Umpire Chad Fairchild Needs to Leave His Pride at the Door

Chad Fairchild Miguel Cabrera

Rick Osentoski – USA TODAY Sports

42,000 fans paid to watch Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera, but instead they had to watch home-plate umpire Chad Fairchild.

Fairchild made the mistake of thinking people came to the game to watch him rather than the players on the field. He tossed Cabrera for arguing balls and strikes with little-to-no warning. He made a questionable call on the first pitch of the at-bat with the bases loaded, and the best hitter in the game let him know it. Fairchild wanted to prove a point, so he called the next pitch, which was in a similar location, a strike as well.

It didn’t seem like Cabrera said a whole lot, and it looked a lot more like Fairchild wanted to feel like the center of attention. Umpires can often be seen standing stoically with a blank expression on their face while a player vents. Fairchild does not do this. He argues back in the most unprofessional manner imaginable.

Fairchild has built a reputation as the umpire with the shortest leash in MLB. He seems to resort to tossing people after short disputes and can’t handle being griped at. He leads the majors with eight ejections this season, which is not a stat to be proud of. An umpire’s job is to keep control of the game, and if it gets to the point that people are getting upset about one thing or another, then they’ve already made a mistake.  To compound that by making the best hitter in the game hit the showers in the third inning because he didn’t like a strike call is asinine.

Fairchild was also the umpire during the bench-clearing kerfuffle between the Tigers and Chicago White Sox a few weeks ago. Fairchild decided not to even warn the teams after Chris Sale threw a dart at Prince Fielder‘s head in what was obviously an intentional beanball. He then threw Luke Putkonen out of the game for throwing at Alexei Ramirez and tossed Jim Leyland to boot.

The bottom line is, nobody goes to a baseball game to watch an umpire flex his muscles and stroke their own ego. Fairchild deserves anger management, a dunce cap and a suspension until he can figure out how to keep the players that people pay to see on the field.

David Fouty is a columnist for Follow him on Twitter @davefouty, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google+.

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  • Alex W

    You hit it right on the head. As a little league umpire myself, this “professional” is a disgrace to this good game. This guy is trying to be a big shot, but he’s got some thin skin. He leads MLB in ejections after all (8) – four of them since July 20th! What a joke, baseball should suspend this ego tripper.

    • hbk314

      The number of ejections he has is completely irrelevant. If Cabrera hadn’t argued pitches that were belt-high right over the middle of the plate, he would still have been in the game.

      • Ole Man

        I bet you didn’t even watch the game.

        • hbk314

          What’s your point? I’ve seen enough to know that Cabrera deserved to be tossed for arguing two clear strikes.

          • Ole Man

            So, you’re on here offering opinion without having seen the incident in person or on TV. And never mind your “strike chart”.
            You don’t know if Cabrera was mild or mad.
            You don’t know if the ump was fair or foul.
            You just offer an unsubstantiated opinion.
            What crap!

          • hbk314

            I’ve seen the incident. He argued the first pitch, was warned. He then argued the second pitch, appearing to say either that’s or you’re “fucking horrible” and was properly ejected. Both pitches were indisputably strikes. He had no reason to even open his mouth.

          • Ole Man

            Just curious. Which team were you pulling for?

          • hbk314

            It doesn’t matter. Cabrera’s arguably the best player in baseball. The pitches were unquestionably strikes. Nobody could objectively state otherwise.

          • Ole Man

            Yes; it does matter. It shades and colors your opinion.

          • hbk314

            It’s not a matter of opinion. It’s fact.

          • Ole Man

            It’s opinion.

          • hbk314

            It is a fact that both pitches were strikes.

  • hbk314

    It’s not an umpire’s job to keep players on the field.

  • KwabenaPrinceJabari

    @hbk314:disqus. It’s always a pleasure to hear from a blood relative to an umpire. I’ll be making a donation in your family’s honor to the Society for the Blind. Over at the Tiger’s website you said the pitches were over the middle third, here they were right over the middle. Neither of your comments were accurate. But hey, somebody’s got to support the blind.

    As for what the ump’s job is, it’s not to whine and put himself in the middle of the game. There was absolutely no reason to toss Cabrera at that moment, other than to try to tilt the game in the Phillies’ favor and to grandstand himself as being more important than the best player in the game right now. To not understand that some people in the stands saved up to bring their kids to this one game to see this particular player makes Fairchild a jackass of the highest order.