And what hell might I be referring to, you ask? Would it be the hell that involves the Fish dropping another five straight? The hell where our team is now two games under .500 after starting the season 11-1? The hell of Dan Uggla’s .182 BA and his present “automatic out” status that is greatly contributing to the Marlins’ inability to win ball games? The hell where even Jorge Can’tu? Or perhaps the hell of a rotation that will now feature Andrew Miller and John Koronka to compliment the all new Ricky YESlasco we’ve been enjoying this season?
Well, no. Not any of the above. The hell of which I speak would be the seventh circle of hell also known as an umpiring crew which features Joe West and Ed Rapuano. Now, I am not typically an umpire-basher, having spent a little time in blue myself (I was god-awful. Thank you for asking). BUT there are a few exceptions to my support of baseball’s officiators. Their names are Joe West and Ed Rapuano.
The way I see it, umpires should be about as recognizable as the ladies in skimpy dresses who open briefcases on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” Sure, you know they’re there, and they help move the game along, but it’s not like they’re the main attraction, and you definitely can’t tell them apart. When I know an umpires name and face like the back of my hand and am filled with a sense of dread upon seeing him, there is a problem. When the Marlins even-tempered skipper only gets tossed from games when the two of them are involved, there is a problem. When an umpire makes a call, then changes his mind because the almighty Joe Torre takes exception to it, well, you get the idea.
I won’t blame last night’s loss on Ed and Joe, seeing as the Marlins are getting pretty good at losing without help from blue. But I will say that last night was one of the worst excuses for officiating that I have seen in a long while. Seriously, the last time I can remember the umpiring being this bad was when… oh yeah. They were there for that game, too.