Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Ms. Satire finds a solution for the umpiresPosted by Anna McDonald
As the Division Series draw to a close, Major League Baseball has decided to be proactive and address the issue of umpiring for the remainder of the postseason.
"We realize that as the League Championship Series begin, more fans are worrying more about what disastrous calls might happen to affect the outcome of an important game than which team will ultimately emerge as the World Series Champion," an MLB spokesman told reporters. "We'd like our fans to enjoy the game without constantly anticipating which wrong call will decide the World Series champion. So, we've decided to solve the problem before it gets out of hand."
Major League Baseball has decided to hire an Umpiremologist to examine the umpiring crews before each game. "This was the most logical course of action for us," the spokesman added. "We decided not to use the technology readily available to review calls because that's much too easy. The flat screen televisions already installed in the stadiums and connected to the network feeds are reserved for really nothing at all, and it's best if they remain that way."
The Umpiremologist is a specialist in both the diagnosis and treatment of umpiring problems. While the umpiring crews rub mud on balls before the game, the Umpiremologist will examine each umpire for common umpire disorders which lead to bad calls in important games.
In evaluating the men in blue, the Umpiremologist will look for four key defects which cause umpiring disorders. One Umpiremologist said, "We'll begin by assessing how easily distracted the umpires are by women in the club seats who look like Kelly Brook. If the crew seems prone to this sort of distraction, we'll move these gals to section 342."
The next thing they'll assess is how each umpire deals with overly high expectations of him. "If we find that an umpire knows exactly how easy it would be for Major League Baseball to install instant replay in the postseason, we'll dismiss them from the crew. Our studies have shown that once umpires understand that technology is available, they suffer from dissatisfaction in their job and don't get those close calls right."
They will also ask each umpire to state the number of times he feels he should get a call correct. "The standard given to us by Major League Baseball is the same as we have for batters in baseball. If an umpire thinks getting three out of 10 calls correct is a good average, he's passed our test."
The last thing the Umpiremologist will test for is called the Bobby Cox rage gauge. Here, the Umpiremologist will have Braves manage Cox argue with the umps for a few moments before the games. "If they become easily irritated by him, we consider this an acceptable standard for the umpire. If any of the crew remains calm and rational during these arguments, we will let Bobby Cox toss any umpire he wants from the crew."
When asked if Major League Baseball had any further plans for making sure calls were right, our Umpiremologist told us he had been informed this new procedure would be in place for a decade or so before MLB reevaluated the situation again.
Anna just opened a Twitter account. You can follow her @Anna__McDonald. She also writes for ESPN.com.