Can’t win for losing

WHEN A BASEBALL or softball game is over, there are winners and there are players who can’t win for losing.

There’s another person, though, who’s quite familiar with the can’t-win-for-losing feeling.

Before I stopped sitting in the bleachers and moved to the press box (or just somewhere out of the stands) to cover games, I often wondered just how tough your skin had to be to call balls and strikes.

If you think about it, the home-plate umpire will never satisfy everyone.

No matter the call, the umpire will hear it from one side of the stands or the other after almost every pitch.

The ball could split the plate at the knees and chances are someone will still feel the need to say the umpire needs glasses, or worse.

I used to say you couldn’t pay me enough to be an umpire, but I’m older now and I’m sure if a certain price point were reached I’d put on a mask and be berated from all sides for nine innings.

Still, the umpires are the only people on the field whose definition of a good game means they were consistent enough not to be noticed.

If an umpire’s noticed, it’s probably news.

I never paid much attention to the home-plate ump’s plight until one held my door while I squeezed into my truck, which had been sandwiched by cars driven by people who couldn’t park.

I’d have been trapped in the parking lot for who knows how long if it weren’t for a benevolent blue.

I was so grateful I wrote a column about it in the newspaper.

Since then, I’ve tried to make extra effort to keep in mind umpires and other officials are people, too, and I couldn’t call half as good a game as most of them call.

Then again, like I stated, I might be persuaded to call for the right compensation.

Maybe, on second thought, now may not be the best time for me to say such things.

I’m due for a LASIK tuneup next year.


This post is a response to Sue’s prompt, which is, “satisfy.”

1 Comment

  1. Casey: Well written. I don’t think I will volunteer for umpire duty any time soon (haha).

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