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....and heeeeeeeere comes the distraction.....

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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/06/01/sheffield.bard.suspension.ap/index.html

NEW YORK (AP) -- Detroit designated hitter Gary Sheffield and San Diego catcher Josh Bard were suspended for three games each by the commissioner's office Friday for confrontations with umpires the previous night.

Both players filed appeals, meaning they cannot be penalized until after hearings and decisions on the appeals.

Sheffield was penalized for "aggressive actions directed at umpire Greg Gibson" at Cleveland, according to Bob Watson, baseball's vice president for discipline. Gibson ejected Sheffield in the fifth inning after the slugger argued a strike call, then broke his bat on a groundout and threw away the piece of wood still in his hands.

Sheffield denied throwing the bat handle at Gibson.

"If I want to throw a bat at an umpire, I'll turn around and throw it at him," Sheffield told The Detroit News. "The only thing I had in my hand was a little piece of the handle and I threw it towards our dugout, anyway.

"When I threw the bat down, I was letting him know I was [angry], but that's it, and then I was going to go to the dugout. Then he said something to me, telling me not to throw the bat like that.

"I said, 'Last time I checked, I paid for the bat, I can throw it any way I want. How should I throw it?' At the point, he said, 'You're outta here.' That's when it boiled over. That's when I told him what I think of him as a person and as an umpire."

Sheffield suggested to the Detroit Free Press that he would expose a "conspiracy" within the game if he is not cleared of wrongdoing."

"Once they see the tape, and they still suspend me, then we're going to talk about this conspiracy that's going on," he said. "If it ain't no conspiracy, then I shouldn't be suspended at all."

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So what whiteboy did a similar thing and didn't get suspended? Is this going back to the Roger Clemens "I thought it was the ball" toss at Piazza or is there something I am forgetting??

They say that Sheffield was out of control, if that was the case I don't think little ol' 60+ yo life long smoker Jim Leyland could have held him back...

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haha, Leyland couldn't hold him back. That's why others had to come out to the field. Though I don't blame him. I thought it was a horrible call and just another case of the biggest problem in sports in my opinion - the egos of officials get in the way of things.

I think NFL officials, while they make bad calls every game, etc..., hold their egos in check for the most part. They get railed by a coach on the sideline the entire game, but there is no place in football for technicals or ejections - unless something ridiculous happens (fights, etc...).

In baseball, hoops and hockey, though, it seems the officials think THEY are the show. Case in point was the Tim Duncan thing earlier this year. These guys don't like being "shown up", even if they drastically screw up. Well no one likes to be shown up, but for an official to alter a game because his feelings are hurt is a joke, and the leagues refuse to do anything about it. I might actually give them a little love if they ever had to face media scrutiny, do interviews, etc... NBA players face fines when they don't want to do an interview - but refs have no obligations, and that's not right. No repercussions either. The NBA's handling of Joey Crawford was beautiful, and I've heard of the NFL even suspending officials before if they do something that really cost a team a game.

I don't know about the "conspiracy", though I do think refs don't like certain players in certain leagues and they call it that way instead of what's happening.

I wish the leagues would hold refs responsible more often. If, for instance, they find that this ejection of Sheff was unjust (which is was), they should suspend the ump for three games. You do that a few times, and you'll start seeing umps doing a lot less of ego ejections.

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I think on the whole MLB Umps are pretty good. I think NBA referees are BY FAR the worst, though I believe the league is borderline fixed. The Steelers vs SeaHawks Superbowl a couple of years ago was ridiculously in favor of the Steelers.

I'd actually rank MLB the best of the bunch, followed by NFL, NHL and then the NBA last after a huge gap.

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They say that Sheffield was out of control, if that was the case I don't think little ol' 60+ yo life long smoker Jim Leyland could have held him back...

He was out of control and Leyland was unable to hold him back. It took a few players and coaches from the dugout to get him under control. I think the ump made a bad call but that happens. There was no excuse for Sheffield's behavior. Sheffield should make the appeal privately and then just shut up and move on.

