Baseball Toaster Dodger Thoughts
Jon Weisman's outlet
for dealing psychologically
with the Los Angeles Dodgers
and baseball.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
Dodger Thoughts

02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

09  08  07 
About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

We're No Fools, No Sirree
2006-07-05 22:47
by Jon Weisman

First-base umpire Tim Tschida signals Ramon Martinez safe at first base in the third inning, and Matt Kemp scores on the play. Martinez mindlessly does not make his way back to first base after his path took him into the field of play, and he gets tagged out. Dumb play.

But then the umpires make it worse. They disallow Kemp's run, which clearly scored after Martinez was safe and before he was out. Then, they try to rationalize it by saying that Martinez was never safe, that he never touched first base, even though Tschida signaled him safe and the replay showed Martinez touching first.

I don't like to complain about umpire calls, because you should enter every game with the expectation that you can't depend on the umpire to get them all correct. But I really don't like an umpire crew trying to treat us the way Prof. Harold Hill treated River City.

You wanna lead the parade, ya gotta be true.

Comments (51)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-07-05 23:05:24
1.   herman
I just noticed that I don't post comments when the dodgers win.
2006-07-05 23:07:44
2.   herman
Stoneman wanted Lastings for Weaver. LOL. He also thinks the journeyman OF he got is a prospect. LOL
2006-07-05 23:09:34
3.   DadofMondy
I can't tell what happened still. Nobody understands. It doesn't matter whether he was on the field of play; it only matters whether he was going for second, and it appeared that Martinez did not move for second. He was forced into fair territory. It is my understanding that the umpire merely missed the fact that he touched the base.
2006-07-05 23:12:42
4.   Suffering Bruin
3 But he didn't miss the fact that he touched first base because he initially called him safe. That's what makes the later explanation in the press box so baffling.

Does MLB have a history of saying after the fact that the umps blew the call? This does happen in the NBA but I don't know about baseball. If it does happen then I suspect we haven't heard the last of this.

2006-07-05 23:13:13
5.   Steve
It is not clear at all that Martinez should have been called out on the tag (we are going to ignore the retarded Eddings-ish post-hoc rationalization that, if it serves any purpose at all, only provides grist for firing that lying sack of crap Tschida tomorrow). There is no rule that one has to turn to one's right, there was no move toward second base, and it was the play (and Tracy's terrible throw) that sent Martinez scrambling up the left side of the first-base side.

When taking into account that the modern NBA is ungovernable, MLB umpires are the worst. It is not only that they consistently get easy plays like this wrong, but that they engage in this "red is green because I say so" that can be found only in the very worst of [gasp] sportswriters.

2006-07-05 23:29:39
6.   Greg Brock
Umpires and referees are under the impression that if they admit a mistake, it somehow leaves them vulnerable to future attacks. Therefore, as "somebody else" said, they act like jack-booted thugs. Rather, the truth is that people would be far more willing to accept an earnest admission than be lied to without shame. At some point, some ref/ump will realize this.

Personally, I can't stand fans that constantly harp on officiating. Refusing to blame zebras for losses is a good general rule to live by. But this was a pretty ridiculous call, made more so by the blatantly silly explanation.

2006-07-05 23:38:17
7.   natepurcell
this is weird, from Rosenthal...

Green, earning $8 million this season and $9.5 million next season with a $2 million buyout for '08, can only be traded to three teams without his permission — the Dodgers, Angels and Padres.

Dodgers? I assume its because its in socal. But still...

2006-07-05 23:38:37
8.   Steve
Refusing to blame zebras for losses is a good general rule to live by.

My agreement that this is a good rule to live by is exactly why I also advocate cleaning out the Augean stables. It is not the fans' fault that umpires have no credibility. They deserve none -- so what is a fan to do?

2006-07-05 23:43:49
9.   Greg Brock
8 That's an easy question to answer, Steve. Fans should be more interested in making pithy, intellectual, and off the wall jokes than focusing on little things like whether or not their team wins, and whether or not the refs doomed them.

I guess I should make some Sisyphus comment to counter your brilliant Augean analogy, but I just don't have the energy. You win (you always do).

2006-07-05 23:58:25
10.   Uncle Miltie
Posted this on the other thread

Jose Cruz is a walking testament to what happens when a member turns against the Avenues street gang.

He has 30 scars from the stab wounds he suffered in one attempt on his life — on his arms, torso and legs. In another attack, he was beaten so severely that he has a visible dent in his skull, according to court papers, "the size and shape of a pistol butt."

His street gang goes back five generations in Highland Park, which for Cruz is five miles and several lifetimes from the downtown courtroom where he is scheduled to testify as the star witness for the prosecution in the trial of a group of childhood friends.

