Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Inside the Mind of an Ump

No one usually cares what umpires think, but here's a pretty enlightening interview with Ted Barrett, who will be working second base in Game 1 tonight. I found this particularly interesting:

Q. Commissioner Bud Selig has told general managers he'd like their input on the use of instant replay. Where do you stand on the issue?

A. The knee-jerk reaction would be to say no way, we don't want that. My personal feeling is I'm for it on things like home runs or fan interference. The way stadiums are being built, it's awfully hard to tell when someone reaches over the wall ... would it have been caught? They have to work out the logistics of it. Can they do it quickly, before the pitcher gets cold?

Like many, I had assumed that umps would be dead set against replay on job-protection grounds, but that's obviously not the case. Pride has to play into it too, and having read Barrett's comments, it's obvious that umps don't want to look foolish out there. And in all of the talk about replay, I'm kind of surprised that it was an ump who was the first one (that I've seen anyway) talk about the effect waiting around might have on a pitcher's arm.

Other fun stuff: Barrett thinks that Matt Holliday probably was out at home in the San Diego-Colorado play-in game (though he doesn't throw Tim McClelland under the bus over it), he has a pretty good theory on why an ump is never going to be able to get away with being a Tim Donaghy, and he has some interesting things to say about notable games he worked (Cone's perfect game, Maddux's 300th win, Jeter's miracle play on Jeremy Giambi).

Check it out.


Brett said...

"I feel confident that baseball is safe from that. Here's how it's different: We stay together (as a crew), the basketball guys don't. I know when my partner has a fight with his wife, when his dog is sick. With something like (gambling), he wouldn't be able to hide it."

But on the other hand, you're probably a lot less likely to turn in your buddy.

Shyster said...

Good point, Brett.