Can you imagine if we lived in a world where umpires were accountable for their actions? Last night, Bob Davidson made a runner interference call on Ben Revere so egregiously vacant of an actual violation, he reignited Phillies fans’ passion for channeling their self-loathing onto a singular third party.
Fortunately, a transcript of the exceedingly rare press conference with Davidson following the game was made available to this web site after I made it up.
[.gif, as with all .gifs, comes from Bill Baer]
REPORTER: Bob, what did you think when you called Ben Revere for runner interference in the eighth inning?
BOB: Right, well, I thought, man, there’s not really a whole lot going on tonight. And then I looked up and saw Ben Revere sliding head first into second base and I was like ‘Whoa, interference.’
REPORTER: You saw interference?
REPORTER: What was it?
BOB: Well, he led with his head. You can’t lead into the base with your head.
REPORTER: Isn’t that a head first slide?
BOB: [patronizing laugh, elbows nearby man as if to say, ‘you hearin’ this?’]
REPORTER: That wasn’t an answer.
BOB: Look, the human skull is the hardest bone in the body. That’s the first thing they teach you at umpiring school.
REPORTER: You’re saying a head first slide is runner interference if the runner has a skull?
BOB: No, I’m saying that he swatted at the fielder with his hand.
REPORTER: That’s not… what you just said…
BOB: Right. I changed it, just now. Sounded better.
REPORTER: At what point did Revere touch the second baseman?
BOB: When he was sliding into second. [Again elbows guy. Guy leaves.]
REPORTER: What I mean is, in the replay, it doesn’t look like that’s what happened.
BOB: Look, I know what I saw. And what I saw was Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Ben Revere, stand up, scream something violently sexual at the second baseman, and try to bite him in the jugular.
BOB: I’m a hero, really. Saving lives out there on the diamond. People should write a book about me. “Balkin’ Bob Saves the Day.” “Balkin’ Bob” is my nickname. Because I call balks when I’m bored.
REPORTER: Now you’re accusing Revere of attempted cannibalism?
BOB: Look, I don’t know what’s going through a player’s head when he tries to eat an opposing player on the field. I just know it’s my job to keep people safe out there. If people aren’t in the stands to see me clench my fists, wave my arms, or wear a shit-eating grin, then what are they coming to the games for? I ask you.
REPORTER: Your job is to make the calls. Technically, umpires are part of the field.
BOB: Well, who knows what an umpire’s job is. Not me, certainly.
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