There have been a lot of exciting, stressful, funny, surprising, gasp-worthy baseball moments in the postseason so far. Most of those have involved the players or the managers if they decided they want to make an appearance, but others have involved those men that stand around the periphery and make the important calls.
Yes, the umpires.
It started in the NLDS, when Willson Contreras didn’t do a great job of catching a ball (which isn’t ideal, since he’s a catcher) and it hit home plate Jerry Layne in the face. While he was momentarily shaken, Layne bounced back and returned to his duties. But not before reminding Contreras what it feels like to be clocked in the face:
It was a little bit of an “umps are human too” moment, not just in that Layne took multiple hits to the face in one night, but that he had a sense of humor about it and broke the ump/player professional barrier momentarily to goof off.
Other such moments happened in Game 2 of the NLCS, and both involved the Dodgers.
First, Yasiel Puig gave an umpire a look about a strike call that he disagreed with, and the ump promptly winked at him:
[VIDEO] Yasiel Puig gets the wink from the umpire. https://t.co/knOA5jrvoN— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) October 16, 2017
That’s some reverse field of dreams type stuff. And it’s hilarious. This was one of the most important games of the year for both teams involved, and this ump was just out here winking at players like he’s excited for a round of margaritas and nachos after the game. That’s awesome!
And of course there was Kike Hernandez jogging to first base when the third ball was called in his at-bat. Which is a good laugh all on its own. But the ump’s reaction when Hernandez finally turned around was the best:
“Helloooooo. It was only three balls. I’m waving my fingers at you so you get it finallyyyyy.”
He could have just simply held his hands up with three fingers on both and waited, sure, but he did that instead. Which is far better.
So yes, the baseball postseason has been great so far. Much of that has been due to the plays on the field and what teams have accomplished. But don’t forget what the umpires are doing either, because it seems like they’re having a marvelous time too.
Stay loose, umps. It’s far more fun this way for everybody.