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I think on the whole MLB Umps are pretty good.

I don't think they are too bad except when your team is losing! The only real problem I have with them is that each one seems to have his own strike zone. MLB and the umpire's union should do a better job of enforcing a uniform strike zone.

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MLB umps a lot of the times make the right call, probably more than other sports. But I think their egos are the worst of all four sports actually. Before Curtis, I worked solely with NFL and NBA players. I'm just tapping into pro baseball and all of its intricacies. But when I watch games, I can't believe how home plate umps seem to throw guys out for saying things, etc... You also hear of a lot of cases from the MLB players how the ump says something to them first, and it gets the player flying off the handle.

The Super Bowl with the Steelers you spoke of was a travesty. Horrible calls in that game, but that is the first Super Bowl I can remember where the officials were bad. Usually you can say they go unnoticed in that game. I do feel the NFL officials are the best all-around. The NBA is probably overall the worse (different sets of rules for different players, traveling is now four steps, etc...).

I also agree, though, that a uniform strike zone would be nice. Heck, depending on who is pitching, you can get two different strike zones in one game!

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MLB umps a lot of the times make the right call, probably more than other sports. But I think their egos are the worst of all four sports actually. Before Curtis, I worked solely with NFL and NBA players. I'm just tapping into pro baseball and all of its intricacies. But when I watch games, I can't believe how home plate umps seem to throw guys out for saying things, etc... You also hear of a lot of cases from the MLB players how the ump says something to them first, and it gets the player flying off the handle.

The Super Bowl with the Steelers you spoke of was a travesty. Horrible calls in that game, but that is the first Super Bowl I can remember where the officials were bad. Usually you can say they go unnoticed in that game. I do feel the NFL officials are the best all-around. The NBA is probably overall the worse (different sets of rules for different players, traveling is now four steps, etc...).

I also agree, though, that a uniform strike zone would be nice. Heck, depending on who is pitching, you can get two different strike zones in one game!

You can get two different strike zones in one inning! Sometimes it's different from batter-to-batter.

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What happened to the strike zone computer system they were working on a couple years ago until Curt Schilling said he didnt like it? Honestly, as a fan, I'd rather have something as accurate as possible calling balls and strikes. With technology at the level it is at, baseball would probably be the easiest sport to convert to a computerized officiating system. no more umpires debating if a ball hit above the yellow homerun line or not, no more debating on if a ball landed foul, etc. They could still have jobs to enforce the calls made by the computers, but it would take the human error aspect out of it, which at times seems clearly biased towards and against certain teams and players. I'm looking at you, CB Buckner.....

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my problem is with these umps who like to showboat. they should be anonymous. Tim McLelland can make his strike calls sooner. He doesn't ahve to wait 2 1/3 seconds. Angel Hernandez doesn't have to be such a dick. It seems too often in recent years that umps have made a show out of arguing. How many times have you seen a player walking back to the dugout, muttering, and the ump will take his mask off and follow him to the dugout?

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oblong,

That's what I'm saying. There are no repercussions for the umps, so they can do what they want. Sometimes it's like they are urging a guy to argue back so they can kick him out... Just as you said.

Like I said, if they start suspending umps without pay for a couple of games for those behaviors, you might see some changes.

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While I think that most umpires gnerally do a reasonably good job on calls, I do agree that they try too hard to be part of the show. As the old saying goes, the best umpires are the ones who you don't notice. I would be in favor of suspensions or fines for umpires who deliberately try to start or prolong arguments.

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So do you mean they should take all of the jaw and crap that managers give them? I have no problem, because I know if I was an Ump i'd say stuff too.

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What happened to the strike zone computer system they were working on a couple years ago until Curt Schilling said he didnt like it? Honestly, as a fan, I'd rather have something as accurate as possible calling balls and strikes. With technology at the level it is at, baseball would probably be the easiest sport to convert to a computerized officiating system.