A friend sent this to me and at first, I thought it was about our Jose Cruz.

2006-07-06 00:03:23
11.   confucius
10 That scared the S* out of me. Even though it is not our Jose Cruz.
2006-07-06 00:07:03
12.   Uncle Miltie
11- it's really sad and messed up. This reminds me of the people who were killing black drivers on the freeway a year or two ago.
2006-07-06 00:15:36
13.   capdodger
10 - Yikes...

Re: The blue: I go to Mammoth for three days and they beat the DBacks handily while throwing at Shawn Greeen (Green?!?!?). Is there seriously no better target??

With stuff like that, I can't wait for the Giants to come in tomorrow. Top deck: still the best deal in baseball.

2006-07-06 00:17:21
14.   confucius
About this AMartinez thing, I wonder if he would have just broke for second when Jackson tried to tag him and gotten himself in a pickle, would the run have counted. I know they say he did not touch the bag but I don't think the umpires really believed that. I think that was just a cover for the blown call.
2006-07-06 00:25:04
15.   Andrew Shimmin
Gagne is in the hospital with lower back pain.

2006-07-06 00:47:46
16.   natepurcell
I just found out Ken Lay died.
2006-07-06 01:00:48
17.   Greg Brock
16 Yes, he did. And the response has been nothing short of absolutely disguisting. Seeing people revel in another person's death, and wishing they would suffer in jail rather than die is about as low on the class scale as it gets.
2006-07-06 01:08:28
18.   natepurcell
Could this have been a suicide? Honest question because he was about to basically spend the rest of his life in jail. Maybe he didn't wanna.
2006-07-06 01:19:47
19.   Greg Brock
The coroner said he had massive artery blockage, and a history of heart disease in his family. Team that up with the stress of the whole trial, and you have one dead Texan.
2006-07-06 03:15:20
20.   Greg Brock
For those of you that think that Ken Lay was some kind of criminal mastermind, or some kind of evil money grabber, please read Kurt Eichenwald's "Conspiracy of Fools". He wasn't. Make sure you know everything before you condemn somebody as an evil monster. Some people are just too gullible to be in charge.
2006-07-06 04:33:53
21.   dzzrtRatt
Back to crimes and misdemeanors on the baseball field....

Jon, I loved the allusion to Music Man. It's almost comic opera the way Tschida thought he could get away with saying Martinez didn't touch the bag when TV cameras captured him making an emphatic "safe" sign.

Steve "Psycho" Lyons must be married to one of Tschida's relatives, because he managed to rationalize the whole thing. Lyons' theory: When Tschida called Martinez safe, he wasn't really saying he was safe. He was just saying the ball is still in play. A safe sign from the umpire doesn't mean the runner is safe. It's a common misconception. According to Lyons, anyway, the guy who thinks a double is superior to a home run, and that most batters would rather hit a double than a triple because triples don't count during salary negotiations.

The only problem with what Lyons says is that, IIRC, the Snakes' first baseman touched first base when he had the ball. But Martinez wasn't called out until he was tagged, suggesting that Tschida's first version of the story was the right one, that he believed Martinez was rounding first and headed for second, which means the run should've counted.

Tschida's judgement is not in question. It's his integrity. He concocted a cover story to explain a simple blown call. That's b.s. He should be suspended.

2006-07-06 05:20:11
22.   Claire Malone-Evans
If they would just allow fantasy umpires during Think Blue Week none of these embarrassing calls would occur.
2006-07-06 07:27:23
23.   Sushirabbit
Hey, nice run of writing. (I never think of it as blogging)

Sometimes I do the same thing about trying to save without being psychotic so that soemtimes I can buy something I like without worrying about the price. My wife and I call it the sanity premium.

In a similar way, sometimes I just give things to somebody that I know needs it and appreciates it-- as opposed to feeling like I have to squeeze that last dollar value out of it. I liked hearing that about Dave Roberts (even though it might not have been true). I'd like to think that the Navarro thing was like that. That, since things were pretty much going OK but for pitching, and since clearly Martin and Alomar are working, maybe Coletti tried to see if he could move Navarro back home and get something decent in return. I mean, look how many times on these boards we point our fingers at the human failures of a player or a GM (or an owner-- that's my finger) and how few times we praise someone for just being a good human being. Maybe it's dreaming but I like to think that it's not beyond reason that GM's and organizations can do things like that.

