Maybe it's because I have a friend who is a minor-league umpire, but I always try to remember the boys in blue are people even when they make calls that go against my team. So I find the idea of MLB Network's documentary about the 2012 World Series umpiring crew pretty interesting. The program debuted Thursday night, but it will be reshown Friday at 2 p.m. ET.
"Country" Joe West, who I know leaves a wake of annoyed fans between his on-field persona and his calls, touched a bit on that in the show: "The average person doesn't look at us as real human beings. They think we're just robots that go out there and do what we do. They don't look at you as having families, and that's not true. They all have their own lives, their own mortgages, their own car payments. They have a real life, like everybody else."
The title of the documentary, "The Third Team," brings to light what Gerry Davis said: "One of the things that we, as umpires, think about is there's really a third team on the field. A lot of people don't pay attention to that; those that know us do. But from an umpire perspective, everything was great. We had two new guys on the crew. They both did great jobs and that's fun to see."
(Of course, the flip side of that quote is that it plays into the "We were facing two teams out there on the field. Our opponents and the officials!" complaint.)
So, it sounds a good show if you're at all interested in the other team on the field during games.