Coppola: Being Hit By The Pitch Never Hurt This Much

By William Coppola: Bronx Chronicle Sports

Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a warning to all teams, other than the Houston Astros, to not throw at Houston players this season.” Throwing to hurt a defenseless player has always bothered me and should never be a “part of the game.”

Throwing inside is different and is a part of the game. Manfred said those who do hit a batter on the Cheater’s team, will be dealt with stiffer penalties then in the past. He has now created what could be a season of ugly scenarios.

Pitchers will throw at Astros’ hitters, that’s gonna happen. But what happens if a Yankee batter is hit by one of the Astros pitchers? Looks like the Astros have been rewarded with a free pass to pitch in on opposing hitters, hitting them accidentally and then getting a lesser penalty than the rest of baseball. 

The players union has taken this scandal to a new level of reverse justice by protecting the guilty. They are the reason the commissioner is powerless to impose harsher punishment on the cheaters. When are we going to see a governing body have the courage to stand up to corruption or in this case, the bulling of the player’s union in this situation?

The whole state of baseball will never be the same as it was in years past. That happens with everything in life. Things change. What was normal yesterday is passé today under the normal evolution of things. The problem with all of this Astros stuff is that it is not part of the normal process of change.

This black eye has taken on a snowball effect as it keeps gathering more snow and speeding down the mountain.

Geez, enough of that for now. 

On another note, I have been watching MLB network and other sports shows. Listening to talk radio and reading columns over the past few years and there is one thing that has been a constant. That is, belly aching from “The experts.”

That to me is more annoying than the cheating story. The never ending complaining about umpires who are expected to make the calls perfect, is a demand by people who have little knowledge of what umpires do. 

Give me a break with all the whining. I have nothing but the utmost respect for umpires at any level. I once umpired at the high school and older amateur levels for a number of years. It is hard work and all I know is that the ones who make it to the major leagues, earn their pay every day they are on the field.

I listen to so-called experts in the media and ex players who never umpired tell everyone who will listen, “We don’t need someone calling balls and strikes, technology will do a better job” to claiming to know what an umpire is thinking.

Today my brain almost exploded when someone on MLB gave his expert knowledge on how umpires shy away from a strike call on an 0-2 count and do the same for a call of ball four on a 3-0 count. Claiming: “We have the numbers to prove that theory.” WHAT? 

From being around umpires for most of my life, be it playing, coaching or umpiring, I can tell you that that is a bunch of baloney. Umpires see the pitch and call what their trained eyes have just seen. It takes many years of experience seeing things at lightning speed and being able to make a call.

Do they get it right every time? Impossible. These cry babies who never umpired find it easy to blame all that is wrong in the game on the men in blue. 

The game was never meant to be perfect. That’s what sets it apart from all other sports. Think about this: Guy walks into a bar and there is a horse having a drink and watching the Yankee game. The horse turns to the guy and says, “Holy smokes, after seeing that play 12 times in slow motion from 5 different angles, that guy was safe by 1/4 of an inch and that bum called him out!”

The horse clopped out of the bar happy.

Ok, guess I could have left the horse out of that story. Sorry about that. Some will say, great, they reversed the call. People who really love the game will look at the reversal as another nail in the coffin of what we once called our National Pastime..

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