Is there anyone who really likes the Umpire?..I mean the fans scream obscenities, the players give them looks that could kill, and the managers kick dirt on them and talk about their mothers..Think about it, the Umpire is the only person on the field that is indifferent to the outcome. NY times writer Bruce Weber has just written a book called "As they See 'Em" and it is one of the best books written about the game of baseball. It takes you through the rigourous schooling these Umps go through but more that, He gives you an insight into the unique world of the Umpire. Weber writes "you are neither inside the game, as the players are, nor outside it among the fans, but the game passes through you like rainwater through a filter and your job is to filter out the impurities". One example is the so called Strike Zone..it's different for each batter but the precise dimentsions are dtermined daily by the home plate umpire..I have yelled some unspeakable things to the Ump in my life, but you know, these guys get it right most of the time and in a weird way that is comforting to me. Check out Bruce Webers book, great summer reading..Play Ball!
If you are a baseball fan and want a GREAT read, check out Alyssa Milano's "Safe At Home"...I know what you're thinking, but seriously it is a fantastic book....AND she got Joe Torre to write the intro!