Jonathan Papelbon: home plate umpire “sucked”

This one comes in from over at Hardball Talk:

Jonathan Papelbon is gonna get a nice big fine.

Last night, he thought he had Dee Gordon struck out looking. Home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn, however, thought differently.  After the inning was over — and after Gordon had come around to score the winning run — Papelbon sought out Reyburn and jawed at him.  But that was nothing compared to the jawing he did in the clubhouse after the game.

Upon being informed that Reyburn was a Triple-A callup ump, Papelbon said:

“Doesn’t surprise me. He probably needs to go back to Triple A … You’re up in the big leagues to do a good job and when you don’t do a good job you should be demoted or fired. It’s just like anybody’s job. If I don’t do my job, I go down to Triple A. There’s no room for that up here. It’s not a knock on the umpires. It’s the integrity of the game. You want to be able to go out there and play the game the way it should be played. All night long, from [Dodgers starter Clayton] Kershaw to [Phillies starter] Vance [Worley], all the way to the ninth inning, it affected the outcome of the game.

“I thought he was terrible – all day. It wasn’t just that pitch. All I wanted to know was if he could throw me out for what I was thinking, and if he could, I thought he sucked. It’s that simple.”

Something tells me he’s going to get hit pretty hard in the wallet for that one.

But he had a point. A pretty damn good point.

Here are the pitches from the at-bat versus Gordon:

That fourth pitch is the pitch in question & it sure as s*** looks good to me.

Now Calcaterra argued that while it was on the edge of the zone it doesn’t warrant a “the umpire sucked” response.

Maybe it’s the former pitcher in me that refuses to accept that because I just don’t buy it.

You’re a professional, it’s a pivotal part of the ball game & it was a strike. Get the damn call right or go back to the bush leagues.

When you take a look at the calls for the entire game, which was what the Phillies closer went out of his way to emphasize, it becomes even harder to accept.

Take a gander at the calls that both starters got all night:

I can see around 10 balls in the zone that weren’t called and, well, that is far too many to just dismiss as “the human element”.

Additionally, I see where the guy who was more erratic, Worley, got more off the edge calls than a reigning Cy Young award winner, Kershaw, that was consistently hitting his spots all around the edges.

Not exactly a stellar job of calling balls & strikes.

Not even close.


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