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Fixing the fraught manager-umpire relationship!

ManagerVSUmpire Illustration by Brandon Loving

You Cannot Be Serious is ESPN The Magazine's satire page. Because, you know, this whole sports thing? It's meant to be fun!


For generations, MLB managers have passed on their secret Nine Commandments for umpire relations. ESPN reveals them here.

1. Try Screaming "I" Statements Instead of projecting onto the ump by bellowing "You are ruining the game!" while bumping into his chest, try blasting a mixture of spittle and chewing tobacco into his face as you shout at the top of your lungs, "I feel as if you are ruining the game!"

2. Challenge Their Manhood There are no documented instances of this ever working, but it's possible nobody's been doing it properly, so it might be worth a shot.

3. Put A Pin In It Sometimes it's best to take a breather and return to the debate later. And the way this freakin' idiot keeps changing his strike zone, lord knows it's bound to come up again next inning.

4. Retreat to the Locker Room and Smash The Vending Machine With a Bat Free Skittles!

5. Use A Mediator A neutral third party can help arbitrate disputes dispassionately. For example, anyone watching the game from a corporate suite almost certainly does not care about the outcome of your dispute and likely has significant litigation experience.

6. Look Inward Ask yourself: Are you really angry because he missed a checked swing? Or are you angry because you're already seven games behind the Rays, and with the roster Mike Elias dumped on you, it's a miracle it's not 14?

7. Put Yourself in Their Shoes Imagine how you'd feel if you were an incompetent, useless umpire who should be calling Little League games. Reflecting on what life must be like as a clueless tree stump can help you recognize why he disagrees with you and how to reach him on a level a true moron like him would understand.

8. Visit a Peaceful Dugout in Your Mind Visualize yourself on a bench in a serene dugout. Feel your toes wiggling in the sunflower seeds lining the concrete. Hear the trickle of Gatorade flowing into your cup. And then imagine repeatedly, yet mindfully, stomping on your umpire's feet.

9. Agree You Both Hate The Mascot The enemy of my enemy is my friend, so put aside your petty differences and redirect your anger with each other toward the anthropomorphized seal dancing on top of the dugout between innings.