As seen in Sandbox Sports
Sandy Alderson has got to be the smartest man in baseball today. How else do you explain the stupid pills that were being pumped into Richie Phillips. It had to be Alderson.
Here we are, it's just after Labor Day and it looks like we have 22 umpires, make that former umpires, who may have a new appreciation for the meaning of this particular holiday.
Ignorance and Bliss, so close yet so far apart. Based solely on the results of an umpire strike, led 20 years ago by one Richie Phillips, the umpires union continued to believe that this arrogant, egotistical joke was their savior.
Phillips continues to hold his hex on the majority of the National League umpires. This is a group that still believes that Phillips can get a favorable decision in the courts or with National Labor Relations Board, both of whom who have for all intents already laughed in his face.
The bottom line is that the umpires have nobody to blame except Phillips (and of course themselves).
Phillips devised the plan to have the umpires submit their mass resignations as an attempt at a concerted work stoppage, which was clearly in violation of the umpire's agreement with baseball.
Earlier in the spring, there was an attempt to remove him by 14 AL umpires. Phillips clearly did not make sure that he had the support of these dissenters when he tried to strong-arm baseball management.
He built his support by telling the umpires that Major League Baseball was scouting the minor leagues for replacement umpires. Of course he never bothered to become aware of the fact that baseball was planning to expand from four-man to five-man crews. On top of this, he told the umpires that they had the full support of the minor league umpires. Of course this commitment never existed.
Next, Phillips told the union members that he would hold off on submitting the resignation letters until he had received them from the remaining 11 umpires who were unable to attend the famous Philadelphia meeting. Instead, he sent the resignations the very next day.
The umpires have continually made the stand that this is all about RESPECT. They are absolutely right, the Umpires Union has absolutely no respect for the game of baseball. They follow a leader who has an ego that in being feed by a public forum and has undercut all of the respect that the umpires had gained over the years from players, managers and fans.
It is clear that it is Phillips who cannot be taken seriously and that no negotiations can take place while he is in power. Phillips says that he wants to do whatever he can to help the umpires.
Well Richie, here it is, RESIGN.
Believe it or not, Baseball is not out to screw the umpires. They are asking only to be able to do what other sports do, have some control over their officiating crews.
First, Sandy Alderson got to look like a genius for his building of the late 80's Oakland Athletics. Now, he gets to look like a genius again in the face of the overwhelming stupidity of Richie Phillips.