Wednesday, April 26, 2006

MLB umpires join picket line

Regardless of which side you favor in the minor league umpires' strike, the events of this week are mostly positive.

To a man, the striking umpires I've spoken with are eager to get back to work. Minor league officials keep saying they want the umpires back. Managers and players are looking forward to the consistency professional umpires bring to the field.

The strike's profile was raised significantly Tuesday morning when major league umpires joined the minor leaguers walking a picket line in Hagerstown, Md. More media attention can only help the striking umpires' cause. Strikes are pretty pointless if no one knows you're striking.

But the bigger news is that both sides have agreed to meet with a federal mediator in Cincinnati on Wednesday and Thursday. It will be the first time the two sides have talked since the start of the season.

Don't get overly optimistic. Both sides still seem pretty far apart, but at least they are willing to open a dialogue.

In the mean time, feel free to send me some of the more bizarre umpire-related screw-ups you've witnessed.

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