Dewayne Wise’s diving non-catch of a ball in the Nu-Stadium stands last Tuesday night has provoked predictable calls for a harsh review of MLB’s umpiring. In the eyes of the Huffington Post’s Ron Kaplan, however, umpire Mike DiMuro’s obvious gaffe isn’t nearly as troubling as the Yankees refusing to correct him. ” Wouldn’t it be something,” writes Kaplan, “if, just once, a team or player would say, ‘We don’t have to win this way?‘” And there you have it folks. a team that benefited from the contributions of PED abusers Giambi, Rodriguez and Clemens has a new lack-of-integrity scapegoat.
Wise said, “Anybody in baseball would’ve done the same thing,” which is probably true and the problem. “The umpire makes the out call — you’ve got to go with it,” he continued. “You can’t just sit there and say, ‘I didn’t make the catch.’” Sure you can. Someone has got to go first.
(And don’t you just love this rationale from Yankees catcher Chris Stewart who said yesterday, “You’re trying to get your team to win. You’re not really cheating, necessarily.” It’s that qualifier “necessarily” that does it for me.)
Wouldn’t it be something if, just once, a team or player would say, “We don’t have to win this way?” But with so much money at stake (imagine if this had cost the Yankees the game and they lost a post-season berth by that margin), you can be almost certain it will never happen.
So what are we teaching young athletes here? That it’s all right to pull stunts like this, so you might as well get used to it and perfecting this aspect of your game? And if it’s okay here, it’s okay in other aspects of life too? Where would you start differentiating?