Umpires and Referees

A cou­ple of weeks ago I had to go to a restau­rant to watch the Pack­ers play the Red­skins since the game was not on any of the cable chan­nels I get. Dur­ing the sec­ond half a Red­skin fan sat down at the table next to mine. It was not too long before we exchanged a cou­ple of com­ments on the game. Soon after that he start­ed com­plain­ing about the offi­ci­at­ing. I about lost it (only about though). In the first place, I can’t stand it when peo­ple blame the refs. In the sec­ond place, the refs in that Packer/​Redskin game were not doing any favors for the Pack­ers any more than favors for the Redskins.

When I got home I checked the blogs and, sure enough, there was no short­age of Pack­er fans com­plain­ing about the refs.

The ref­er­ee­ing in the NFL is sim­ply bad. The only virtue it has is that all plays are called equal­ly bad­ly and all teams get their turn at being screwed over. Still, good ref­er­ee­ing would be bet­ter than bad.

Tonight I am watch­ing the Phils and Giants play for the Nation­al League penant. The game is on Fox. On replays of pitch­es, Fox has the graph­ic of the strike zone show­ing exact­ly where the pitch was locat­ed. It is amus­ing to lis­ten to the announc­er, Tim McCarv­er, when the umpire calls the pitch a strike and the graph­ic shows the pitch was clear­ly a ball. McCarv­er just ignores the graph­ic com­plete­ly and, as the replay of the pitch is shown, talks about how the pitch caught the out­side of the plate. The replay clear­ly looks like it was out­side and the graph­ic con­firms it, but we don’t want to show up the umpires.

Umpir­ing in base­ball is slight­ly bet­ter than what goes on in the NFL, but the ball and strike call­ing is a joke. The rest of the calls are usu­al­ly cor­rect, but there are still plen­ty of errors.

I won­der how long it will be before sports real­ly embraces tech­nol­o­gy to help call the games.


Well, the umpire blew what should have been the final call of the game and per­fec­tion is ruined, at least as far as the record book is con­cerned. My ques­tion is does this leave Arman­do Galar­ra­ga with an accom­plish­ment nev­er before achieved?

A per­fect game is 27 outs with no one reach­ing base. Galar­ra­ga and the Tigers retired 28 with no one reach­ing base (if you ignore the umpire’s error).

Since it seems that instant replay is only a mat­ter of time for base­ball, Galar­ra­ga’s plu­per­fect game may “for­ev­er” stand as a unique accomplishment.