Major League Baseball has umpires with impaired eyesight refusing to use instant replay. Even when they do they get the call wrong. Now the league faces the biggest drug scandal in its history.
The league is being run more by the umpire and players’ unions than by team ownership. Every time the owners have an issue they hide behind the unions as the excuse for not being able to change things.
The current collective bargaining agreement provides some fairly stiff penalties for use of PEDs. However, the league needs to regain the confidence of the public. The only way to do that is to give the player a 100 game penalty for the first time he fails a test. The second time he should be banned from the game for life. That should also prevent him from being considered for the Hall of Fame.
The issue of inconsistent umpiring is different. The line setters can adjust to players being suspended for PED use. However, they cannot adjust for wildly inconsistent calling of the game. The interest in any sport is in part due to gambling by the fans. The first indication of the impact of bad umpiring will be Los Vegas refusing to put lines on some games.
There is a way that the umpires can be brought under control by the owners. The owners should put the computers to use by showing the position of the pitch on the scoreboard. If I had a team, I would put up the percentage of correct calls on the board as well. That should take some of the arrogance out of the Umps.
The owners have total control of the scoreboard and should get some guts. The union will scream but someone needs to show the union who is in control. But when the league is run by a wimp like Bud Selig, there is little hope for it.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.
He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.
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