2006-07-06 07:29:36
24.   Sushirabbit
23 Now if we could just replace those rotten human umpires with robots!!
2006-07-06 07:34:36
25.   LAT
7. Nate, I'm pretty sure its the Angels, Padres or Giants. Dodgers are not one of the three teams.
2006-07-06 07:38:01
26.   screwballin
20 Of course, if you DO want to blame Lay, read "The Smartest Guys in the Room," which agreed that he was incompetent but not clueless about what was going on. He wasn't the ring leader, but he also didn't stop the games.
2006-07-06 08:00:57
27.   bluegold
OK, I get it now. Martinez did not touch first base, but the umpire called him safe even though he meant out. Never mind that TV replays from all angles showed Martinez touching the base. Alright.

So, if Martinez was already out by not having touched the base, and he was walking back to the base but was tagged by the Dback 1st baseman, why did the umpire bother to signal him out at that point? I thought he was already out but not touching the base moments ago.

So, Martinez made 2 outs on that one play?

No matter how the umpire chopped and diced that play, we cannot swallow it because we are not idiots.

If the Dodgers had lost by a run, would there be avenues for them to protest the call? Or would baseball say that umpires are infallible, case closed?

2006-07-06 08:27:44
28.   Marty
Apparently Martinez didn't know the territory.
2006-07-06 08:42:20
29.   PlayTwo
Well now, Scully referenced the Music Man "He doesn't know the territory" just last week. Billy Beane is my choice to play Professor Harold Hill.
2006-07-06 08:49:01
30.   StolenMonkey86
I just want to say this.

Jeff Weaver is Andy Ashby.

2006-07-06 08:51:38
31.   blue22
Even if he did miss the bag, it was a tag play, right? If Jackson had beat Martinez back to first and stepped on first, I could see the run not counting. But he tagged the runner.

Is this not similar to tag plays on other bases? Or is it different because it's first base, and (in the ump's opinion) Martinez had not yet reached first base?

2006-07-06 08:53:22
32.   Blu2
20 I think he made a few bucks on that deal, didn't he? He maybe thought the Tooth Fairy left him that money? There is a world of difference between not knowing what's going on and simply shutting your eyes to it. For pay.
2006-07-06 09:04:55
33.   Blu2
I can't understand why the Dodgers didn't continue the game under protest. By not calling umpires mistakes to higher authority, they foment more mistakes. The players give 100%, 99% of what they are paid to do is physical and we have to respect physical limitations. Managers and GMs also give 100% but their work is entirely intellectual and that is also true of umpires. And I have trouble forgiving failure in that domain. Is there anyone among us who couldn't do as good a job as Manager, GM, or Umpire as the average incumbents do? I have to believe we could. As long as baseball allows incompetent Umpires, the game is a farce.
2006-07-06 09:17:40
34.   Bob Timmermann
I think we've left "The Music Man" and are headed to "Rashomon."

Here's how the events went down from my memory.

Martinez grounds out and Tracy's throw pulls Jackson off the base.

Martinez ducks inside Tracy's tag.

Tschida signals "safe."

Martinez passes first and heads back to first at a leisurely pace.

The DBacks bench tells Jackson to tag Martinez.

Tschida now calls Martinez out.

Argument ensues.

Tschida retroactively decides that Martinez never touched first. And Jackson's tag of him means that the final out was made on a play where the batter-runner did not reach first base safely and no runs scored.

Game continues.

2006-07-06 09:19:11
35.   the OZ
33 In the operations of Major League Baseball, the only two parties that have any power at all are the players and league/owners. Players have power because they've got a strong union, certainly, but that all stems from the fact that many of them are not easily replaceable with equivalent talent. Without talent, no one wants to watch. Owners have power by virute of their antitrust exemption. Without that, they can be replaced by competing owners in their respective cities. But they've got it, so they have some power.

Umpires fit into this value chain the same way that concessions vending contractors or sod suppliers do - they are utterly replaceable if someone better, cheaper, or more reliable comes along. At least, they should be. You're telling me that a minor-league umpire can't do as well or better than Dana DeMuth, Tim Tschida, or Joe West?

The umpires aren't stars. I can't see why MLB grants them so much power and doesn't compensate or terminate them based on a review of their performance. Perhaps it's just an issue of MLB not caring or believing that such a system is worth the trouble and cost to implement. Who knows.

I'm not arguing that Tschida should be fired post-haste. But if he, or any umpire were to consistently suck I can't see a reason not to replace them. Given that it's the same set of umpires year after year, either MLB doesn't believe that any of its umps sucks, doesn't bother to find out, or doesn't care.

2006-07-06 09:19:41
36.   Goozmani
i just want to say one thing..

hee seop choi = cesar izturis

2006-07-06 09:21:20
37.   blue22
34 - Tschida retroactively decides that Martinez never touched first. And Jackson's tag of him means that the final out was made on a play where the batter-runner did not reach first base safely and no runs scored.

If that's the case, then I guess the call stands. It didn't end up costing the game (not the point), but the call was correct if they claim the runner missed the bag.

