Monday, May 25, 2009

Saluting the Umpire

Rod and Mario brought to our attention a rather interesting little spectacle during today's Memorial Day rout of Kansas City.  Justin Verlander pitched seven scoreless frames for the Tigers.  Before he went into the clubhouse to hit the showers, he stood at the front of the dugout and waited until he could get home plate umpire Paul Emmel's attention.  He then gave him a little salute to acknowledge the good job the ump did in today's contest.  It struck me as a little odd.  It was like giving some of the credit to the ump for making favorable calls.  It was pantomime for "Hey Mr. Umpire, thank you for calling the strike on outside corner today.  I hope this acknowledgement will induce you to have a generous strike zone the next time you're behind the plate."  However, Rod and Mario said this little pitcher/umpire interaction is becoming more commonplace.  So maybe it's more of a courtesy, but it caught me off guard, nonetheless.

I guess you'd have to say the Royals disagreed with the assertion that the ump was doing a good job.  In the bottom of the eighth, there was a called third strike on Willie Bloomquist that appeared a tad low.  Trey Hillman then proceeded to get ejected for arguing balls and strikes.  It's all a matter of perspective.  From a Tiger fan's vantage point, this game was a beauty.  Sorry Royals.