That became all the more apparent after Valentine was called out by former MLB vice president of umpiring Mike Port for his repeated criticism of umpires.
Port, who is also a former Red Sox general manager, spoke to the Felger and Mazz show on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and defended the umpiring in the major leagues.
Valentine has gotten into several spats with umps over the course of the season, most notably with home plate official Alan Porter during a game against the Washington Nationals earlier this week. Port clearly did not agree with Valentine’s criticism and took a jab at the Sox skipper.
“When I saw Bobby’s comments about the game Sunday, June 10th and the umpiring, correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t that the game where the Red Sox surrendered a two run lead?” said Port. “Where one player misplayed a ball allowing a run to score? Where they had another player strike out four times and ultimately where they couldn’t score more runs than the opposition. Were all of those guys named Alan Porter?”
Valentine suggested that Major League Baseball implement more technology into the game to avoid the errors he claims have been made, even going so far as to suggest inserting a computer chip into the baseball itself to ensure accurate ball and strike calls. But many umpires and MLB officials, like Port, discourage the idea, fearing that it will take the human element out ofthe game.
“The game can be really whatever we want it to be. If we want it to be technological to the extent that it’s different to what it’s played at Little League and the rest of the way up, I realize the gravity at the Major League Level, probably a lot of things are technologically possible. But is that what you want the game to be?”
MLB currently utilizes a program referred to as the “zone evaluation system,” which grades major league umpires on their accuracy when it comes to ball and strike calls. According to Port, umpires this season are averaging a 95 percent accuracy rating.
But there is that remaining 5 percent, and when those calls come, you can bet Bobby Valentine will continue to disagree with them.