Read Carefully: Umpires Are Great People Too

Let me start this little rant off with full disclosure:  I have had plenty of disagreements

with umpires over the years during my time coaching baseball.  That being said, I want

everybody to also understand that 99 percent of the umpires that we have

in Eastern CT are in it for the love of the game.  The fact that they get paid a couple bucks

to do it is a bonus to them.  If you factor in the time it takes to get to a game,

be there early to make sure you and your partner are ready to go, officiate the game,

wind down afterwards and head home you are easily looking at a four hour window, if

not more.  Umpires make a lot of mistakes and bad calls on the field during games.  There

is no denying that.  There is also no denying that they make far more CORRECT calls

than they do mistakes.  Umpires always hear it from coaches or spectators when they

make a bad call, or a perceived bad call.  My best advice I can give to a spectator at

a game:  don’t be “that guy” or “that lady” who is screaming and yelling every time their

team has a call that isn’t favorable to them.  You look and sound ridiculous.  Do you really

think that you can tell from 200 feet away if that pitch was outside, but the umpire who

is 1 foot away is really “blind.”  I know the people who run the Eastern Board of Umpires

for Baseball and Softball, and they are truly a group that cares about the kids.  Sean Brennan

is one of the best baseball umpires in the state and an officer on the Eastern Board.  He

and I have had many conversations after ball games, and he was always looking for

information or feedback on how to get better.  It would make him sick if he thought he

impacted a game because he missed a call.  Sean isn’t alone, there are scores of others

who feel the same way and don’t look at it as a quick cash grab.  I remember last year

when East Lyme beat us {St. Bernard} in the ECC Finals at Dodd Stadium with 2 runs in

the bottom of the 7th to win the game.  I sat with the umpires in the dressing room long

after the game ended and we talked about what a great game it was, there were no umpiring

calls that affected the outcome of the game.  East Lyme came back and beat us, fair and

square.  The umpires couldn’t have done a better job in that game, in front of what

was a very large crowd that night.  I didn’t notice anybody saying “great game” to the

officials after it ended, although they deserved it.  Can you imagine if one of the teams

lost on a controversial call, you can bet that there would have been some irate fans

calling for the umps heads.  Carl Pignone and his softball crew do an amazing job as well,

they have such a great demeanor with the girls and coaches that it is truly a breath of

fresh air to deal with them as well.

The moral of this story is:  next time you see an umpire after a game, a win or a loss,

simply say “Good game blue” or say nothing at all.  These men and women are umpiring

because they love the game and want to stay involved.  They are not out to “get” any-

body, or are not rooting for one team or another to win.  If a play or call needs to be

argued, your team is paying a Head Coach to do that…and believe me the coach will

be heard by the umpire.  That’s it for now, enjoy the games for the rest of the week and

remember umpires are good people too.

2 responses to “Read Carefully: Umpires Are Great People Too”

  1. Sean Brennan says:

    You couldnt have said it any better Coach. Most of us umpire baseball so the kids who play the game have a fair chance to win. Believe me, were not getting rich doing it. Does the money help, of course it does. By the time you put gas in your car and have bite to eat after the game, your essentionally doing the game for free. For me personally I do it for the kids and the love of the game. Do I make mistakes, of course I do. But what makes me better is learning from those mistakes and making my game better the next time out. I love the relationships Ive built over the last 24 years of umpiring. From coaches, other umpires, the kids and parents. I like to call it ” The baseball family”. So Billy is right, don’t be that guy or girl who simply berates the umpires, because you think its cool. Its not cool.It makes you look ignorant and doesn’t set a good example to the kids. After all, most kids are going to succeed in something other than baseball. Its our job to help them become good citizens and good parents. I guarantee that we as umpires are trying our hardest to get the call right with no bias to who wins or loses!!!!!!

    • buscettosports says:


      I want the name of the parent who is the first to say “nice game blue” from the LOSING TEAM in your next game. Hopefully there is a few!!

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