And let me tell you, none of this comes as much of a surprise. But it sure does explain a lot…
FROM THE DESK OF
“COUNTRY” JOE WEST
World Umpires Association President
March 30, 2011
Attention: Secret League of Baseball Signalcallers (SLOBS)
As we begin the 2011 Major League Baseball season, let me begin by saying “well done”. You 70 permanent MLB umpires are an inspiration to the craft. I couldn’t be more proud of you. But before the season starts, it is my duty as your president to remind you of our deal with Commissioner Bud Selig that must be adhered to. If you value your high-paying jobs which have no repercussions, no matter how poorly you perform, you must follow the “Golden Rule” of all umpires:
Screw over the Detroit Tigers at ALL costs.
As I’m sure you all remember, in late 2009, Commissioner Selig went into a Little Caesar’s Pizza restaurant and ordered one of their famed “Hot and Ready” pies. Upon returning to his hotel suite, Mr. Selig sadly found that there wasn’t nearly as much pizza sauce on his meal as he would have preferred. The man likes his sauce. Upon placing a call to the establishment, he was informed that the amount of sauce on all pizzas was a controlled amount and he should have specified that he wanted “extra sauce” on his particular pizza. He was then denied his money back on his purchase. Obviously, Mr. Selig was outraged. He is the Commissioner, after all.
The next day I was notified to spread the word to all umpires that the Detroit Tigers, owned by Mike Ilitch (who also owns Little Caesar’s), were to be, pardon my French as I am quoting here, “fucked over beyond all fucking belief in every fucking ballgame they fucking play”. In return, we hold our jobs for life with no review of our performance. We will not have to deal with the specter of instant replay, other than for home runs, a little nugget he felt obligated to toss the fans. Mr. Selig will defend our calls, no matter how horrid, and will insist that we are doing a fine job. Also, secret bonuses from Major League Baseball will be paid to those umpires who go “above and beyond” in hurting the chances of the Tigers winning baseball games.
Randy Marsh wasted no time in collecting the first major bonus by ignoring Tiger third baseman Brandon Inge being hit by a baseball in what is known to all Tiger fans as “Game 163” in October, 2009. This brilliant call by Marsh accomplished two objectives of Selig. One, it helped keep the Tigers out of the playoffs. Two, it allowed the Minnesota Twins to advance to play Bud’s beloved New York Yankees and we all know how the Twins lay down like sheep for the Yankees every year. Marsh was rewarded with a raise, a new Porche, and a $20,000 cash bonus. Not bad, right?
And talk about rewards, how about Jim Joyce? Mr. Joyce had the intestinal fortitude to take away a perfect game from Tiger pitcher Armando Galarraga in 2010 on the most obvious call of all time! How many of you would have had his courage? And because baseball fans are stupid, he was immediately forgiven! He received cheers from fans! He appeared at the ESPY’s! He received a book deal! And he received the biggest bonus from Mr. Selig’s anti-Tigers fund so far. Mr. Joyce has asked that I keep it a private matter, but holy moley, what a haul!
Many others of you have done a wonderful job, too. Gary Cederstrom screwed the Tigers out of a win in Atlanta last year by calling Johnny Damon out on strikes on a laughably off-the-plate pitch. The very next day, Fieldin Culbreth screwed the Tigers over on a double play call causing Jim Leyland to have a minor stroke. Later on, Marty Foster put to screws to the Tigers in a game and then had the brass balls to suggest that Leyland spit on him during an argument. Brilliant! C.B. Bucknor hasn’t made a correct call yet during a Tiger game! Amazing job so far by Bucknor.
And we have all witnessed Tiger players being thrown at by opposing pitchers with no ejections resulting. Pitches up to a foot off the plate are routinely being called strike three on Tiger hitters. Justin Verlander cannot get a call to save his life, thus keeping his pitch count at 100+ by the 6th inning in all of his starts. It never ceases to amaze me in the creative ways you all are doing your jobs so well. I am an awe of you gentlemen and am proud to be your President.
So keep up the good work! Continue never giving them a break on the strike zone. If a Tiger throw beats a runner by a step, call him safe. If a Detroit hitter hits a fly to the outfield that hits the wall before a guy catches it, call that bastard out! If a Tiger runner is heading for home plate, call him out, no matter if the catcher has control the ball or not! It's not like ESPN will call you out on this...they don't even pay attention to Tiger games! This is your chance to shine for Commissioner Selig and I know you all can do it!
Remember, this is to remain between only us, men. After reading this memo, destroy it immediately.
World Umpires Association President
Leader of the SLOBS
PS-The Yankees won the annual coin toss of “Which team, Boston or New York, do we do our best to make sure they make the World Series”. As you know, Mr. Selig demands that one of the two makes it every year and he was quite let down by the Rangers’ appearance last year. Don’t let it happen again. Thanks.
Yup. It all makes sense now, doesn’t it?