Do Major League Umpires Have Enough Accountability for Their Actions?


Do Major League Umpires Have Enough Accountability for Their Actions?For as long as there have been umpires, there has been umpire controversy. And until the human race develops to a point where no one ever makes mistakes, people will complain about umpires.

The latest individual to voice his frustration is Orioles first baseman Mark Reynolds, who was the victim of a bad call in the fifth inning of Friday night's game against the Tigers. On the play in question, the Tigers' Jhonny Peralta was ruled out after first base umpire Jeff Kellogg determined that Reynolds kept his foot on the bag while hauling in an errant throw from Orioles third baseman Manny Machado.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland came out to argue the call and, after consulting with Kellogg, home plate umpire Tim Timmons reversed the call. Reynolds slammed his glove to the ground and was immediately ejected, and Orioles manager Buck Showalter was thrown out moments later after unsuccessfully arguing his case.

Reynolds had some pointed postgame comments for the officials, which may result in a fine when all is said and done.

"It's a shame they don't have accountability," Reynolds said. "They don't have any, if they make a bad call it's like, 'Ho-hum, next day is coming.' If we have a bad couple of games we get benched or we get sent down. They have nobody breathing down their throats. They have nobody, they are just secure in their jobs.

"And they are probably over there right now laughing about it because they don't worry about it.  This game is way too important right now, where we are in the season, for these kind of calls to happen. And it's very frustrating."

Reynolds wasn't the only one to lose his cool recently, as Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp and manager Don Mattingly were unhappy with the umpires' performance in a loss to the Pirates on Thursday.

"Matt got thrown out today for cheering for Andre [Ethier]," Mattingly said, according to "He was barking about the pitch to Dre, the second strike, but then [home plate umpire] Angel [Campos] said, 'That's enough. I don't want to hear another word.' So the next thing that came out of [Kemp's mouth] — I heard it, clear as a bell — he said — because Matt knows where to stop — and Matt said, 'Let's go Dre!' And [Campos] looked over, and he threw him out of the game. It's unacceptable."

Though both Reynolds and Mattingly were speaking in the heat of the moment, their comments raise an interesting question: is there enough oversight of umpires in Major League Baseball?

As Reynolds mentioned, umpires are never sent down to the minors for poor performance, as a major league player might be. But umpiring is also a tremendously difficult, thankless job, and major league officials usually do a pretty good job, all things considered.

What do you think?

Do major league umpires have enough accountability for their actions?

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