It is not all to often that I will give Major League Umpires a thumbs up – they generally don’t warrant such praise. They are generally ego-centric, hard headed, short tempered, hard of hearing and short of sight ! But while I was watching game one of Mondays Mets/Marlins doubleheader I saw the umpires do something that is seldom not seen in baseball – they didn’t throw a manager out for arguing a call.
It was the third inning and Josh Thole just was called safe by umpire, Lance Barksdale ( I think). It was a dicey play. Sanchez was positioned awkwardly when he received the throw and tripped Thole who was busting to first base. I originally thought Thole was out, but as I watched the replay yesterday I admit I was wrong. Marlins manager, Jack McKeon rushed out of the dugout as quick as his 80 year old legs could take him, and he proceeded to argue with Barksdale to no avail. McKeon stood steadfast, refusing to leave the field. The crowd was rooting for McKeon to be ejected but the umpiring crew would not give into the crowds demands. instead the third base umpire walked McKeon back to the oppositions dugout, listening to his futile argument.
I know I am in the minority here, but McKeon didn’t do anything to deserve an ejection. He didn’t curse the ump, nor did he bump him. He just argued his point- and the umpire instead of giving him the quick ejection, let him plead his case. When is was all said and done the umpires ruling stood, and the Mets won the game.
I know that umpires have a tough job. They are under constant stress to make the correct call whether is is calling balls and strikes or having the right angle to determine if a player is safe or out. Alot of the time they have chips on their shoulders and will eject you if you look at them funny.
It was nice to see that for one small instance there was a measure of civility and restraint on Monday. I hope this continues.
And with that said…. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!
Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:
Mets starting pitcher from ’63-’64, Tracy Stallard is 74 (1937) .
One of the few bright spots of the 1980 season, outfielder, Claudell Washington is 57 (1954). Did he want to play for a last place team ? NO ! Did he stay after the ’80 season ended? He decided to sign with the Atlanta Braves instead, but he did hit .275 with 10 homers and 42 RBIs in 79 games in his lone season with the Mets !
Current bullpen coach, Jon Debus is celebrating his 53rd birthday (1958). Happy birthday Jon !
One time ace of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching rotation, but certified scrub as a Met, Hideo Nomo is 43 (1968) . Nomo pitched one season with the Mets (1998), and he appeared in 17 games going 4-5 with a 4.82 E.R.A. He was promptly released after the season had ended.
Reserve outfielder from the ’92season, Pat Howell is 43(1968) .
The New York Mets purchased the contract of pitcher, Bill Graham from the Detroit Tigers on August 31, 1967.
The New York Mets traded catcher, Jerry Grote to the Los Angeles Dodgers for pitcher, minor league third baseman, Dan Smith and Randy Rogers on August 31, 1977. All I can say is that when M. Donald Grant traded Tom Seaver 3 months prior he ripped the soul out of the franchise, but when he traded Grote he ripped out it’s heart ! By the way neither Smith nor Rogers would ever play one game with the Mets !
The New York Mets traded starting pitcher, Pete Harnisch to the Milwaukee Brewers for past his prime reliever, Donny Moore on August 31, 1997. This trade was consummated after Harnisch and then manager, Bobby Valentine had a heated exchange when Valentine suggested that Harnisch was dogging it. Harnisch claimed he was suffering from Lyme’s Disease. On a side note, Donnie Moore never pitched in a single game as a Met !
The New York Mets sold the contract of reserve catcher/first baseman, Tim Spehr to the Kansas City Royals on August 31, 1998.
The New York Mets traded outfielder, Jeff Francoeur to the Texas Rangers for reserve middle infielder, Joaquin Arias on August 31, 2010. I still am amazed that “Frenchie” just received a two year contract extension from the Kansas City Royals !
In the spirit of the Mets new anti Bullying campaign, I have decided to no longer pick on the man, the myth, the thing that ate Flushing – Mo Vaughn. But then I said to myself ” WHO THE HELL AM I KIDDING !!!“