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Joe Poz on Umpiring

There are two things that drive me absolutely nuts. The first thing that drives me nuts is when people complain incessantly about umpiring and officiating. I get it. These guys makes mistakes. Their strike zones vary. They blow pass interference calls all the time and call phantom holdings against your team twice every game. They screw up the block-charge call seven out of ten times, and in hockey they often seem to be making it up as they go along. I get it. And the fact that we now get so many more television angles doesn’t leave much mystery — these guys blow calls all the time. So, OK. The umpire blows a call against your club, and you beef for a few minutes. Fine. That’s part of being a fan. That’s part of the story of the game. And I’m not suggesting that umpires should somehow be above criticism — I think it’s ridiculous that leagues FINE managers or players for saying that an umpire blew a call. What kind of totalitarian attitude is that? Umpires DO blow calls, and managers, coaches, players SHOULD get ticked off when it happens. In my mind they should be allowed that night to say whatever the heck they want about a bad call. But only that night. Look, after a while … hey, enough already. When you constantly complain about umpires, you begin to sound petty and delusional. What happens is you first complain about a bad call, but then you start to see ghosts and shadows and Jorge Orta’s around every corner, and you start whining about VERY close calls, ones that could go either way, ones the umpire might have gotten right, and then you cross over and complain about correct calls. And that’s when you start to sound like a big ol’ loser. That’s why it drives me nuts. I say this for a reason: I’ve noticed lately that my very good buddy Ryan Lefebvre, who I believe is an excellent announcer and a wonderful guy, has been moaning way too much about umpiring lately

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