It hasn't been the best week for umpires at the Little League World Series. Unfortunately, that bad news apparently goes beyond elaborate strike out calls; they're having trouble throwing the ball back to the mound, too.
As noted by Busted Coverage, Cynthia Smith, the lone woman umpire in the 2013 Little League World Series, struggled to complete a simple toss to the mound after one ball was fouled off into the stands. In fact, struggling isn't really a fair assessment; she failed miserably.
What's most notable about Smith's toss to the mound isn't that her throw didn't actually reach the mound. Rather, it's that her form was completely abysmal. First, Smith almost tripped over her own feet pulling a ball out of her pocket. Then, when she released her throw, she cocked her elbow and threw from a half-armed delivery, all without anything close to normal footwork.
For someone who was selected to work in the Little League World Series, the pinnacle of her level of the profession, that's pretty embarrassing. Some have argued that her throw is an example of Smith "throwing like a girl," but Prep Rally found that to be unfair. Something tells us that Jennie Finch would have no trouble getting the ball back to the Little League mound.
Of course, throws to the mound aren't what the umpires are there for. They're in Williamsport to do the best job they can of calling balls and strikes and making sure they don't botch any big calls.
Some umpires have struggled to achieve that this week, too, with celebrities like Jose Canseco weighing in on variable strike zones. Luckily Smith seemed to avoid most of those criticisms. That's a good thing. She needs all the good karma she can get after that toss to the mound.