with very few options with how the call was made; and questioning the umpire’s motivations is definitely within the realm of possibility.

    I guess my issue is this—what about sportsmanship?  what if Cabrera had said, “no, i touched the ball from fair territory, and I saw it LAND in fair territory, so Joe should be on second base.” what then?  Unfortunately, the games we watch and play REWARD deceptive behavior and practices.  It becomes a game of “get away with as much as you can as often as you can.”  Wherefore sportsmanship?

  41. David said...

    In the past 90 minutes, I just tossed this video together about the little incident. 

    It’s really sloppy – technically and creatively – but I still think that it gets the point across.

  42. Jack Marshall said...

    David: the fact that the call was so obviously wrong undermines your thesis. It doesn’t support it. If the umpires wanted to fix games, there plenty of ways to do it that wouldn’t raise suspicion, even from conspiracy theorists like you. And why in the world try to sink the Twins early? Draw out the series to 4 or 5, create the illusion that an upset is in the making.

    A conspiracy like the one you imagine would be so devastating to baseball when it was uncovered (and all large conspiracies are eventually revealed) that it would be insane to risk it—-no possible pay-off justifies the risk.

    I don’t understand why anyone who thought the games were fixed would bother to watch them.

  43. David said...

    If I’m a “conspiracy theorist”, then what does that make you, a “coincidence theorist”? 

    Look, dude, I’ve watched this from MLB all season long.  In these threads, I documented dozens of similarly no-question-about-it calls, including one whole game where Chipper Jones (ya know, the MVP and future Hall of Fame-r?) stated explicitly that there was “no doubt” that the umpires “had it in” for the Braves that day.  (I’m sorry that you think Chipper Jones is a wacko conspiracy theorist.)

    Then you say that MLB would be deterred by the fear of being caught.  Ummmm….no they wouldn’t.  They know damn well that your mindset dominates America.  You worship authority and scream that they never conspire (we hate American “civilians”, but the government, military, and the powerful, they’re America’s true gods).  Your tone said it all: you refuse to believe that powerful people conspire. 

    So why are you arguing?  You think that the NBA didn’t fix games throughout the late-90’s and early-00’s (proven), you think that the vaunted North Vietnamese pontoons attacked U.S. Naval carriers at the Gulf of Tonkin (a proven lie), you think that the government didn’t murder 78 people at Waco (proven)….I get it.  I just don’t get why you then argue about something when your mind is made up.

    Anyway, ever since the Powers that Be got away with this, I think that all bets are off: they know they can do anything and never fear arrest, prosecution, and conviction.

  44. Jack Marshall said...

    Not one of your more convincing posts. One financially strapped ref shaving points doesn’t “prove” the NBA was fixing games. I don’t know what Waco has to do with the price of beans, either—-that was hardly a hidden story. And Chipper Jones is now an authority because he got ticked off at some calls? Gee, quick: ask him about the fake moon landing.

    All an umpire in the employ of your theoretical conspiracy would have to do is go to the right muckraker, network, paper or blogger. He’d be a hero, make millions on a book, and put his name in the history books, just like the quiz show scandals. Or his girl friend would blow the story. Or someone else he blabs to. Ooo! Ooo! I know: he won’t because Bud Selig will have him killed! What nonsense. And to top it off, you tell everyone else that they’re the crazy ones.

    To paraphrase Tommie Lee Jones, if you’re not a conspiracy theorist, you’ll do until a real conspiracy theorist get here.

  45. David said...

    1) Statement of game-fixing given to federal prosecutors under threat of perjury.

    2) Government claimed murdered human beings at Waco killed themselves.

    3) Yes, Chipper Jones is an authority figure on baseball.

    Just to clarify, your arguments are as follows:

    1) The vaunted North Vietnamese pontoon force attacked the U.S. Navy in the Gulf of Tonkin, even though all parties now admit this was a wanton conspiracy by the U.S. government.

    2) The Iraqi army really raided their own hospitals and murdered babies in incubators, even though this is now an admitted lie.

    3) Building 7 collapsed due to fires even though every non-governmental structural engineer and common physics say it was controlled demolition.

    4) Chipper Jones is not an authority about baseball.

    5) It’s impossible for to fix games in sports and not be caught. 

