CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Futures Guide 2014 is Now Available in Paperback and Three E-book Formats.

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (08/22)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Skewed Left: The Natio... (08/15)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Skewed Left: Overlooke... (08/29)
Next Article >>
Premium Article What Scouts Are Saying... (08/22)

August 22, 2013

Skewed Left

Miking Up Umpires

by Zachary Levine


Picture this. You’re at a ballgame. Yeah, you. At a baseball game. You’re sitting behind the third base dugout when this play happened.

Max Scherzer, who was not pitching that day, was ejected from the game. But you didn’t know that. You bought expensive Yankee Stadium seats with prices well into the triple digits for your family and had no idea who was ejected—whether it was Torii Hunter, someone due up later in the inning, a bench coach, a bat boy, it could have been anybody.

The TV announcers didn’t even have a clue for about 90 seconds of this clip. Initially, they thought Hunter had been thumbed and then presumably got a correction from a producer in their ears. If they didn’t know, how were you going to know? There is nobody there to tell you anything.

Baseball’s on-field apparatus and its fans have a communication problem, and that’s not a new thing. Of the major team sports in North America, baseball is right down there with soccer as the one with by far the least communication coming from the playing surface. Most of it would be extraneous. We don’t need anything like “Power play goal scored by…” or “three-point basket for…” or “Pass complete to Johnson for a gain of…”

It is for the most part a series of one-on-one happenings taking place right in front of your face with fairly obvious results, and if there’s an official scoring controversy, that will usually flash on the scoreboard as soon as it’s settled. However, that doesn’t cover everything, as the Scherzer ejection clearly indicated, and there are plenty of more examples of confusion beyond just ejections. From my experience being in press boxes, it’s often unclear what a call was until well after a play is over. And that’s the place in the ballpark where people are supposed to have the best information.

The solution, while carrying a few side effects, is a fairly easy one to rig up. Major League Baseball should give its umpires—either all of them or just the crew chiefs—microphones to address the crowd like the NFL and NHL do.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Related Content:  Umpires,  Replay Review,  Microphones

11 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (08/22)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Skewed Left: The Natio... (08/15)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Skewed Left: Overlooke... (08/29)
Next Article >>
Premium Article What Scouts Are Saying... (08/22)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article What You Need to Know: July 24, 2014
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Sustained Success and the...
Eyewitness Accounts: July 24, 2014
Premium Article Painting the Black: The Selling-the-Closer M...
Premium Article Going Yard: J.D. Martinez Gets A Degree In H...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Tigers Bullpen Gets Le...
The Lineup Card: Seven Unsigned Top Draft Pi...

MORE FROM AUGUST 22, 2013
Premium Article Youth Movement: New York-Penn League All-Sta...
Premium Article What You Need to Know: The Royals Run Out of...
Premium Article Painting the Black: Fish with Arms
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Thursday, August 22
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week 21
Fantasy Article Bullpen Report: Farquhar Rises to the Top
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around the League: August 22,...

MORE BY ZACHARY LEVINE
2013-09-12 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Three Narratives About the NL C...
2013-09-05 - Premium Article Skewed Left: The Literal Rise of the Shortst...
2013-08-29 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Overlooked Atlanta?
2013-08-22 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Miking Up Umpires
2013-08-15 - Premium Article Skewed Left: The Nationals' New Future
2013-08-08 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Fisking a Preseason Pirates Art...
2013-08-01 - Premium Article Skewed Left: The Last Time the Phillies Cons...
More...

MORE SKEWED LEFT
2013-09-12 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Three Narratives About the NL C...
2013-09-05 - Premium Article Skewed Left: The Literal Rise of the Shortst...
2013-08-29 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Overlooked Atlanta?
2013-08-22 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Miking Up Umpires
2013-08-15 - Premium Article Skewed Left: The Nationals' New Future
2013-08-08 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Fisking a Preseason Pirates Art...
2013-08-01 - Premium Article Skewed Left: The Last Time the Phillies Cons...
More...