Read and React: Hate umps? Go be one

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(via screenshot)
(via screenshot)

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By now you've probably seen the viral video of a bunch of idiot parents brawling at a Colorado youth baseball game, a fight that apparently started over a call made by a 13-year-old umpire.

This isn't a case like the other one currently involving the noble Wearers of the Chest Protector, where MLB umpires are waging a war of way-overheated words over the way the league is handling a suspension of San Diego's Manny Machado. No, there are no "two sides to the story" when it comes to fighting at a game for seven-year-olds. You do anything at a kids' game directed at the ump, and you are completely, irrevocably in the wrong.

Now, the clowns in the above photo are going to be taking the blunt end of a legal hammer, as well they should. If you're standing on a kids’ baseball field throwing hands and you don't realize your priorities are way out of order, someone needs to realign them for you.

But I'm proposing an additional layer of punishment: for them, and for anyone who thinks it's OK to start yapping at the officials in a kids' game: mandatory umpiring.

Strap on the mask and get behind the plate. Put on the stripes and get out there on the field. Run up and down the court or skate the rink in black and white. Get a sense of what it's like to deal with 10 or 14 or 22 bodies in motion, plus smartass parents on the sidelines who are certain they know your job better than you.

Think you can do a better job than an ump? Get out there and prove it. And get ready to apologize for every "blind" joke you've ever lobbed in Blue's direction.

— Jay Busbee

A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the game as a Little League game. This was not a game conducted under the auspices of Little League International.

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