Over-bearing umps, quick games but long nights, and basketball
We’re talking to John Farrell before the game last night and the discussion is about his ejection on Friday.
Got me to thinking: I really dislike a lot of major league umpires and think they’re the group of officials who do a bigger disservice to their game than any in the world.
They have a tendency to be too confrontational, I truly believe they provoke as many arguments as they react to and it’s as if some of them think people (a) paid money to see them or (b) care about them.
Farrell was telling us that the home plate umpire on Friday – same guy who blew the call at the plate in Boston in early July in a game the Jays lost – simply “didn’t see” the runner inside the baseline, even though I imagine everyone in the park did.
“There was no explanation, he didn’t see him running on the grass, so I don’t know where he saw him running but he said he didn’t see it that way.”
Anyway, I guess that’s not really the point. The point is that for years and years, major league umpires have had an out-of-what sense of entitlement or something that really bothers me.
They get into arguments and often won’t let them go, they too often go to great public means to show that they’re in charge and the theatrics with which they tend to eject players or managers sometimes borders on the comical.
I’m sure it’s a tough job with the ball-strike, safe-out, fair-foul stuff going on but, really, these guys tend to think so highly of themselves, and try to force themselves on to the stage too often, it’s tiring.
What a waste.
No, not the Brandon Morrow effort, although I guess you could say that was one, too.
What I’m talking about is a waste of 2:09 major league game. Not too often you get one that quick but add on an 1:11 rain delay at the start and then a rather longish wait for Morrow after and we’re not out of the park until after 11.
As we know, it’s all about us.
Now how about this?
The Mighty Rockies score eight in the bottom of the sixth and win 9-6 Saturday and now we’ll play for the championship next week.
I imagine it’ll draw the highest ratings of any Mississauga North Bantam house league championship game ever.
So what’s a guy do waiting out a 71-minute rain delay?
Lots of reading on the interweb, some story- and joke-telling with other bored grunts and think, “Am I ever glad they don’t have these in the sport I usually cover.”
And with foreboding dark skies out there right now and apparently a 100 per cent chance of afternoon thunderstorms today, I have a feeling we’re in for more sitting around, grazing and talking and reading again.
Score one for basketball over baseball, that’s for sure.
Let’s get this one out of the mail.
(And there’s still time to get in a mailbag that I think might now wait until Tuesday since there’ll be weekend wrap-up junk to do tomorrow morning and a travel day that day. Click. Write. Send. Love to hear from you.
Q: Doug - I haven't see these questions asked, but apologies if they have been. Although official summer league has been cancelled, it seems a bunch of mini, better summer leagues have been formed. One such is the Drew league who have seen performances by LeBron James, DeMar DeRozan, James Harden among others. As a fan, I love to see players playing for the game and not the pay check. What do the Raptors upper brass think about this? Do they watch these games? Do they appreciate that guys like DeMar are taking time out of there personal time to play basketball?
Regarding Lithuania national team. I just started researching them since the success of Val & co at the U19 championships and I've noticed that Lithuania has finished top 4 in the past 5 Olympics! This is a stunning feat considering it is FAR better than Spain, Greece, Argentina - the teams I used to think were the 'international power houses' (ALL combined have LESS top 4 finishes in the same amount of time!). Is it safe to say that Lithuania is the 2nd best basketball country in the world? Are you surprised by this at all?
B D, Richmond
A: I don’t think they have a thought one way or another, actually, because more than a few NBA players find runs in the summer; this year it’s more widely publicized because of the labour strife. The teams don’t “scout” them or anything like that.
And just because I care so deeply about giving all you Irregulars what you want, here’s this. I warn you, though: These leagues make the Summer League look like Lakers-Celtics.
Lithuania? I’m not surprised at all, actually. The game is an absolute passion there, has been forever, and I remember watching them win the bronze medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and have seen them at world championships and other Olympics ever since. They have the most passionate fans I’ve ever seen and for the amount of talent they produce from such a small country, I’d put ‘em a solid second in the world.
Oh, some basketball?
Got a little bit since I hear the Canadian senior women dropped a game to Japan in Japan earlier this morning, giving them a split of two games over there.
They are off to China for some games now before they take a little break. Then it’s back to work to get ready for their Olympic qualifier, which goes in Colombia in late September.