Call me a traditionalist or a curmudgeon, but I like the human element of the umpire calling balls and strikes. I don't even care if it's a truly consistant zone from game to game or ump to ump, as long as the ump is consistent pitch-to-pitch and inning-to-inning. I don't like it when the stars (batters or pitchers) get calls that others don't, but I don't mind so much when after a couple innings its clear that the ump is calling a wide or narrow strike zone. It adds to the strategy of the game to a certain extent. I think that most of the time when players get bent out of shape about the strike zone is when the one team is consistantly working with a better zone. Umps who cannot make a consistent strike are either showboats or lousy or both, and should be benched or fired.

I didn't like instant replay in football-- I'm getting used to it (wish it was a little more 'instant'), and if they instituted it in baseball I would probably grudgingly accept it (not on balls and strikes, but on bang/bang plays, fair/foul, homer-or-not calls) - but I would rather see the umps be more willing to confab with each other on close calls- the other leagues (NBA/NFL) are good at this.

And I think it should be in the rule book that if an ump makes a reallly really bad call, the manager should be allowed to lob the resin bag like a grenade.

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...And I think it should be in the rule book that if an ump makes a reallly really bad call, the manager should be allowed to lob the resin bag like a grenade.

I'm behind this idea 100%.

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Call me a traditionalist or a curmudgeon, but I like the human element of the umpire calling balls and strikes. I don't even care if it's a truly consistant zone from game to game or ump to ump, as long as the ump is consistent pitch-to-pitch and inning-to-inning. I don't like it when the stars (batters or pitchers) get calls that others don't, but I don't mind so much when after a couple innings its clear that the ump is calling a wide or narrow strike zone. It adds to the strategy of the game to a certain extent. I think that most of the time when players get bent out of shape about the strike zone is when the one team is consistantly working with a better zone. Umps who cannot make a consistent strike are either showboats or lousy or both, and should be benched or fired.

Oh I like the human element too....but it has to be fair like you said. Most of the time I dont have a problem with umps, but there are a couple who consistently seem to favor certain hitters or teams. There's a couple I know by name--and I shouldnt know any of their names, but I only know them because of how typical it is of them to ump a biased game.

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my problem is with these umps who like to showboat. they should be anonymous. Tim McLelland can make his strike calls sooner. He doesn't ahve to wait 2 1/3 seconds. Angel Hernandez doesn't have to be such a dick. It seems too often in recent years that umps have made a show out of arguing. How many times have you seen a player walking back to the dugout, muttering, and the ump will take his mask off and follow him to the dugout?

McLelland is a dick. You can tell by the way he interacts with players that he thinks he's king turd and no one else matters. He's Barry Bonds with an ump uni and ball/strike counter.

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Call me a traditionalist or a curmudgeon, but I like the human element of the umpire calling balls and strikes. I don't even care if it's a truly consistant zone from game to game or ump to ump, as long as the ump is consistent pitch-to-pitch and inning-to-inning. I don't like it when the stars (batters or pitchers) get calls that others don't, but I don't mind so much when after a couple innings its clear that the ump is calling a wide or narrow strike zone. It adds to the strategy of the game to a certain extent. I think that most of the time when players get bent out of shape about the strike zone is when the one team is consistantly working with a better zone. Umps who cannot make a consistent strike are either showboats or lousy or both, and should be benched or fired.

The Japanese do a pretty damn good job at keeping a consistent strike zone. From umpire to umpire, it's pretty much the same. Whatever they're doing to train those guys, the MLB needs to take note. They also need uniform signals and calls...no more of this showboating crap, you're a ****ing umpire.

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getting tossed

saying there is a conspiracy in MLB re: steroids that he'll blow wide open

Latinos are easier to control is why there are so few African American ballplayers now.

Wow. This guy is nuts. I second the ' Shut your pie hole and hit the ball hard" notion

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weasel,

I personally wouldn't advise one of my clients to say such things, but let's not say he's nuts. Gary Sheffield has been around this game a long time. With that, he most likely has a lot of dirt on a lot of people and organizations.

Remember when Canseco came out, everyone called him nuts too - low and behold, most everything he said and wrote has turned out to be true.

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