First, you assume that the ump is bad because he is black.
No, we assume he is bad because he blew two very obvious calls in one game, continuing a pattern of sub-standard competence that has been noted by many baseball people (c.f. Schilling's comments, and the anonymous surveys cited earlier in this thread.)
Second, you assume that he was hired because of affirmative action.
Which, given the factors presented above, makes it a reasonable notion - if not sufficient for an "assumption", at least to be raised as a question, which is how MaxPower phrased it in his original post. Further, while the post did say "hire", I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that this was a shorthand for "selection for post-season assignment", which is a markedly different question. No one here pretends to know the state of the umpiring pool at the time of his hire in any detail, but we can make a pretty good case that better umpires could have been found to work a post-season series.
Third, you assume that affirmative action lets unqualified people into jobs they can't handle; in my experience, to even get to the point of being considered under an affirmative action you have to work twice as hard as most people, and then you have to put up with lots of bitter white people who blame their problems--bad marriage, bad job, brutal economy, sox losing--on people of color whom they always assume are affirmative action hires.
None of which is remotely relevant to the question of how post-season umpiring assignments are determined from among the pool of MLB umpires. Again, given that a) CB has an established track-record of perceived sub-standard umpiring, further reinforced by his display tonight, and b) some flavor of affirmative action is accepted by many people (including you, apparently) as being an appropriate factor in workplace decision-making, it is entirely reasonable to raise the question - which is all that Max Power did - of whether or not such a process was at work in this case.
I wish I could agree with you, but...
...strikes me as an implication that Bucknor would not have been hired had he not been black.
Again, why is this impossible? And if it's possible, why is it so firmly verboten to speak of it? Other than it's being off-topic, as are many game thread tangents.
It brings an extraneous issue into the discussion of Bucknor's bad umpiring, which was quite bad enough on its own.
But surely it is a more interesting issue. Umpires have bad days from time to time - there's usually nothing productive to say about it. When MLB gives an habitually bad umpire a post-season game and he turns in an execrable performance, isn't it worth at least discussing what the reason for this may have been? As far as I can see, he merely put forward a very realistic candidate for a partial factor in the decision - most of the objection to this comment seems to be of the "you're saying he's bad because he's black!!11" variety - an epic logic fail if there ever was one.
Edited by Bellhorn, 09 October 2009 - 12:33 AM.