The umpire was not on his game tonight, which happens sometimes to the older umpires. He squeezed the strike zone and acted like he didn't want to be there. Who could blame him, it rained on and off all evening and there was a rain delay and the last game, our game, started more than a half hour late. We were not going to be done util well after 10 PM when the games are scheduled to be over at 9:30 PM. So he wasn't friendly as he can be sometimes and he was moody and ended up pissy. Everybody has a bad day.
When you are an umpire you can't let your bad day decide a game's outcome.
He was very chatty with a couple of the other team players to the point where I asked if we could play the game since I was standing on the pitcher's mound waiting for their chat to end. The other team was hot and dominated for the first few innings taking a 16-3 lead. By the way he was making calls, you could tell the umpire wanted to get going and let the game end early. Then, we started coming back.
After we scored 9 runs and made it 16-14 with two on and the go-ahead run at the plate, he said he heard one of the other team's players say something and started arguing with the player (who was sitting in the stands). After a minute or so, he threw the player out. The umpire stood with his back to the field arguing with the player another minute or two until the player left the field area. The other umpire was chatting with the other teams infield at the pitcher's mound and delayed the game even further, calling a "no pitch" because he was not in position. Their pitcher pitched the ball, but the umpire covered for him.
By then, our momentum was cold and the batter popped out. We went out to take the field and the umpire, who was talking to the players on the other team with his back to the field again, turned and said time expired. We asked why he was rewarding the team for delaying the game and he had no answer. After several of our players challenged him and told him you just wanted to go home and cheated us, he said the clock had run out before he threw the player out. We asked why he didn't do what umpires always do, which is tell both teams time expired and finish the inning and he had no answer, he just walked away.
We were tied for first place with that team and had beaten them by one run in the previous game against them. We were rallying and as the home team, set up for a big win. The other team found a way to stop us by manipulating the umpire and the umpire went along with it.
That gives them the regular season championship.
What a way to win, let the winning team delay the game by pissing off the umpire and kill a come back rally and run out the clock. The bottom of the barrel umpires can be found at Seminole Softball Complex in Seminole County, Florida on Monday nights.
Frank, you blew it.