NOTE: I’d like to introduce something new – Pet Peeve – where I respond to something in baseball, not necessarily pertaining to the Mets.
An umpire’s position merits respect much like a cop on the beat, but at the same time, shouldn’t they have to earn it?
They earn it by being consistent. By being fair. By keeping their emotions in check. By having patience. By not losing control.
The episode the other night in Philadelphia with plate umpire Bob Davidson is the perfect example of what the players complain about, and that is being a bully. Upset over a fan reportedly yelling at him – over and over – “you suck,” Davidson walked over the stands next to the dugout and had the fan ejected from the stadium.
It wasn’t the first time he had a fan tossed. He did it several years ago at a Cardinals-Brewers game in Milwaukee. He had a field day that afternoon, bouncing players, managers and a fan.
What happened In Philly was arrogance to the highest degree. Not only did he act outside his jurisdiction, but what he did underscored one of the things players hate about umpires: That they have rabbit ears.
Heckling is part of the game, and if Davidson is that sensitive to where he can’t take it he should retire.
Were the fans sitting next to this guy angry enough to where they called security? Not to anything I’ve read. Davidson said the Philadelphia fans cheered him, but that’s hard to believe.
It is up to the Phillies to maintain their crowds. They should monitor the crowd to ensure things are under control; nobody is threatened or uncomfortable; and that everybody is having a good time.
Apparently, Davidson wasn’t, and that’s just too bad.
Davidson’s actions could have provoked something ugly. What if this guy broke free as he was being escorted and charged the field? What if he was part of a group?
What if? What if?
What Davidson should have done if he was so concerned about the women who might be offended – that was his claim – was to have security tell the guy to tone it down. Davidson didn’t do this. Nor did he tell the fan himself to shut up.
Davidson exceeded his authority and should be reprimanded. I don’t care how. Fine him. Suspend him. Do both.
It’s bad enough many of these umpires fly solo and insist on their own strike zones, but to police the crowd, to be cop, judge and jury goes over the line.
Get Davidson out of here.
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