Last night as we were watching the Washington Nationals fail to win again, my husband became quite upset at the umpiring of Angel Hernandez. In the top of the third inning, the starting pitcher, Odalis Perez, was ejected by Hernandez after reacting rather strongly to his second called balk of the night…
Much like Thomas Jefferson, my husband is not the strongest orator, but he is a rather impressive author.
I just wish he could find the right channels to pass along his frustration.
And now, I give you, my husband…
What are the limits that a fan should put up with in regards to officiating? I was attempting to submit the following email to MLB, but was prevented from doing so because of a 500 character limit on submissions via their website.
As a fan, I can no longer stomach watching games umpired by Angel Hernandez. I have grown accustomed to seeing my team lose. I can handle that, no matter how excruciating the circumstances. I can stomach poor officiating calls. It happens. What I cannot stomach is the way that Hernandez appears to place himself above the game. Through the course of a game it would appear that he makes the progression of events personal and dares anyone to cross him. A quick perusal of wikipedia certainly backs up my impression.
I know this much — tonight I tuned in to a game and as soon as home plate umpire Angel Hernandez was announced I groaned. Three innings in Hernandez called his second balk on Odalis Perez and then ejected him (it would appear that Perez is still on Hernandez’s naughty list for having gotten angry at him for a balk call in 2003). Once again I was left watching an Angel Hernandez called game so enraged that I could not enjoy it.
It may be that tonight Perez’s ejection was perfectly justified. I do not mean to suggest that I know all of the circumstances behind tonight’s events. What I do know is that I was immediately filled with a sense of dread when I learned Hernandez was umpiring and that once again, as with many times before, he deprived me of the ability to enjoy the game.
I understand that fans will consistently and regularly criticize and boo the umpires, and Major League Baseball should weigh such criticisms with care. One must ask though, when a single umpire has made such a spectacle of himself that after only four years of following baseball a casual, but developing fan such as myself knows and dreads him by name, when I cannot name one other single Major League Umpire, that something is clearly wrong. It would appear that there is a lot of public sentiment to support my feelings.
MLB acknowledges the importance of including the fans opinion in determining the All Star rosters. I would agree that you would not want to bend to every whim of the fan (it is not actually in the fan’s best interest), but shouldn’t overwhelming opinion be considered?