I have played organized sports -- baseball, football, and basketball since I was eight yrs old.
I actually didn't do much of anything else until I got to college and discovered vices of all shapes and sizes.
One sports season blended into the next and what once was 8-year-old little league at Valley Welding Field in Bay City's South End.turned into 21-year-old NEM baseball down at Vet's Park.
Midget football at Carroll Park turned into 8th Grade Football at St James and didn't end until the onset of March Madness.
YMCA Basketball became Intermediate School became High School and even carried on to ROTC Basketball at the college level.
I never liked umpires or referees.
I was always taught that they were a part of the game. That you couldn't have games without "officials" to keep the order of things.
When an umpire made a bad call . . . I was taught (by my dad) to just walk away.
"Bad calls happen," Dad said. "Handle it. It's part of life. What goes around comes around. It'll all even out."
I was there . . . locked onto my TV screen . . . watching John McEnroe refuse to believe or accept that the tennis linesman was always right. "ARE YOU SERIOUS" is one of the most widely recognized sporting exchanges between any player (any sport) and an official/umpire/referee.
I saw George Brett race (with rage) out of the Kansas City dugout when an umpire decided there was a bit too much tar stickum on his bat handle.
So Here it goes . . .
(1) Get Rid of the home plate umpire as far as balls and strikes are concerned.
(2) Make the batter stay in the batter's box.
(3) Have the manager sound an air horn when the team's pitcher is removed from the game.
(4) Get rid of the 4th and 6th inning. (Make the game 7 innings. (1-2-3-5-7-8-9)
(5) Make a pitcher pitch the baseball using a 30-second time clock (Otherwise, it's a ball.)
(6) No more "shifts" against pull hitters.
(6) Have an offense and a defensive team . . . Why let shortstops with a .175 batting average bat at all?
(7) Speed up the review as far as out/safe is concerned at 2nd base on a steal.
Oh yeah . . . I almost forgot . . .
Remember the Armandas Gallaraga "perfect game" on June 10, 2002, torpedoed by the worst call at first base in the history of baseball . . . . SAFE? ARE YOU SERIOUS?