Commentary

Respect and obey cricket authorities

Updated: March 9, 2011, 10:11 AM ET
By Mike Young | Special to ESPN.com

Mike Young, the fielding coach for the Australian cricket team, is a former minor league coach for the Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians. He'll be contributing to ESPN.com's World Cup Cricket coverage throughout the tournament.

Hi again to all the passionate Cricket World Cup followers. It's been a crazy but fun tournament so far.

I wanted to share with you something that never ceases to amaze me since I became involved in this fantastic world sport. It was brought to my attention, once again, while watching the incredibly exciting England versus India match last week.

I'm talking about the umpire/player relationship during a cricket match. What a contrast in styles between baseball and cricket. In the India-England match, there were numerous close calls that definitely could have changed the outcome. Of course, as is always the case in both baseball and cricket, when these situations arise, an umpire can only make one team happy while the other one receives the coal-in-the-Christmas stocking gift.

[+] EnlargeYoung
Michael Steele/Getty ImagesMike Young wishes baseball managers respected umpires the way cricketers do.

The major and very obvious difference, though, between the two sports during these highly emotional moments is the reaction by the team getting the coal. In cricket, it's an ingrained mindset that the umpire's decision is final. Up until the past 12 months, this was never altered in any way whatsoever. It's only been in this recent period that technology has reared its head, and a review system has entered into the equation. Like I mentioned, though, before that, the men in the middle wearing the wide-brimmed hats made the calls, and the players lived with it -- plain and simple!

On the flip side, in baseball we see decisions by umpires so vehemently disputed that at times there's even physical contact. Having worked in professional baseball for nine years as a manager and coach, I can testify from personal experience that managers egregiously argue with umpires -- regardless of a specific decision. They do so to fire their team up, when the players seem to be plying their trade a bit lazily. You know why I'm positive this occurs? Because it was exactly what I did, and exactly what my professional baseball mentors taught me to do.

Now I get into cricket and watch this noble acceptance of on-field authority, and to be brutally honest, I'm completely embarrassed by my actions of long ago. And so should every baseball manager, player or coach who does so in a way that it actually causes him to be ejected. Now when I see this while watching Major League Baseball games, I cringe. All I think is that at this precise moment, millions of kids are looking up to professional players, and they're learning that arguing is an accepted method when things go awry. It goes without saying that such an example by the so-called role models out there far outweighs the hard work we do as parents in our attempts to teach kids the exact opposite.

In my mind, folks, and without question, cricket wins on this one.

Bye for now, and I'll chat with you again soon,

Youngy

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