Tagged: MLB

Ex-NBA ref makes surprising claims

Thumbnail image for Donaghy 60 Minutes.png60 minutes did a piece on ex-NBA referee, Tim Donaghy, who was convicted of betting on NBA games while he was officiating, some of which he officiated himself. He served 11 months in prison for his actions. In the interview, he made some surprising claims about the NBA. His claims included:

  • NBA refs favor certain players and gang up on them by intentionally making bad calls. His example was when a group of refs — including himself — made a series of incorrect calls on Allen Iverson, after he threatened a ref.
  • NBA referee supervisors support the ganging up on players.
  • NBA refs talk about the players they don’t like and plan to gang up on them when they have their pre-game meeting.
  • The NBA tells refs to prolong playoff games and to favor big market teams in order to increase revenue.

Naturally, the NBA commissioner denied these claims and added that Donaghy is a “convicted criminal” who cannot be trusted. Nonetheless, the FBI claims that Donaghy was completely honest when he stated these claims. You can decide who to beleive, but by applying these claims, Donaghy was able to win 80% of his bets.

The big question. Does this exist in baseball and in other sports as well? The recent umping in the playoffs would make you believe that, yes, it does exist. You also can’t take away the human nature, that naturally causes refs to like and dislike players. They are not robots, they are humans. But anyhow, these claims made by Donaghy exceed human nature, and need to be looked into. I want to see an investigation done by an outside team, to see if the NBA, MLB, NFL and NHL are influencing the officiating. Because if these things are true, you can pretty much throw away this history of sports.

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The Buzz: Selig to step down

Selig 11:29.jpgIt has been no secret now for a long time that Selig planed to step down once his contract is up after 2012. But the commissioner reportedly made those plans even clearer when he announced it to a group of reporters.

The Chicago Tribune cited sources that said they sent five owners to approach Selig with questions about his future as the commissioner. He told them that he indeed plans to step down because he wants to do other things. Among which are writing a book and teaching.

If there is one thing I will remember about Selig’s era, it will not be the record breaking revenues or the revolutionary drug tests. It will be his surprising lack of desire to expand instant replay, which to me, is the foundation for this games future.

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No reason not to have replay

“I’m worried about the pitchers walking around the mound, we are very worried about the pace of out game.”

Bud Selig

In the end, a game will not be decided because the pace of the game was interrupted. But, it wll indefinitely be decided by a blown call. In the end, we need to get the call right. The “pace of the game” should not be more important than getting the call right.

Plus, the pace of the game is not even effected. What does affect the pace of the game is when the manager comes onto the field screaming at the umpire, then the umps getting together and talking about it, still with the possibility of getting it wrong. That is what affects the pace of the game.

So what’s the solution. Simple. Have one more umpire sitting in the press box watching some feed of the game (whatever feed MLB chooses to use). If the umps know they need help, they simply get on the radio and ask the guy in the press box. And boom, the call is right. It will be quicker and more accurate.

Think of it this way. As fans watching on TV, we know the correct call within seconds of the play. The umps have no idea, so we have to wait while they find out. If someone was watching a slow motion close up in the press box, we will get the call quicker and it will be right almost 100% of the time.

To me, Buds just stubborn. He is afraid to change. Tell you what. We have an African American president, a women just ran for president, technology is more advanced than it has ever been. Things are changing, and there is no reason to stay behind. The technology and ability to do things right is there, so use it.

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Lets Get Something Straight…

Every game there is a different umpire calling balls and strikes. Throughout the game, one of the biggest factors is, what kind of umpire is behind the plate. There a pitchers umpires, and hitters umpires. Strangely enough, the home plate umpire, may be one of the biggest factors in the game. All umpires have different strike zones, and hitters seem okay with it as long as they are consistent. 

Heres the problem, there’s actually a rule! Lets take a look at how MLB defines a strike zone. 

“The STRIKE ZONE is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter’s stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.”


Well, it took me a while to figure out just what that means, but it didn’t matter, because I found out that MLB was gracious enough to include a picture. Lets look at it:

Strike Zone.png
So there you go. We always hear letters to knees, and that’s close, but it’s letters to the bottom of the knees. It’s in the rule book. Over the years, it’s become belt to knees. Again, every umpire makes it up for themselves. 
Then there is in and out, and most umpires have this down. Its supposed to be the width of the plate. But again, some umpires seem to think its batters box to batters box.
There’s one more notable rule that many people do not know about. 

“A STRIKE is a legal pitch when so called by the umpire, which– 

… (b) Is not struck at, if any part of the ball passes through any part of the strike zone; …”


So what that means is that the entire ball doesn’t have to be in the strike zone. If any part of the ball touches the strike zone, it is a strike. So, just remember that rule when it may look a little outside, because only a seam has to touch for it to be a strike. 
The point here is that over the years the strike zone has become smaller and smaller, and every umpire makes up his own zone. As a result, any game can be influenced greatly, and the entire league scores more and more runs every year, as the strike zone gets smaller. The commissioner needs to step in and read the rule to every umpire, because – whether they know it or not – the rule is not being followed. 
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