Topic: Umpiring

May 13, 2013

In which we welcome our robot overlords, wonder when the Arizona Diamondbacks will secede, digress in defense of digressive broadcasters and so on. Also Dan Shaughnessey.

October 17, 2012

The words "human element" have lost much of their meaning in the loud, ongoing conversation over officiating mistakes. But while it's natural to want officiating to be better, it's worth remembering that the human element means more than "brutally botching a call." It's a part of what makes sports what it is.

October 2, 2012

In 1999, Major League Baseball and its umpires came to the brink of labor armageddon, with the vast majority of the game's veteran umpires threatening to retire en masse as the season came down the stretch. A decade and change later, it's all a distant memory—and both sides seem, belatedly and improbably, to have gotten what they wanted.

September 11, 2012

When the veteran American League ump Ron Luciano wrote The Umpire Strikes Back in 1982, it was a bestseller as a quintessential Dad Book: a safe, sports-y Father's Day gift. Thirty years later, and 17 years after Luciano died by his own hand, the book looks like something altogether stranger, sadder, and more interesting. This may be the saddest baseball book ever written.