    These are your arguments.  You don’t gotta respond: we both know that they are.  I disagree with you across the board, and there’s no more point in arguing.  You can keep sneering “conspiracy theorist” and you can keep trying to put words in my mouth….but lets just save ourselves the time and agree to disagree.

  46. Mode: Theif and Lair said...

    Come on Jack M., keep this going.  I haven’t seen a Craig post get to 4 pages of comments bfore.

    I actually believe that David is part of a high-tech company that makes the machines and robots that will make MLB free of umpiring errors. 

    The list of signitures he is collecting will go towards a PR campaign designed to have MLB buy said machines/robots.

    I don’t have any youtube videos or wikipedia entries to prove my point, but this is so obvious that he can’t just be making mistakes.

  47. Greg Simons said...

    David, I find it interesting that you say “you can keep trying to put words in my mouth” just a few sentences after telling Jack, “These are your arguments.  You don’t gotta respond: we both know that they are.”

    Sure seems like you’re trying to put words in his mouth, since no one other than you mentioned the North Vietnamese, Iraq or Building 7.

    And, of course, there’s the big, months-long rant about how we all worship authority figures and the military, without you knowing anything about any of us beyond a few comments in a baseball blog.  You’re the one trying to put words in all our mouths.

  48. Kevin S. said...

    So, what was that curve ball to Cabrera?  Is MLB now fixing the game for Minny, after fixing Game Two for the Yanks, or is it just another case of umpsuck?

  49. John Willumsen said...

    David, you can count me among those in favor of some kind of computer umpire. But, and I offer this in all seriousness, wouldn’t a computerized umpiring system be even easier to game than a system that uses human umpires? Let’s say a more advanced version of PitchTrax was used to call balls and strikes, wouldn’t it be susceptible to a little bit of hard-to-detect reprogramming that would allow calls to be changed whenever desired? You don’t need to a respond; I don’t really care one way or another. Even if a conspiracy were proven, I still wouldn’t care very much on a personal level; it’s just a form of entertainment after all. I’d be more willing to put some energy into considering potential government corruption (almost a tautology, all governments are corrupt to one degree or another) but I think I’ll compile my own information on such matters, rather than be drawn in to a debate with strangers on a comment board for a baseball blog. Anyway, just a thought for you to contemplate before deciding digital umps are the way to go.

    On another note, I don’t know that it’s wholly fair for you, David, to complain of personal attacks when you yourself engage in such tactics. You were compared to someone (the person Barney Frank compared to a table) who was portrayed as unwilling to listen to others’ perspectives, someone more interested in shouting than discussing. An insulting comparison, perhaps, but no more insulting than telling someone that he or she “worships authority” or implying that he or she is a “sheep.”  You are also disqualified from complaining about personal attacks as long as you continue to make offensive and demeaning remarks about an entire section of humanity, specifically those who identify as, or engage in behaviors typically associated with, homosexuals or others within the LGBTQ spectrum. I refer, here, to your use of “homosexual” or “gay” as an insult and your frequent reference to the act of performing oral sex on a man as a negative or cowardly thing. Until such time as all such hate is removed from your comments, it will be very hard to give your comments the attention they deserve.

  50. David said...

    Umpiring System Overhaul Signatories
    Grant
    Chris W
    David
    Dan Friedman
    John Ziccardi
    Kevin S.
    Alex K.
    Umpty
    Greg Simons
    John Willumsen

    ——

    Even though I assume everybody’s probably had a belly full of this conversation (including me!) I’ll quickly respond to the general point made by Greg and John:

    I never insulted anybody first, only after they hated my comments about baseball so much that they decided to insult me.  I know this because it’s not in my nature to insult total strangers unless they’re lying or they’ve insulted me first.  I just don’t feel like that.

    Lastly, I’m not necessarily promoting any sort of computertized umpiring system (especially for balls and strikes.)  In fact, I think that the colossal expenditure of time and money that’d be necessary for creating, for example, some sort of radar or laser system to determine fair and foul balls is totally unnecessary: just do what tennis and common sense would have us do, use replays.  Simply have a trio of umpires in a booth with HD monitors who have veto power over certain on-field calls.  There could be a red light that flashes on the scoreboard when they’re overturning the on-field umpires calls.  (That’d be an awesome way of cutting these power-tripping, god-complex-having umpires down to size!)

