Umpires get a lot of abuse. Raise your hand if you complain about them? This may take a while—I'm typing with one hand. We love to complain about their failures. It is helpful to be reminded that they are human and that humans are imperfect. It should not take an injury to remind us, but sometimes it does. On Tuesday night the Dodgers were leading the Angels 2-0 in a tight game in the 9th inning. Craig Kimbrel threw this pitch to Mike Trout when the strangest thing happened.
Ouch. What are the odds of that happening? Umpires and catchers wear those face protectors that are ball-sized. They also would protect from the majority of the barrel going at them, but not a chopped-up bat. Mercifully, home plate umpire Nate Tomlinson was able to walk off the field and is okay, other than being cut up by the bat shards. What terrible luck for Tomlinson. Mike Trout was kind enough to be concerned for Dodgers catcher Will Smith, whom Trout initially thought took the brunt of his shattered bat. Look at this photo.
The existence of Umpire Scorecards on Twitter makes seeing their failures even easier. It is a tough thing to discuss. Umpires should be held to disciplinary standards when they do a particularly terrible job, but they also do the job better than any of us ever could. We should appreciate the umpires whenever we can because, in reality, they do a thankless job. For as much as I will complain about terrible calls, I try to retweet and appreciate when an umpire has a preposterously high scorecard. The umpires deserve our appreciation as much as our criticisms.
Glad to see that Nate Tomlinson is doing okay.