Thursday, June 26, 2008

Unfair League Justice

Major League Baseball Umpire Brian Runge was suspended 1 game by the league for his conduct in the Mets-Mariners game on Tuesday night. After attempting to bait Carlos Beltran into arguing a call, Runge engaged in an argument with Mets manager Jerry Manuel. During this debate, Runge clearly bumped Manuel, at which point Jerry went berserk and was ejected (Beltran followed suit as Manuel reached the dugout on his way to the clubhouse).

Here is my problem with this: Runge should have been suspended for more than 1 game. If Jerry Manuel had bumped him during the argument, Manuel would be suspended for at least 4 games. Why should Runge be let off so easily? I've been umpiring little league games for 4 years, and last year even I was suspended for a week because the general opinion was that I was seeking out confrontations with coaches and players. So recreation little league umpirers in small-town north Jersey are held to a higher standard of conduct than Major League umpirers? Outrageous. I was surprised to see that Major League Baseball gave Runge any punishment, but seeing that they did, they were too lenient. I also wonder whether they would have done anything at all if the incident had happened in Seattle rather than in New York...

We've all seen suspensions doled out after brawls that don't seem proportional. But this suspension of Runge for only one game clearly shows that the league is more interested in protecting its direct employees than in promoting equal justice for wrongdoing.

No comments: