Saturday, September 18, 2010

RANT: Bob Davidson Tosses Fan, Gets Grilled In Media

After Bob Davidson threw out a drunken and disorderly fan during a September 7 game at Milwaukee Beer Park, St. Louis writer Bernie Miklasz wrote a scathing article entitled, Ump Davidson, A Disgrace to the Game.

Below is Miklasz's article with my comments and observations:

If umpire Bob Davidson ejected that fan in Milwaukee on behalf of Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, then it's wrong. So what if the fan bugged Molina? Fans heckling or needling players? This has been going on in baseball for quite some time now ... like, well, forever. Why would any player or umpire pay attention to it?

The "fan" was cited for disorderly conduct. The police apparently agree that this fan's conduct went beyond acceptable public conduct for "heckling or needling players" and was a criminal act. Mr. Miklasz, next time before engaging in foolish diatribe, why not investigate and report facts. Speculation and conjecture makes a journalist look foolish and irresponsible.

Really, it was no surprise to see Davidson make a spectacle and a fool of himself Tuesday night in Milwaukee. This is Davidson's game, remember. He apparently thinks fans pay good money to watch him work.

As the “only official representative of baseball on the ball field” (Rule 9.05, General Instructions to Umpires), home plate umpire Davidson is directed by rule to “Take full charge of, and be responsible for, the proper conduct of the game.” Davidson was certainly within his authority to remove the fan. See Rule 9.01e.

It is clear that Miklasz doesn’t know the first thing about umpires or their job.

Davidson has a history of grandstanding to draw attention to himself, whether it be his incessant balk calls, his meddling into other umpires' calls, his rabbit ears, thin skin, and quick ejections.

Baseball players, managers and coaches have come to expect Davidson to hot-dog his way through games.

After being ejected by Davidson in a 1993 game, Philadelphia catcher Darren Daulton said of the ump: "He's one of those impact umpires. In my opinion the game was on ESPN and he couldn't wait to suit up and make an impact. He's one of those guys where you go into his house, there's lots of pictures of himself and none of his family."

This Darren Daulton (mug shot photo at left) who has multiple arrests for DUI in Florida, has faced domestic violence charges, and spent two months in jail for contempt of court? Miklasz cites his opinion? Really?

Tuesday night, as soon as second-base umpire Tim Timmons made a controversial call -- ruling out Craig Counsell for sliding out of the basepaths -- I said to my wife: "No way Davidson will allow himself to be upstaged like that. Just watch."

Gosh, a reporter AND a soothsayer? Is there anything Bernie Miklasz can’t do?

And sure enough, Davidson went on to eject Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan, a Milwaukee center fielder Chris Dickerson, and even a fan. And his strike zone? Davidson was off all night. His strike zone was as wide and as out of control as his ego.

I can’t comment about Dave Duncan because I don’t know what was said, but Dickerson’s ejected himself. Dickerson threw his helmet to the ground after a strikeout. Professionals know that this is an automatic ejection, and a major league baseball reported should know this too. As for the strike zone comment, columnist Rob Neyer wrote about Miklasz's opinion and found that according to pitchf/x, Davidson's zone was tight, not wide.

This is nothing new. It's business as usual. Davidson blew a call in the 1992 World Series, calling a runner safe at home when the runner (Deion Sanders) was clearly out. Davidson incorrectly took a HR away from Mark McGwire late in the 1998 season. Davidson embarrassed himself by blowing a call in a game between the U.S. and Japan in the 2006 World Baseball Classic.

More recently, Davidson cost the Florida Marlins a game with a bad fair/foul call that gave a win to Philadelphia.

Apparently Bernie Miklasz believes that good umpires never make mistakes, unlike managers, players, or even journalists who make mistakes all the time with impunity. Jim Joyce is currently the best umpire in the game (voted by the players) and he made a horrific call depriving Armando Galarraga of a perfect game. Shit happens.

I don't even know why I'm mentioning specific episodes; if I listed every call that Davidson got wrong I'd be typing for the next 48 hours at least. He's a disgrace to the game and has been for many, many years. Baseball people laugh at him.

While you’re at it, try typing every call Davidson got right since becoming a full time MLB umpire in 1982 (at the age of 30). You can take a break after 48 days.

Many “baseball” people respect Bob Davidson. After resigning along with 22 veteran umpires during the 1999 contract dispute, Davidson returned to the minor leagues to work his way back to the major leagues. It takes guts and character to stand up for what is right and to start over after life beats you down.

But here's what worse: that MLB continues to employ this clown. Davidson is living proof of the low, almost non-existent, standards for MLB umpiring in today's game.

I'm surprised Davidson didn't eject Trevor Hoffman for stealing the spotlight while nailing down his 600th career save.

Geez, did Davidson piss in Miklasz's Wheaties? or run over his dog? Davidson tossed a drunken and disorderly “fan” when he persisted with a homophobic slur towards a player. Davidson stated that he believed Molina was about to confront the fan, so Davidson took action. That sounds like good game management and exactly the type of umpire MLB needs.

Next time Mr. Miklasz has an issue with an umpire's game management, he needs put his personal agenda aside and check his facts before writing a public article condemning a man for doing his job. Although responsible journalist seems to be an oxymoron these days.

How’s that for a Miklasz-type ad hominem attack?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

lets be umpires we have to be fair in our assessment of fellow umpires...and the truth the major league umpires are worse now than they were 20 years ago..really bad ...especially with all the cameras on them...they are mostly robotic in mechanics...miss too many calls...and for some reason there is a discrimination against tall umpires with some have to be 5-10 180 pounds to be an umpire...look at cb bucknor and others who are worse than horrible...but still in the majors...look at the assignments for post season...its ur turn this year his next etc...nobody gets there on merit at all...if that was the case there would be the same 10-15 umpires doing the big games in the playoffs...but no we cant do that...umpire security is better than a school teacher or city worker...lets be honest...its a joke the way umpiring in the majors is...and big changes need to be made...will it happen ...i dont know....but i remember the old days with those huge umpires ..they had charimsa and they got the calls an umpire that is the most important thing...make the right call...not the robotic mechanic...and bring umpires who deserve to be there...not an ethnic quota system or my father was an umpire i m going to the big leauges too...and every year....replace the bottom 10 umpires ...let the players managers determine who are the best...they work with them everyday...the supervisors are mostly the rejects and incompent umps from the past...lets make it the best in the big leagues..regardless of race size and connections