Thursday, September 18, 2008

How To Heckle - Umpires As Targets

Heckling isn't limited to targeting opposing players. Umpires can be equally good targets. What's usually needed, though, in the case of umpires is a blown call or a bad attitude in ejecting somebody. It is tradition in baseball to yell, "Kill the umpire!" - a tradition that has fallen on hard times these past few decades. Umpires are frequently referred to as "Blue." That they have most often worn black shows that the term started during a period where blue was king. Umps in my company softball league used to wear red shirts and black pants but we still called them "blue." Go figure.

Eyesight is the most often maligned attribute of an umpire. I read an account once where a ballpark organist was ejected for playing "Three Blind Mice" after a disputed call. One traditional heckle goes like this, "Hey, ump, if you had another eye you'd be a cyclops!" Another less popular says, "Hey, blue, you're missing a good game; Giants and Cardinals at Candlestick!" I used to yell, "Hey, ump, turn around and watch the game!"

The centerfield bleacher bums in Oakland, when the umpires were announced before the game, used to collectively yell, "Oh, no!" after each umpire's name. Their favorite target was rotund AL ump Ken Kaiser, for whom they would yell, "OH, NOOOO!"

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