Tag Archives: bad calls

Referees Take Yet Another Blow

Kobe Bryant Argues with Joey Crawford

I'm sure Kobe will get the next call in his favor...

Well, I’ve finally decided to scan the internet to read more excerpts from Tim Donaghy’s new book The Book The NBA Doesn’t Want You To Read. I think a few months back when I wrote Officiating the NBA Referees maybe I was looking from the wrong point of view. I no longer believe it’s slow reaction time because of old age. I no longer believe that flopping is the reason for these terrible calls. I mean honestly deep down, I kind of had an idea that the referees are screwing with us most of the time, which must have been why I was so pumped about the referee lockout originally! I truly do wish we started this season with the replacement refs. Sure there might have been bad or some missed calls here and there, but SERIOUSLY, aren’t we used to it no matter who is out there? I can’t fully believe everything he said in the book, since he does have some strong motives in his quest to deface the NBA. I CAN however buy the face value of the information that a lot of calls and miscues by crews DO have some hidden motives behind them, and I must’ve been blocking that out for years. Reading through the excerpts felt like when you know that your girlfriend is cheating on you, but you aren’t really sure, and then you finally find out that it’s true. Yes Tim, your revelations have hurt me, and damaged me for every future relationship I have with refs for years to come.Vince Mcmahon WWE If the refs are indeed Stern’s puppets, playing with teams and players abilities to make the playoffs we may as well get Vince McMahon in there setting up the plotline for the season. We could turn these great athletes into a show instead of a sport, wouldn’t that be great. Are we heading to a league that resembles the Globetrotters vs. the Admirals? I figured that the refs had bias’s against players, teams, or coaches, but didn’t want to believe that they were truly effecting the outcome of the games. I know, it sounds nieve, but maybe I got used to it being shoved in my face for the past decade, so why didn’t I see it as a flaw? A) I guess I just accepted that some guys are going to get calls, and when it comes down to it, these refs I’m sure get caught up in the heat of the moment. B) I didn’t want to see in writing what I’d obviously already suspected, like the excerpt on the 2002 Western Conference Championship game 6 or the Spurs and Suns playoff series. C) Aside from the Lakers getting gifts like Pau Gasol and Artest for nothing, they are getting calls in crucial games, because the league hinted the refs should give them more calls in their favor. The Lakers seem to be one of the most hated teams in the league, and could this be a reason why? 

Deadspin had some good transcript on the jest of what he said in his book.

Instant Replay in the MLB? Doin Work’s E-mail Thread Explores

The ol umpire huddle seems to take longer than just looking at the instant replay!

The ol umpire huddle seems to take longer than just looking at the instant replay!

Chappy81: How bad have the calls been during the ALCS?!? It’s looking like the MLB should be figuring out a way to put in instant replay…

Dyslecix: Possibly the worst calls in a prolonged series of games we’ve ever seen? It’s going to force MLB to accept instant reply of some sense even if they don’t want it to be an option.

Cali4dre: It’s about time really. Every other sport has it in some sense, and human error can be avoided in this situation to right the wrongs.  MLB has always been slow to adapt…

Chappy81: Yeah, the saddest part is ALL those calls were so easy to make. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t want to have replay for easy stuff like safe and out. Maybe the umpires are scared that it’s the beginning of the MLB not needing them!

Dyslecix: It’s odd that the one sport that doesn’t have a clock is concerned with time…Deep, I know!

One of two blown calls by Tim Mccllellan in ALCS game 4

One of two blown calls at third base by Tim Mcclellan in ALCS game 4.

Chappy81: Very deep, never thought of it that way, but very true!

MCeezy: First off, I completely sympathize with any sentiment against slowing the game down, but all these blown calls are making it more necessary.  I vaguely remember the amazing Joe Buck saying that most umpires are actually FOR it.  They don’t want to be the ones deciding the game.  If they could just figure out a way to keep it speedy, it would work.  Problem is, the NFL and NBA have yet to figure it out, so maybe it’s easier said than done.

