It happens every time a blown call decides a game. The pundits all say the same thing. You can’t complain about the umpires. You can’t whine about the officials. You can’t worry about the referees. You just have to do your job, and make plays when you need to. After all, it’s your fault that you were in a position where a bad call hurt you. I always have the same response.
How does a player “make plays” when the people calling the game don’t let those plays stand. If I’m a pitcher, and I make that perfect pitch on the black, at the knees, and it’s called a ball, didn’t I make the play? What was I supposed to do to overcome that umpire error? If I’m a cornerback, and make a stop on a huge second and long, but the official calls me for a phantom hold, didn’t I make the play? What was I supposed to do in order to not be in the position to let a bad call hurt me?
Apparently, I’m just supposed to make every play perfectly all game long? Why is the player expected to be perfect, in order to compensate for an umpire that clearly isn’t? Shouldn’t the people calling the games be under the same scrutiny? If a shortstop makes an error to lose a game, he blew it himself. If an umpire makes an error to lose a game, the team should have somehow compensated for the error?
This is another example of people assuming you can play well just by wanting to play well. Where did this theory come from?
So, as a fan especially, can’t I complain that the umpire cost my team a game as much as the third baseman did? Can I say that the two teams were evenly matched, so the hometown calls really made the difference? Why is it ok to say my fist baseman cost the game, but not the first base umpire?
Why can’t we admit that the people calling the game are part of the game? Why can’t we insist that the games be called correctly? Why can’t we demand a way to get that part of the game right every time?
Why do we just have to overcome their mistakes?