    Also, there must be accountability when umpires make flagrantly bad calls (whatever their motives are).  Selig and MLB famously broke the umpire’s union a few years ago, making them their bitches.  And yet they’ve only used their now-godlike powers over the umps to cut their pay, not to increase quality, as the quality this year was the worst I’ve ever seen, bar none (so much that, obviously, I strongly suspect mass corruption).

  51. Jason B said...

    David – I think you hit on one of the key things that’s so exasperating to everyone who witnesses poorly called game after poorly called game.  Sometimes the umps ‘fess up, sometimes not; but where is the accountability?  Perhaps these matters are handled behind closed doors by the MLB powers-that-be, but there’s probably an incentive for the umps to elevate their games a bit if there’s a chance that they will be publicly called out and swiftly and effectively disciplined by their superiors.  Public shaming should have some deterrent effect, no?  (Let’s ask the judge who makes people hold up a sign saying that they’re a convicted drunk driver / shoplifter / pedophile / whatever.)  Then again, if being ridiculed and second-guessed on every sports talk show / newspaper column / game write-up doesn’t do it, I don’t know that your boss bad-mouthing you and adding to the cacaphony will have any real impact.

    Also, if you put a montage of umpiring errors on YouTube, can you speed it up and play “Yakkety Sax” (a/k/a the Benny Hill music) over it?

  52. Jason B said...

    Plus he’s probably one of them homos!

    Cordially,

    Your homo friend Jason, still waiting for Yakkety Sax to liven up the chronic umpiring mistakes of the 2009 postseason.  Someone bring Christmas to me early this year…

  53. Jack Marshall said...

    No, David, I don’t agree to disagree. Conspiracy theorists like you do real, tangible damage to society and our enjoyment of life. They sell a false world of dark and shadowy forces manipulating our lives and choices, making us powerless dupes. They spread paranoia and mistrust, using the same kind of half-truths, logical double-speak and intellectual dishonesty that have long been the staple of Holocaust-deniers, creationists and, more recently, “Truthers” and “Birthers.” A democracy is built on trust, and they destroy trust, ostensibly to save us with “the truth,” but actually to give themselves power. And it’s a destructive power…the power to make us reject our institutions, professions and leaders as sinister. The government is out to kill us. Corporations are evil forces. Lawyers don’t care; doctors don’t care. The Trilateral Commission runs all the big governments, the UN is a sham, the CIA created AIDS to kill African-Americans,LBJ had JFK shot, the moon landing was a fake. And baseball is a lie.

    I can tell you are sincere, but so are those bearded prophets in Times Square who carry signs saying the world is going to end. They, however, are harmless, beacuse they are obviously deranged. What you do is worse. The “logic” of conspiracy-mongers has helped destroy civil political discourse in the US, encouraged hate, fear, anxiety and desperation, while undermining cooperation, faith, hope and inspiration.

    Yes there are bad people out there, and frauds, and scams, but good, smart, dedicated people work hard to expose and punish them, and the vast majority of the frauds ARE exposed. Life is not futile; the powerful and rich are not all out to deceive and screw us, and those who are aren’t as powerful as you think.

    Your ilk are the same people who whisper in young children’s ears that their parents don’t really love them, or persuade a husband that his wife unfaithful. You are Iago, but worse, because you would turn all of us against each other, untrusting, certain that every smile is false, that everyone who extends his hand is hiding a shiv behind his back. As free speech goes, yours is as harmful and without mitigating benefits as any I know. It is like a plague.

    I’ll concede that you have a right to your comments, which are really a form of hate speech. You hate trust, and want others to hate it too. I love trust; it’s my business and my passion. And it needs to be protected from people like you.

  54. Jack Marshall said...

    See? Now we’re getting somewhere! Keep your mind-rotting, joy-crushing, hate-mongering paranoid fantasies to yourself, and it’s a deal.

  55. David said...

    Checked e-mail anticipating info from my honest, smart, useful partner (not American, naturally).  Startled to see government-worshiping evil.  Got very angry.

    I create more than you.  My God is in Heaven.  I don’t need Viagra to love the way your kind do.

    Work hard and be honest.  My only goals in life.

    You and yours love murder and lies.  You are “happy” because you and yours run America today.  Okay.  I accept this. 

    Conversation over.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>