Tagged: Umpires

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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ALCS Game 4 Champs & Tramps

Yanks pound Angels, one away from the pennant.

A-Rod 10:20.png

With the Yankees 10-1 win on Tuesday night, the Yankees are just one win away from their first World Series appearance since 2003. Here are the champs of the game, and the tramps of the game.


With yet another home run last night, A-Rod now has an RBI in every game this postseason. He has more home runs and RBI’s this postseason than he recorded in his four previous postseasons with the Yankees. His home run was his fifth of the postseason and the third of this series, both career bests. 

Another “choker” in the postseason has come up big for the Yankees. Pitching on three games rest on Tuesday, CC went 8 innings giving up just 5 hits, 1 run, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. Sabathia has an ERA under 1.4 this postseason and a WHIP of .750. Chances are we won’t see Sabathia again in this series.
Other Considerations: Melky Cabrera, Kendry Morales, Ervin Santana

After a great season against the Yankees, pitching to an ERA of 3.20 in 3 regular season starts, the young lefty struggled in his postseason debut in Anaheim. Kazmir went just 4 innings, giving up 6 hits and four walks while surrendering 4 runs. His control was just not there, and the results reflected that.
Just a couple of weeks after a horrible foul ball call in the ALDS, the umps didn’t have a much easier time tonight. Starting with a missed call on a pick off at second, the umps continued to miss relatively easy calls throughout the night. Swisher was called out on a sac-fly saying he left to early, when replays showed that not only did he not leave early, but the ump wasn’t looking anywhere near the play. Later on, an easy double play call was missed, where only one of the two out runners were called out. Ultimately, none of the calls lead to any runs, but MLB should certainly look into these umps.
LA’s ‘pen
Holding down this Yankee lineup when trying to bridge 5 innings is not an easy task, but this Angels pen had big trouble holding the score. Santana was the one bright spot out of that pen. The combination of Bulger and Palmer gave up 5 runs in just 1 2/3 innings. That was the defining factor of game 4.
Other Considerations: Chone Figgins, Bobby Abreu, Hideki Matsui

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.