How many umpires does it take to call a game?


Well, October baseball was fun for all two days that it lasted. As the self-proclaimed biggest Chicago Cubs fan in the area, I have had an awful week, baseball really hurt my feelings and has just reminded me once again how silly some of this is.

Can someone tell me the logic behind a game 163? What is the purpose of playing 162 games if after all of that we still claim to not know who is better? At the end of the 162-game season how is it possible that we need another game because it honestly seems like probably the last thing we need. It is especially silly to have two teams that are in the same division play an additional game when they play nearly 20 times during the season. If you were wondering, the Cubs and the Brewers played 19 times this season and the Cubs won 11 of those games, seems to me we know which team is better.

Let's say they tied, although, I suspect they play an odd number of games so they can’t tie, we then have runs scored against each other that we could go to or literally any of the 40 billion stats we keep in baseball. What is the point of playing so many games if they don’t even matter when it actually matters?

Why is it that everyone loves October baseball so much? It’s because it is random in the playoffs, guys can get hurt, guys can go in a slump for just two games and the season can be tanked, one missed pitch can end everything, it sounds like you guys like some drama!!! So then why do we play so many games! If everyone’s favorite part is the urgency and the tension then put an emphasis on the individual game. Part of the reason why football is king is because every week matters, what happens after week one of the NFL season?

The talking heads on whichever network you choose to watch will start reading you off the stats on how few 0-2 teams make the playoffs. They establish urgency and storylines after their first game! It’s how they dominate a day of the week. Meanwhile, your baseball team can lose five straight games in June and you would barely notice. There is very little passion in the games, even when they are close late because even the players know, so what if I lose this game I’ll trot out here tomorrow for another try.

I know that I have mentioned it before, but the time of the behind the plate umpire is behind us. How many old, white-haired men does it take to call a baseball game? I don’t understand how multi-billion dollar corporations like the NFL and MLB continue to think that having old men making some of the most important decision of the game is a great idea. I have nothing against old men, I have a grandpa and he is awesome. He loves Disney and is a Rams fan from back when they were originally in Los Angeles, but let's be honest here, if your cousin said she would give you $40 if you could find someone at Thanksgiving dinner who didn’t know how to work an iPad, my money and yours would be on gramps.

I would be more confident betting on grandpa than I would a 2-year-old baby. Have you seen what kids do with technology these days? Kids are learning how to code in elementary school. Yet time and time again, the NFL has these guys looking at an iPad (while in the sun, everyone knows you can’t see anything on an iPad with a glare, turning them upside down, and right side up) making these calls much like baseball has behind the plate umpires missing ball and strike calls late in games in crucial moments.

The weirdest part about the missed calls is that the umpire is literally the only person on earth that doesn’t know, the fans, players, announcers all see the replay with K-zone and know they have been cheated. I am not even saying that I can see better than Joe West or whoever is behind the plate, my point is that it is super difficult and effects a whole lot of people and we have the technology to definitively tell us what is a ball and a strike, there doesn’t need to be guesswork.

Install a green and red light behind the plate. After each pitch the light turns green if it was a strike or red if it was a ball, hell, even keep the old dudes back there so they can get a paycheck if that makes you happy, just for heaven sakes put an ear piece in their ear where someone tells them if it was a ball or a strike. Human error is, well exactly that, human, it happens, but it doesn’t have to anymore. The human error should be the pitcher not executing the extremely difficult pitch or the hitter inaccurately guessing the size of the strike zone, not someone squinting through their bulletproof glass thick bifocals behind the plate.

The automatic umpire (Hey that sounds like something on QVC) would also, undoubtedly, speed up the games, something we all clammer for.

Would I have written all this if my beloved Cubbies won either of their games this week? No probably not, but we lost and that means something has to change because I am an irrational sports fan.


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