Can George Will get anything right?

Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

It looks like conservative columnist George Will just wasn't content peddling misinformation about global climate change. He's now written on his ostensible subject of expertise, baseball, lauding a book about umpiring. Will claims:

Umpires are islands of exemption from America's obsessive lawyering: As has been said, three strikes and you're out -- the best lawyer can't help you. But because it is the national pastime of a litigious nation, baseball is the only sport in which a nonplayer is allowed onto the field to argue against rulings.

Now, aside from the fact that the first and second sentences seem to cancel each other out, Will falsely suggests that a "nonplayer is allowed onto the field to argue" balls and strikes. In fact, that will get the "nonplayer" an immediate ejection.

Also, "the best lawyer" can always help you, contrary to Will's suggestion. You can appeal any ruling by an umpire through two stages even when the motion to reconsider provided by arguing with the umpire who originally made the call is foreclosed because you can't argue balls and strikes: the appeal to the entire umpiring crew, and the appeal to the commissioner's office (formerly the league president's office) through the "playing under protest" system. The rules do say that such a protest has to be based on the violation of rules rather than a judgment decision. But that's a niggling detail that a lawyer like Clarence Darrow could probably get around.

(h/t A.H.S. who understands the rules of baseball far better than I, or Will, for that matter.)

George F. Will
Propaganda/Noise Machine
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