Thursday, September 30, 2010
(Before we go into full blown playoff coverage next week, another post DV prepared before he left for vacation. At this stage it will be tough for the Yankees to win the east, but it's not impossible. We'll see what happens this weekend in Boston as well as with Tampa Bay and Kansas City. Everybody have a great weekend.)
Over the past four baseball seasons, Pat and I have both gotten on umpires for a lot of things. General blown calls have taken a back seat to umpires with oversized egos, thinking they're the ones people are showing up to see, as of late. But a few weeks ago (and this is one of the archived thoughts, obviously), when Adrian Beltre got tossed from a game by a AAA umpire, I learned something completely asinine:
Major league umpires can go on vacation. During the baseball season.
Not only this, but in addition to the built-in vacation of, you know, November through March (or at least February), an MLB umpire, who makes $84,000-300,000 a year, gets FOUR WEEKS of in-season vacation. What a freaking country. Is this Europe?
I'm generally anti-vacation. As you guys know already, the one-week vacation that is now underway will be my first absence of more than two days since I started working at this company two years ago. I am using up my two weeks of 2009 time. Also, not surprisingly, I'm not entirely thrilled that I'm just going to abandon my responsibility as a consultant to visit Ireland and find my inner NESCAC graduate by drinking at local establishments and coming back home to brag about how freaking cultured I am.
My mantra professionally is to do the exact opposite of what JD Drew and 46 do. And both of those guys take vacations and let Darnell freaking McDonald and Daniel Nava pick up the pieces.
Apparently the MLB umpires and their union don't care about their own responsibility to make sure major league baseball games are officiated effectively. They can instead import overabitious adolescents from the Pacific Coast League to officiate games and throw out Adrian Beltre for no reason. But the thing that boggles my mind is the fact that their roughly 150 built-in vacation days outside the baseball season are not enough to placate these people. Instead they can take an additional month. This means that the guys who don't do playoff baseball only have to work five months out of the year. I mean, is six too many? It's not like these guys are being paid peanuts - even 84 grand is a lot of money to make. It's not like they're completely abandoning their families. I bet every major league umpire can drive their kid to school and to hockey practice every day in December. So four additional weeks of vacation is downright disgusting.
Does anyone on the comments section with real jobs have four weeks of vacation? Pat and Kaplan, neither of you count. I only get two a year, and that includes sick time as well. Before this week, I was at 11.5 missed days in the last two years. Good for me? No. Responsible for me, and lucky for me for recovering from sports hernia surgery as quickly as I have.
Seriously, these umpires, who obviously take themselves extremely seriously, should have some kind of pride in their job. If they think they're the reason people show up to the games, they should likewise take the responsibility to actually show up themselves all year.