Just got off the phone with a very well respected umpire that has done all levels of play.
“Stro, I am burned out and I think I am done.”
After spending about 10 minutes on the phone with him, I tried to talk him off the ledge. I don’t believe I was successful, not even a little bit.
I asked him what the biggest reasons were?
Without hesitation, “The players and their sense of entitlement.”
It will be interesting when nobody wants to officiate softball games. It’s amazing that a player can make an out, an error, miss a tag, bat .650, or be a bad teammate. But an umpire can’t miss an out, make a mistake, have a bad angle, or only be only .800 on every single call.
Before someone says, they are the only ones getting paid, check yourself. Most of these individuals do this for the love of the game and not just for a paycheck. Many of them give up time with their families, much like you do, to be at the ballpark. When we ask MANY of the players if they want to umpire, they say:
“No way, I don’t have the patience to take that type abuse.”
“Hell no, you can’t pay me enough!”
“I don’t have time for that, I play too much.”
“I’ve got a job.”
Very frustrating, to see one of our best say he’s had enough.
So before you respond, choose your words wisely. Think about what you’re about to say.
All I ask is how can you as a player help this situation?
Our umpires go through constant training and continually are evaluated by UIC’s. Much like players, we have individuals that work certain levels based on where we or they feel comfortable working events. Umpires keep the human element of the game, it truly needs more respect from allof us.