Dyslecix: In all seriousness though. Why are they worried about the flow of the game? The time it would take to review to many calls? REALLY? It takes two minutes, you have an additional ump up in the stands who reviews questionable calls and notifies the guys down below the play should be reviewed…If football can do it, there is no reason why baseball can’t be even more effective with it.

Chappy81: Yup, it seems like they could easily put some simple system in that wouldn’t slow the game down too much. Fans would much rather have the calls right and know that we had the right team win fairly. I’d be all for having an ump in the booth telling them when they blew a call. I can’t remember which umpire it was, but he said that if they did have instant replay he’d be man enough to acknowledge that he made the wrong call.

Cali4dre: That’s the problem to begin with.  Pitcher’s are already on an internal clock with umpires.  Umpires are allowed to call a balk/ball for taking to long to pitch.  But like you said, if it’s all theory on game-time interruption anyways, who gives a shit.

I think the umpires are more worried about their own jobs and relevance to the game.  I’m pretty sure at this point they could effectively automate balls and strikes with a computer/K-Zone, which would be fair to both teams and take out an umpire’s personal strike zone bias.  It’s too easy to get blocked out of view on a close play anywhere except maybe first, and even then it might be tough on tag plays coming down the line.  Change the rules, allow instant replay to take a larger role!

MCeezy: I DEFINITELY disagree with using it to call balls and strikes.  Differing strike zones for different umpires are a part of the game.  THAT would get annoying for sure.

Dyslecix: I’m not sure it would be baseball anymore to be honest.

Both ALCS managers have had to argue waaay too many calls!

Both ALCS managers have had to argue waaay too many calls!

Cali4dre: Negatory, I’m tired of seeing one umpire call hi strikes while the next day an umpire calls low strikes.  Or one adds six inches to either side of the plate and another thinks the black is a ball.  What happens??  Managers get their panties in a bunch and start yelling from the dugout, and this gets worse and worse in a game until someone is ejected.  I don’t like that shit.  I like the old, and current, definition of a strike which is anything over the black on the plate from the knees to the letters.  NOT ONE umpire uses that, they all use their own interpretation.  If that happened in the NBA or NFL, loosely interpreting rules in the book, which I know happens and we all hate it, there would be refs getting suspended or fired.

Dyslecix: I would equate baseball’s strike zone to how basketball refs call a tight or loose game with fouls. Each crew is different and you have to adjust as the game unfolds. Having a mandiated K zone that is monitored by a TV camera and called automatically is way to robotic in my mind.

MCeezy: I echo Tony’s sentiments exactly.  We all know NBA refs have different fuse lengths when it comes to assessing Technical fouls.  It’s all a part of the game.

Chappy81: Well put! I’m against taking the human element completely out. How would you suggest that they relay the strike and ball calls Dre?

Hmmm, maybe it could work for balls and strikes...

Hmmm, maybe it could work for balls and strikes...

Cali4dre: Easy, it would appear on an umps count holder (you know, the thing he keeps that batter’s count on, don’t know what this is called.  I lights up green for strike, red for ball or something.  The umpire would still stand there, but he wouldn’t call balls and strikes, just plays at the plate and everything else.  Currently balls and strikes are an interpretation that can lead to arguments.  Take Tennis for example, they use a machine on challenges, and that works fine because it’s definitive.  Why not do that with every pitch since it can be done immediately and correctly??

Chappy81: In the end wouldn’t that slow down play to a crawl though? I mean, if you the umpire has to wait 10-20 seconds for his thingy to tell him if it’s a ball or strike wouldn’t that add another half hour to already pretty long games!?! MAYBE they could set up some kind of challenge like Tennis has, where you get one or two an inning, but I can’t see them doing it for every pitch…

Dyslecix: You’ll never add the word “challenge” to the vocab of baseball and instant replay…..Just based on the fact alone baseball won’t copy the NFL. If anything it will be an isolated umpire decision of some kind, the head coach will have no discretion on using it.