2006-07-06 09:25:32
38.   katysdad
I didn't see the play, but (Everyone I know has a big but. Let's talk about your big but, Simone) wasn't Tschida signaling safe to indicate that no tag was made by Jackson on Martinez. Then, when the tag was made, the out call was given. This would have to assume that Tschida didn't see Martinez touch first base.
2006-07-06 09:35:17
39.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
I agree that yesterday's play was disgraceful, but I think a lot of posters here are underestimating the difficulty of umpiring. Without instant reply, the umpires only get one look to make the right call, and they don't have the advantage of constant replay and discussion. It doesn't help matters when they're so obsessed with their own perception of infallibility that they give us outright lies to cover up mistakes, but that doesn't mean umpiring is in and of itself easy. I think umps should be held accountable, especially for ridiculous calls like yesterday's, but simply saying that anyone can officiate is really quite unreasonable in my view.


2006-07-06 09:39:38
40.   Blu2
38 No. The signal of safe meant Martinez reached First before the ball reached the firstbaseman standing on the bag or the firstbaseman tagging Martinez before he reached the bag. That was a done deal. Martinez, who should know better, turned toward second instead of going into foul territory. Him being subsequently tagged out was the same as if he were caught stealing or oicked off base. It was a totally separate play, the first play was over and the run should count. The umpire panicked and made the wrong ruling and then changed his original call to be compatible with his second ruling. And to wipe the egg off his face.
2006-07-06 09:40:49
41.   Jon Weisman
38 - If a player comes home and there is no tag and no touch of home plate, the umpire makes no signal. I assume the same would apply in this situation.
2006-07-06 09:42:35
42.   Gagne55
38 No. If that were the case, then the umpire is supposed to make no signal.
2006-07-06 09:58:10
43.   the OZ
And on the general topic of officiating, notice that in the World Cup, referees are constantly evaluated and either do or don't continue to work depending on their performance. There's no reason for baseball should be an exception.
2006-07-06 10:02:43
44.   the OZ
grr, "for baseball to be an exception". I need to use the preview button.
2006-07-06 10:07:07
45.   gibsonhobbs88
When I saw the play happen on TV, it looked like in Martinez avoiding the tag, that he hit the inside corner of the bag and the physics of his movement kept him in the field of play. I thought they were going to call him out for making a move toward second which I could have accepted if that was the call and the run would count. When they came back from break and said the run is off the board because he didn't touch the base, I thought "Oh Eddings must be channeling through Tschida". Please, MLB don't continue to insult the fan's intelligence with these feeble attempts at covering up a blown call with these far-fetched and inplausible explanations like Eddings and his "my strike three mechanic" explanation of his fist pump out call. Whether or not Martinez allegedly made a move toward second, the appearance of that at least would of made sense if the umpires made that call. When the D-Backs made that threat in the ninth, I told my wife, "well now that run they took away could cost them now." As long as the feeble minded Bud Selig is the Commish, we will continue to have incompetent leadership and evaluation of the umpires as well as other issues in the game!! I'm glad the Dodgers held on to win so this game wouldn't bite us in the butt at the end of the year!!
2006-07-06 10:11:46
46.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 43

Well, that's no panacea, because every soccer fan I know has complained of the quality of officiating in this year's world cup.


2006-07-06 10:29:48
47.   bluegold
39: "the umpires only get one look to make the right call"

That's what made this episode ridiculous. The umpire DID get the one look and DID make the right call, which was Martinez safe at first. The umpire immediately made the safe signal with his arms. Then for some reason he caved into the Dbacks' protest, and subsequently came up with the asinine reason why the run did not count.

2006-07-06 10:37:15
48.   underdog
Yep and in the world cup the same thing was happening, in that officials would sometimes appear to cave in after a team protested. A lot of calls came pretty late, which makes it look like they're not sure what to call, which gives no fan or player very much confidence. It did appear the same thing happened in the game last night.
2006-07-06 10:39:16
49.   the OZ
46 48 I agree with you both. The point is that in the World Cup the "bad" referees go away, an in MLB the "bad" umpires stick around for 20 years.
2006-07-06 10:50:51
50.   underdog
True. Although I hope after this World Cup some of the bad refs go away, too. I got the feeling they were more embarrassed this time around about how the (bad) officiating took center stage, and don't want a repeat. Some of the bad refs were not included in final games, so that was one sign. But I could be naive and the whole thing could be the same next time. I think MLB umps could benefit from both a little more humility and a little more blubber - it always seemed like the best umps when I was younger were the hugely overweight ones. But I have no scientific data on this. ;-)
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-07-06 10:55:38
51.   the OZ
WORP - Weight over Replacement Umpire?

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.