Examining the umps 

October, 27, 2008
As Joshua Robinson writes, this hasn't been a good World Series for the Rays or for the umpires. Sunday night's blown call at third base?

    It was the fourth time in as many games during this World Series that an umpiring decision has sparked controversy -- this in the same season that saw the introduction of instant replays, but only to judge the accuracy of home run calls. But the controversy, it seems, exists only outside the lines of the field. Players and officials alike echo the same refrain about the umpires' World Series blunders: these things happen in baseball.

    "I can promise you there is a severe level of disappointment from umpires on the field," said Mike Port, Major League Baseball's vice president of umpiring. "They may maintain a certain professional demeanor, but in the clubhouse, they react to a missed call like a player who just struck out in a World Series game with the winning run at third base."