The umpires strike back

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There is no longer season than the MLB one, and it’s understandable that just about everyone is at the end of their rope and not ready to deal with any sort of guff from any sort of swine.

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Especially the umps, who aren’t playing for anything, have been standing out on hot fields in the sun for a good few months, and probably ache from head to toe. And thanks to production crews miccing up just about every inch of the field, we got a sense last night just how fed up umps are. Not that they aren’t still obstinate douchebags most of the time, but it’s always fun to hear people swear on television when they’re not supposed to.

It started in Miami, where Brian O’Nora wasn’t in much mood to hear what Skip Schumaker thought of his work behind the plate in the FIRST INNING!:

It continued in Houston, where Phil Cuzzi wasn’t having it from the Astros bench after he missed a strike call:

I suppose the ultimate “F-ck you!” is when you can toss someone out of the game. That’s the check and mate of “F-ck you!”

Bruce Bochy got booted from the Red Sox-Rangers tilt.

Meanwhile, over in the Bronx, Greg Weissert with a performance art piece on the Yankees season:

Something in the water last night in MLB.

Lazio keeper turns the tables in Champions League

It was a strange day all across the sports spectrum yesterday, and I’ll do my best to try and sum it up. I don’t pretend to know what was full or what was in retrograde but something was off its axis.

It started in the afternoon, if you’re in the Colonies, as Lazio huffed and puffed to find an equalizer against Atletico Madrid in Rome in their Champions League opener. Every soccer fan knows this feeling, when the game’s spills deep into extra time and you feel like they could flash up a “56” on that board and your team would never score. Even when your keeper goes jogging up for a corner, one dares not even entertain the thought he’ll be anywhere near the play, much less qualify as hope. Well, Ivan Provedel wasn’t just a decoy or for show:

Look at that run! That’s a striker’s instinct! He’s cutting through the defense before the cross is even played. He knows where to be. And the finish is textbook. Every Atletico defender must’ve had their brains short-circuit to see the guy in yellow darting toward the penalty spot. “What, did some fan get on the fi….OH BOLLOCKS!”

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The celebration is class too, as there’s a smugness in showing that he should have been taken seriously as an attacking threat and made them pay for not doing so.

Also, special shoutout to the Lazio fan at the 0:20 mark of this video celebrating with the double birds:He’s not flipping off Atletico supporters or the players or the ref. Nor is he just showing the usual Lazio supporter charm. Ok, he is actually doing that (so is the guy on the bottom left), but this whole thing is a middle finger to soccer logic and reason. Those fingers are meant for the gods. Good on ya, my Roman friend (actually, not really. If he’s a Lazio supporter there’s a decent chance he’s racist as hell).

Follow Sam on Twitter @Felsgate and on Bluesky

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