16 June 2009

Back in my day the umpires were men

In the old days that never happened. A man made his call and stuck with it. That's what real men did. Back in my day. Yep.

They didn't do what Jim Joyce did. They didn't ask for help after making the call. They didn't crumble when the manager came out and argued. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Joyce. That's a girls name. Go umpire in the WNBA, Joyce.

Oh sure, the managers came out and argued in the old days. Heck, they argued more than they do now. They could argue in their sleep, which was important, because a lot of managers sleep-walked through games back then. Why, Tommy Lasorda once argued with every umpire in a game. He argued for the cycle. Then he picked up every single base and tossed it in anger. Then he wrenched out home plate and threw it like a frisbee. Then he levitated the pitching rubber with his mind and hurled it up into the red seats way up high, back when those seats were still red, back before they changed the color of those seats because red was too frightening. Man, they knew how to argue then. None of this sissy calm talking stuff some managers favor these days. And yet for all that arguing, it never did any good. Never. The umpire made his call, and that was that. That was a man's way. That was the American way. My way or the highway. You went out and argued to show them that you were tough as nails, not because you thought you could win the argument. It would have been insulting to win the argument. What, do you need charity?

But now? Now the umpires' spines are made of rubberized warning track. Soft and squishy and bouncy, they are. They consider. They consult. They ask the most emasculating question possible. What do you think happened? I'm not sure. Hey guy. Hey umpire guy, who has to ask other umpires because he doesn't have the brass to stick with his original call. How did this happen, umpire guy? When did you become the UN out there? If Americans in 1775 were like the umpires are now we'd still be kissing the King of England's pinky ring. Or Queen. Whatever.

Man. Back in my day. Everything was better.

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