June 12, 2012

Valentine On Umpires: "We're Asking Humans To Do A Feat That Humans Can't Do"

In this USAToday article, Bobby Valentine says just about everything that needs to be said about umpiring and the future of baseball:
I want a ball called a ball and a strike called a strike. Figure out how. ... I know you can do it. It's 2012.

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[A 1980s study found that eye muscles are too slow to track a fastball over the final several feet because it covers that distance in one-twentieth of a second.] Now pitchers are throwing pitches that are moving in those last five feet, cutting and splitting and moving in a zone that your eye can not see what's happening. So, if you can't see it, why are we asking them to call it? They can't see it. They're humans. We're asking humans to do a feat that humans can't do.

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[Broadcasting Little League World Series games was ] when I got most frustrated. I see a kid called out on a pitch six inches off the plate that he can't even reach. It's criminal that we allow our game to scar a young person. I think in 2012, that should not be part of the process.

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"Every day of my life, it's my belief our game is not somebody else's strike zone. It's what the rule book says and that's how it should be played from Little League to Cooperstown to make the game fair. The rulebook doesn't say that the game will be arbitrarily ruled. It says that it will be ruled.

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Look, I don't know how the Internet works. How about a fax, putting a thing in a machine and it shows up in Europe? If they can do that, they can figure out how to call a strike. It's whether or not we want to do it or not.

4 comments:

dorothee boivin said...

I'm starting to like this Valentine fellow...

allan said...

SoSH discusses the Red Sox's chronic complaining about umpires.

The Sox do bitch and stare back a lot, Ortiz and Yook especially, but it is usually with decent reason. Still, umpires are human and complaining about wrong calls could begat more wrong calls (perhaps on purpose).

With any luck, the complaining -- and comments like Leyland's and Valentine's and Harrelson's -- will highlight the HUGE problem baseball has with its officials.

Sadly, the problem is going to get A LOT WORSE before Selig decides to do anything about it.

Jim said...

Yep, Valentine made perfect sense. Wonder whether his punishment will be a fine or a suspension?
Re: the Red Sox whining, I usually have the Rogers' gasbags on during the supper hour for background noise until the Sox start and they're all convinced that the umps are conspiring against the Blue Jays. It's the human element.

allan said...

More Valentine quotes.