Major League Baseball Umpires Cry “Foul” Over Background Checks
January 31, 2008
Pick up any major U.S. paper today and you’ll see that Major League Baseball Umpires are less than pleased with the methods MLB has used to conduct background checks. They have alleged that investigators are making inquiries with neighbors of the umpires which preclude the neighbors to believe that the umpires are engaged in such activities. Questions have included whether the umpires have ties to the Ku Klux Klan or if they have been known to grow marijuana. MLB has denied has denied any wrong doing.
See Umpires questioning tactics in MLB background checks found in today’s USA Today for the complete story.
Here’s my take. First, the type of investigative work MLB has employed to vett their umpires is far beyond that which your average employer utilizes. That doesn’t make it wrong. That makes it much more in-depth, time intensive and costly. Knowing the embarrassment caused to the NBA when it was revealed that one of their referrees was tied to a mafia gambling ring, they have a vested interest in knowing everything they can about the people they employ to protect the integrity of the sport. Furthermore, if they are not involved in these activities, why would they have a problem with these questions? Lastly, if they don’t want to be subjected to these checks, they always have the option of seeking alternate employment.
If, in fact the investigators crossed the line and intimated that the umpires were involved in the activities they were asking about, they were flat out wrong and should be held accountable. We should have more details in the next few days and weeks and hopefully will be able to make that determination at some other time.