The name ‘Cederstrom’ can be placed quite honorably on the monikers of great men throughout history, most of them Swedish. There was Gustaf Cederstrom, the artist behind The funeral transport of Charlie XIII. Then there was Bror Cederstrom, the originator of beet sugar manufacturing in his beloved homeland. And who could forget Carl Gustav Cederstrom, the 74th pilot ever in the world.
Of course, what all of these men share in common, besides a name, is that they are all long dead. Today, our Cederstroms are not as respectable; not as good at what they do, as their predecessors. No, these days we get guys like MLB umpire Gary Cederstrom, who ejected Carlos Ruiz from the game last night for looking at him.
“When I went out there, the [umpire] said, ‘He was looking at me and I threw him out.’”
–Charlie Manuel, via Jim Salisbury
Gary Cederstrom must have a hideous zit on his face that he’s very sensitive about and doesn’t want anyone to look at. The other umpires were probably wondering why he was wearing his mask on the car ride over to the stadium, and why he kept calling his mom in tears.
Now, obviously, Chooch did more than look at Cederstrom. We assume. He apparently said “That was a strike,” after Roy Halladay threw a pitch for a strike and Cederstrom got the call wrong in a charming little moment we in baseball like to call “the human element.”
Naturally, Cederstrom’s reaction was to the toss the respectful, soft-spoken catcher out of the game without any further… anything.
Any umpire’s decision which involves judgment, such as, but not limited to, whether a batted ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or a ball, or whether a runner is safe or out, is final. No player, manager, coach or substitute shall object to any such judgment decisions.
Rule 9.02(a) Comment: Players leaving their position in the field or on base, or managers or coaches leaving the bench or coaches box, to argue on BALLS AND STRIKES will not be permitted. They should be warned if they start for the plate to protest the call. If they continue, they will be ejected from the game.
Chooch did not have to leave his position to make the complaint, and he didn’t receive a warning before his ejection. But to assume Cederstrom went out of his way to ignore these rules is to assume that he was keeping them in mind in the first place. Really though, he was probably just having a shitty day and, as all professionals do, brought his bullshit and sensitivity into work with him.
When someone disagreed with him, he choked back the tears, and abused his power so that he wouldn’t have to deal with anything. What a guy.
“The men in blue are very sensitive to even the appearance of being shown up by a player.”
D’aawwwwww. Are the “men in blue” going through a phrase right now? Are their bodies changing? Are they a little touchy about being asked questions in public? What if their friends are watching?! Do they all run home after the game, run up the steps to their bedrooms covered in Joe West posters, and cry into a pillow? God, this is just so much pressure. I don’t even blame Cederstrom for not giving anything close to an explanation for his behavior and leaving immediately after the game.
Just thinking out loud, though–maybe we shouldn’t have socially awkward, self-important, cowardly introverts making all the important decisions of a baseball game. Gone are the days of heroic Cederstroms, pioneering the skies or force feeding us beet sugar. Sadly, we have entered an age of baseball that will continue to disappoint us through its umpiring and bring shame to the Cederstrom line.