October 24, 2020

When The Worst Umpires Are Assigned To Work The World Series, They Are Going To Affect The Games

Umpire Todd Tichenor impacted Game 2 of the World Series in a way no professional umpire should ever impact a game.

MLB thinks it's fine and dandy to have the 40th-best umpire behind the plate for a World Series game. Now I'll admit, I've never served as the commissioner of a major professional sports league, but if someone were to ask for my opinion, if MLB needs six umpires for the most important games of the year, for the games players dream about their entire lives, my suggestion would be: PICK THE TOP SIX UMPIRES.

Adam Sanford, DRaysBay, October 23, 2020:

Blake Snell was absolutely fantastic during his first outing of the World Series . . . The former Cy Young award winner had a no-hit performance against one of the best offenses in baseball through four and two-thirds innings pitched. . . .

Snell became just the third pitcher to have two strikeouts in four consecutive innings, joining Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson. . . .

Prior to Wednesday's game, I had no idea who Todd Tichenor was; now, I loathe him.

According to the twitter account Umpire Scorecards, Todd Tichenor had an absolutely horrid night behind the plate. . . .  When a pitch was in the zone, Tichenor got the call wrong a stunning 1/4th of the time. He real problem was the bottom of the zone where it seems he just could not accurately judge that a pitch was a strike.

Sanford goes on to show how, with two outs in the fifth, Tichenor completely screwed the pooch with Snell's pitches to Enrique Hernandez, shit the bed with Snell's pitches to Chris Taylor, and put his ass in the jackpot with Snell's pitches to Mookie Betts.

After the game, Snell refused to say if the calls frustrated him (though his non-answer was a clear answer). "You trying to get me in trouble," he told the reporter. "That's what you're trying to do."

One semi-related question: How does a writer for DRaysBay not know who Tichenor is before last night?

Umpire Auditor reports that Tichenor had exactly the kind of shitty performance one would expect from a shitty umpire.

And yet Tichenor was actually an improvement over the Mr. Magoo who called pitches in Game 1. 

Laz Diaz was ranked 68th out of 89 umpires. In 2019, Diaz was tied for 85th (which was dead last) in correct call percentage.

That was who MLB decided should call balls and strikes in Game 1 of the World Series. The worst ball-and-strike-calling umpire in the major leagues.

While researching this post, I read a comment that using human umpires to call balls and strikes is like having guys with tape measures deciding the Olympic long-jumping competition.

1 comment:

Jim said...

I've said many times that they should judge plate ump calls on using the ball's diameter (3") on either side of the strike zone box. A 6 year old can get all the other pitches right. I'd bet that in some games the plate ump would get 50% of those calls wrong. Robot plate umps, please.