Summary: Millions of American baseball fans know, with absolute certainty, that umpires are simply overpaid galoots who are doing an easy job badly. Millions of American baseball fans are wrong.As They See 'Emis an insider's look at the largely unknown world of professional umpires, the small group of men (and the very occasional woman) who make sure America's favorite pastime is conducted in a manner that is clean, crisp, and true. Bruce Weber, aNew York Timesreporter, not only interviewed d ...show moreozens of professional umpires but entered their world, trained to become an umpire, and then spent a season working games from Little League to big league spring training.As They See 'Emis Weber's entertaining account of this experience as well as a lively exploration of what amounts to an eccentric secret society, with its own customs, its own rituals, its own colorful vocabulary. (Know what a ''whacker'' is? A ''pole bender''? ''Rat cheese''? Think you could ''strap it on'' or ''take the stick''?) He explains the arcane set of rules by which umps work and details the exasperating, tortuous path that allows only a select few to graduate from the minor leagues to the majors. He describes what it's like to work in a ballpark where not only the fans but the players, the managers and coaches, the announcers, the team owners, and even the league presidents, resent them -- and vice versa. And he asks, quite sensibly, why anyone would do a job that offers the chance to earn only blame and never credit.Weber reveals how umps are tutored to work behind the plate, what they learn to watch for on the bases, and how proper positioning for every imaginable situation on the field is drilled into them. He describes how they're counseled to respond -- or not -- to managers who are screaming at them from inches away with purposeful inanity, and tells us exactly which ''magic'' words result in an automatic ejection. Writing with deep knowledge of and affection for baseball, he delves into such questions as: Why isn' ...show lessEdition/Copyright: 09
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