Thursday, February 19, 2015

You bet!

The obnoxious child in the photo at right >>> is Jeffrey "Jeffrey" Maier, who was 12 in 1996 when he showed up for game 1 of the American League Championship Series between the Orioles and the New York Yankees.  Played in a dank Bronx hellhole known as Yankee Stadium (since torn down), the game was won by the Yankees, thanks to a ludicrously bad call by an umpire later disgraced.  Robbed of their momentum, the Orioles lost the playoff series to the Yankees.

The photo shows Maier reaching over the fence into right field to try to catch a ball hit by onetime Yankee infielder D. Jeter (since retired).  Of course, one is not supposed to interfere with a ball in play at a baseball game unless one is paid to do so by being hired by the ballclub, but Maier stuck his cheap glove over the fence, and, being a true Yankee fan, failed to catch the ball anyway (see the video here.)  He did deflect the ball to some other clown in the cheap seats, and the umpire, Rich Garcia, who was being paid to attend the game and make calls in the right-field area, called it a home run for no good reason.

Three years later, the major league umpires came up with a brilliant move in a pay dispute - they all sent in letters of resignation. This paid off handsomely for baseball, which happily accepted the resignations of 22 hardly-competent umps, Garcia among them.

Since he wasn't capable of umpiring games properly, the people who run baseball figured he would make a great supervisor of umpires, so they hired him to do that in 2002.  Another interesting aspect of Garcia's life came to light in the same year, when the New York Daily News reported that he and another ump were pals of Florida-based bookmakers who were known drug dealers, and the Boston Herald reported that Garcia was in debt to bookies, according to federal wiretaps.

Even then, he held on to his supervising job, receiving a wrist slap of two years' probation, until he and two other supervisors finally had cans tied to them after the 2009 playoffs, in which a number of crucial mistakes were made by umpires Garcia and the others were supervising.

Jeffrey Maier, Tony Tarasco  

That's the background of the glove used by Maier to deflect a ball hit by this Jeter person so that Oriole Tony Tarrasco couldn't catch it - which should have been noticed by Garcia, but who knows what he had on his mind out there?

The foul piece of leather, the glove that Maier wore on his grubby hand, is up for auction now if you want to own something of a putrid nature.  At last report, some fool was bidding $13,000 for it.

Maybe someone will be kind enough to purchase it and give it to Garcia as a gift.

Maier held on to the glove for a while before selling it to a collector and that collector is now putting it up for sale. Heritage Auctions is running an online auction of the glove through Friday evening and a “floor session” on Saturday and Sunday. Bidding was already up to $13,000 at last check and the estimated value is somewhere in the range of $50,000. It will probably end up in the hands of another collector, but surely there are some Orioles fans out there who would like to see it destroyed. Time to mobilize.

Garcia took part in the 1999 Major League Umpires Association mass resignation which was engineered by Richie Phillips, the union's executive director. When the strategy backfired, Garcia lost his job because his resignation was one of the 22 accepted by Major League Baseball. After working as a consultant for the baseball commissioner's office, he was hired as a MLB umpire supervisor in 2002.[11] On March 8 of that year, the Daily News (New York City) disclosed that in 1989 he and National League umpire Frank Pulli had associated with Three days later, the Boston Herald reported that, according to information collected from federal wiretaps, both umpires had problems paying off their gambling debts. The punishment MLB had applied to Garcia and Pulli at the time was only two years' probation.[12]

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