PHOTO: Like the three “blind” men in Dr. No (see picture, above), umpire C B Bucknor hails from Jamaica…and like the three men in the James Bond movie, Bucknor isn’t really blind—he’s just pretending.
Early this morning I read an article written for MLB.com by contributing writer Joe Frisaro. The article addressed last night’s performance by first base umpire C B Bucknor—an effort that was so abysmal that it required an entire article on the league’s website that was dedicated to explaining how such bad umpiring can be tolerated during the postseason.
It made me wonder if Frisaro was watching the same game as the rest of us…or whether someone from the league office made a determination to circle the wagons around Bucknor…or whether the author is on the payroll of the umpire’s union (or Bucknor himself).
Afterward, Lester noted the human element impacts the umpires as it does the players.
“Calls can sometimes affect a game,” Lester said. “They’re doing the same thing we are. They’re out there busting their butt to do the right thing. Sometimes they get it right and sometimes they get it wrong. That’s part of the human element of baseball.”
So, we know that Gentleman Jon HAS TO say things like that because he wants to avoid retaliation the next time Bucknor is behind the plate when he (Lester) is on the mound…but let’s be honest, if you watched the game you know there was NOTHING about Bucknor’s performance that is remotely acceptable.
The two calls declaring Kendrick safe at first base were absolutely BRUTAL.
Kevin Youkilis reportedly told Frisaro that Bucknor acknowledged he had tagged Kendrick—but told Youkilis that he did not do so until AFTER Kendrick was already on first base.
Are you kidding me? Bucknor had the temerity to declare the Angels second baseman was already on the bag? This is certainly one of those times that we can say—with certainty—that the ump needs his eyesight checked!
A couple of innings later Youkilis CLEARLY came down on the corner of the first base bag well before Kendrick arrived at first base…yet Bucknor ruled the runner safe. My nearly-blind father could have got that ruling correct.
So all of this got me wondering: how could Bucknor be THAT bad yet still get an assignment to the Division Series?
I mean, in case you aren’t aware of it, Bucknor has TWICE been voted THE WORST UMPIRE in the big leagues. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, he been voted the worst not once, but twice. In a 2003 poll by Sports Illustrated, 20.7 percent of the then-current players in the big leagues voted him the WORST ump in the business…three years later, in an updated survey again published by SI, 21 percent of players voted him the worst.
So, I started to wonder if THAT was the only reason… simply stated, whether it is a matter of utter incompetence on the part of Bucknor. I googled him. I went to wikipedia.
And then I discovered a potential explanation for Bucknor’s ineptitude.
It WASN’T ineptitude! It was RETALIATION! Bucknor is P-O’d at the Red Sox!
Why, you ask, would Bucknor have a reason to retaliate against the Red Sox? What possible motive would he have for being upset with the Red Sox?
Well, my friends, it is as clear as the nose on your face!
Bucknor hails from in Savanna-la-Mar, Jamaica. Justin Masterson is the only major league player to have been a native of Jamaica (born in Kingston). At the trading deadline, the Red Sox exiled Justin from the City of Boston to the armpit known as Cleveland…rather than playing in the ALCS, young Mister Masterson is home chillin’ with his beautiful wife, Meryl.
Rather than playing for a world title, Justin is sitting at home…maybe shaving his dome (?).
C B can’t possibly be happy about that, so apparently he’s decided to be a one-man wrecking crew on the Red Sox. Send the Sox home! They don’t deserve to be in the ALCS if Justin isn’t with them.
For shame, C B! For shame…