I don't know what's in the water this baseball season but the pitchers continue to flirt with perfection. In fact less than a week after Roy Halladay pitched the second perfect game of the year...middling starter Armando Gallaraga should have had a perfecto as well...but....first base umpire Jim Joyce blew the call at first calling Cleveland's Jason McDonald safe on an infield grounder. Replays showed that Mcdonald was obviously out and Joyce admitted after the game that he blew the call. My question is this...when baseball immortality is on the line...should not replay be used to make sure the call was right? I don't believe that replay should be used for every close play...games would take forever and umpires get most of the calls right. Have a tv monitor in the dugout and look at the play in super slo-mo and allow a pitcher to take his place in major league history. It wouldnt be hard to get it right.
Another incident this week shined a spotlight on the pompous attitude that some of these umpires take on the field. Roy Oswalt was thrown out of a game after the home plate umpire claimed he "showed him up" by yelling about a missed strike call. Oswalt said he was mad at himself and not even talking to the umpire when he was tossed. Some of the men in blue go out of their way to provoke confrontation with players and it's got to stop. Joe West, another umpire who has had numerous run-ins with players over the years has almost become a parody of himself. Why shouldn't some of these guys who are borderline incompetant not be "shown up" . Major League Baseball has refused to stand up to some of these bullies and until the league office get's some guts and tells the umpires union to clean up the mess this kind of stuff will continue to the detriment of the game.
I hope Seth McMullen is ok. He played his first game with the Woodchucks last night in Madison and was hit in the head with a pitch in the 8th inning. The Wausau West grad is questionable for tonight's home opener as the Chucks will play the Mallards again. You can hear tonight's game on Foxsports 1390 WRIG. I'll be in the booth with regular Chucks announcer Adam Seidel for the next four games. I'll be broadcasting a number of games this season as my schedule allows.
A busy week of high school sports as the spring season winds down. The state boys tennis tournament begins today in Madison. The girls soccer tournament begins with first round action....girls softball 2nd round play happens today and some baseball will be played as well after the rain yesterday. Baseball regional championship games tomorrow and the state Track & Field Championships begin in La Crosse.
Songs of the Day (from my I-pod)
Forever Young-Bob Dylan (1974) after 8 years off the road Dylan agreed to go out with The Band in 1974 and released the LP Planet Waves. It included this prayer for his children which has been covered by many artists. Here's a beautiful version from Joan Baez.
40,000 Headmen-Traffic (1968) a Winwood/Capaldi song about....who knows...but it does stir some evocative images and Winwoods voice is a marvel. Some good flute too from Chris Wood.