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About Awful Umpiring

I generally have avoided criticizing umpires too much. They have a tough job, and it’s impossible to get everything right. But sometimes they make it too easy!

Take Eric Cooper, please. Aug. 7, 2009, in a Braves-Dodgers game, Cooper called a 3-1 pitch on Andre Ethier a strike. It was close, could have gone either way. Rafael Furcal, at first base, was running on the play; he was thrown out. Except that Cooper then changed his mind and said that the pitch was a ball, and let the batter walk to first, and meant that Furcal was safe. Bobby Cox, being Bobby Cox, got thrown out of the game by Cooper for arguing. After a three-run homer set up by the play, Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens was removed from the game, but then got himself ejected by Cooper, too.

I don’t want this to be just about the Braves; I have a site for that. I want this to be a clearinghouse for all examples of bad umpiring. By this I don’t mean mistakes; mistakes happen. I mean: umpires who make themselves the center of attention by baiting players and managers; umpires who think that they’re the reason people come to the games; umpires who make obvious mistakes but refuse to ever acknowledge that they’ve done wrong; umpires who by truly egregious calls change the outcome of the game; umpires whose strike zones resemble models of fifth-dimensional space.

Oh, and umpires who change their minds about what a strike is after already calling the pitch, because, come on. Co-authors wanted.

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