|(photo by CBSSPorts)|
Saturday, May 30, 2015
Since When Do Style Points Determine Whether a Pitch Is a Strike?
I never thought I'd say it, but umpire Mike Winters just proved that he views officiating at home plate the same a figure skating judge does in the Olympics. An inadequate "presentation" from Dodger catcher A.J. Ellis kept him from calling borderline pitches strikes. Are you kidding me? That has to be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard and who can blame Ellis one bit for arguing to the point of receiving his first ever ejection last night?
I was pretty much against instant replay when the officiating review rules were introduced. And I still have my reservations about it, since I've seen some questionable decisions made in New York after reviewing plays, but one thing it has proved is that the four guys officiating each game certainly make a lot of mistakes AND they can be replaced. Perhaps it is time to seriously consider replacing them completely, and that has to do with the guy calling balls and strikes.
It's time for Joe Torre to stand up and punish this umpire. If A.J. Ellis is correct in stating that Winters said that the way he caught the pitches, or essentially his poor pitch framing made it difficult to call some strikes, then that's an admission that his calls are based on the acting skills of the receiver and not where the ball is while it crosses the plane. A.J. isn't a liar, and why else would this level headed veteran lose it to the point of ejection?
But Joe Torre has had it in for the Dodgers for some reason since he left in 2010, so I highly doubt anything will be done. We've seen a number of replays go against Los Angeles since these changes were instituted, and call me crazy, but I simply don't trust MLB brass and the officiating staff headed by Torre at all. I have no proof of any shenanigans, just an opinion of a distant observer, coupled with the frustrations of a Dodger fan that has watched his team whittle away a first place lead of 5-6 games in a few weeks time.
It's tough enough to beat the likes of San Francisco and St. Louis on an even playing field, but when you've got umpires doing stupid things like calling pitches based on style points of the catcher, well that takes frustration to new levels.