Yankees legends discuss MLB’s umpire controversy as bad calls plague game: ‘Not acceptable’

on May7
by | Comments Off on Yankees legends discuss MLB’s umpire controversy as bad calls plague game: ‘Not acceptable’ |

MLB umpiring has been a controversial topic in recent seasons, and calls that have been made already in 2024 have only added fuel to that fire. 

Additionally, as technological advances continue to be tested in the minor leagues, the conversation about umpires potentially becoming obsolete remains a real possibility. 

Many have shared their opinions on how games have been called this year, particularly behind home plate where balls and strikes have been all over the place. New York Yankees legendary first baseman Tino Martinez shared his thoughts on the matter. 


Tino Martinez smiles on red carpet

Tino Martinez attends A New Era in Florida Gaming Event at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa on Dec. 8, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

“It’s always been that way,” he told Fox News Digital at the world premiere of YES Network’s “The Story of My Number” at the Paley Center For Media in Manhattan. “There’s good umpires and there’s bad umpires. Some umpires enjoy being bad umpires. They like to get on the fans’ nerves and those guys know who they are. I think that’s part of their deal, but it’s unclear to players in certain games, especially the playoffs and World Series. 

“You want the best umpires out there every single day.”

For players, coaches and fans alike, it is a shame that Martinez’s comment about “those guys know who they are” becomes commonplace in the game. Veteran umpires like Angel Hernandez, C.B. Bucknor and Doug Eddings are just a few of the well-known umpires who have made bad calls, some of which have greatly impacted the result of games. 


A prime example was this past Saturday’s game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago White Sox, when Bucknor called strike three on St. Louis’s Ivan Herrera with the bases loaded in extra innings following a three-hour rain delay and the Cardinals down just one run. The pitch on the 1-2 count was clearly off the outside of the plate, but Bucknor was quick to punch him out. 

For the Yankees specifically, captain Aaron Judge was ejected for the first time in his career over the weekend when plate umpire Ryan Blakney was clearly displeased with what Judge said after walking away from home plate. 

Judge did say something as he was walking away, but Martinez called it “ridiculous” after watching the situation play out at Yankee Stadium in the team’s eventual 5-3 win over the Detroit Tigers. 

“That’s terrible,” Martinez said. “Aaron Judge never loses his temper and he didn’t in that situation either. He walked away, he wasn’t in the umpire’s face. He walked away like he should’ve done, and he put him out, which was a little too much by the umpire.”

Nick Swisher high five

Nick Swisher of the New York Yankees celebrates after the Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2024 Spring Breakout Game at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Saturday, March 16, 2024 in Tampa Bay, Florida. (Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Fellow Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher agrees with Martinez. 

“He didn’t say anything,” he told Fox News Digital. “He said, ‘You were s—, you’ve been bad all day,’ which was true. I watched the game.”

For Swisher, he knows that players and managers need to be careful with how they criticize an umpire’s job, because at the end of the day, it is tough to get every call right. 

However, those tenured umpires who at times seem like they are going through the motions should not be allowed in Swisher’s eyes.


“Listen, man, there’s some systems in place that we have as athletes,” he explained. “If you don’t post [good stats], prepare and compete properly at the big league level, you get demoted to the minor leagues. So, I think the same should be for umpires as well. Why should you not want to have a tier system, just like what Max Scherzer was saying? I thought there was a lot of validity to that.”

Scherzer, a veteran starter who has influence with the MLBPA, suggested MLB should “rank” umpires using the electronic strike zone that is currently being tested in Triple-A this year, where pitchers and hitters can challenge balls and strikes called.

“You can’t just show up to work and just go through the motions,” Swisher added. “That’s not acceptable. Nowadays, you got guys’ careers on the line and there’s a lot of money in each game.”

A fully-automated strike zone is in year two in Triple-A, but many baseball traditionalists do not want to hear that conversation. Like many others, Martinez believes the “natural” side of the game would be entirely taken away, but he also wants to see the best of the best umpiring games, especially in the postseason. 

“I like the old-fashioned umpire, but again, getting the No. 1 top umpires out there. Not just the guys who are there because they’ve had time in the big leagues,” he said. 

C.B. Bucknor looks on field

Home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor looks on during the fourth inning between the Washington Nationals and the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on March 30, 2024 in Cincinnati. (Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)


Umpires are never going to be perfect, but even former players feel the current competitors in MLB deserve the closest thing to it.

In the end, as long as bad calls are made, the controversy will continue to make headlines. This year, though, it has caught the attention of many in and outside the game, and everyone hopes a solution can be had so fair play is seen on any given night. 

Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X, and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.

Source link

Previous post'Squad' member caught at fundraiser hosted by Islamic leader who praised Hamas attack on Israel Next postAirport brawls: Travel-related incidents of 2023, on the ground and in the air

Chicago Financial Times

Copyright © 2024 Chicago Financial Times

Updates via RSS
or Email