Cali4dre: I was using the Tennis machine as an example of a machine making the decision, it just happens it’s used there as a “challenge”.  Oh, and “Challenge” is already in Baseball, how do you think they get to the point where they need to review a play???  One manager goes out on the field and says “hey, that wasn’t a home run”.  That’s a challenge. Actually, you’re right, “Challenge” may never make it into the Rule Book because Appeal is already there.  Same thing only it sounds better!

Rule 9.02(a) Comment: Players leaving their position in the field or on base, or managers or coaches leaving the bench or coaches box, to argue on BALLS AND STRIKES will not be permitted. They should be warned if they start for the plate to protest the call. If they continue, they will be ejected from the game.

(b) If there is reasonable doubt that any umpire’s decision may be in conflict with the rules, the manager may appeal the decision and ask that a correct ruling be made. Such appeal shall be made only to the umpire who made the protested decision.

(c) If a decision is appealed, the umpire making the decision may ask another umpire for information before making a final decision. No umpire shall criticize, seek to reverse or interfere with another umpire’s decision unless asked to do so by the umpire making it.

Dyslecix: Were all watching this on TV …there is mandated strike zone….the pitch comes in and its a strike….we now know that IT’S A STRIKE cause its mandated…however the Ump is still staring at his little thingy to be told whether it was a strike or not…….and it takes two, three, four, five seconds for the ump to then signal the strike call….we the audience on tv already knew it was a strike to begin with, which is redundant.

Okay….appeal is much better…if mangers start throwing red flags out from the dugout I’m going to be sick!

Cali4dre: NO, it would be immediate.  The pitch hits the glove, the light goes on and the umpire calls it.  No waiting, not sure what century you guys live in…

The Always Bad NBA Referees Are Asking for Too Much!

NBA RefereesIf there’s one thing that has been a constant in the NBA over the past couple decades, it has to be the very bad officiating. Not even Bill Walton can convince me otherwise. I wrote about ways to change the referee system awhile back, which included forcing the geezers off the court and into retirement. Alas, the NBA hasn’t addressed one of these issues, but it looks like one might finally be under consideration. The NBA desperately needs to have guys in their physical prime running around with these tremendous athletes to make sure that they are getting calls right. The NBA is set to start its preseason games in a few weeks (October 1st), it has been reported that the NBRA (National Basketball Referees Association) will be locking out unless a new agreement is reached as the old one expired at the beginning of September. Apparently the NBRA proposed to take about $2.5 million (10%) off of last season’s budget. This wasn’t convincing enough as Stern rejected the proposal, and the two sides haven’t set a new time to meet since the deal was rejected. The NBA is facing the most problems it has since the Flint Tropics ABA/NBA merger days, and needs the refs to suck it up if they want to work. Larnell McMorris, the head NBRA representative says that Stern’s actions are childish, and feels that the league is trying to push the “old guys” out.

This is the first time in a long time that I might actually be on Commissioner Stern’s side for any issue that has come up in recent memory! I hope they lock out, and I hope Stern holds firm on his stance. If he truly is using this as a reason to get the “old guys” out I applaud it 100%. It’s really the first action I’ve seen him take since he became commissioner that moves towards correcting an obvious problem that is revisited year after year with each bad call made. Sadly I’ve actually watched some D-League games, and the ones that I have watched I noticed their refs actually do call pretty good games. Guess what, most of them look young and don’t give the players as much attitude as the pro refs which I like. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the refs were there just to call the game instead of settling the score with some superstar that showed them up by barking at them!?! I’m crossing my fingers that the officiating will better during this October 1st lockout then I could see the NBRA folding to whatever the NBA’s demands are. I wouldn’t mind if they locked our for the season, and we could try out these younger refs that might actually make the right call or non-call during the pivotal playoff games. For the first time since 95-96 the league will set up a training camp for replacement refs, so lets hope they find some good ones!