The Question: Should a baseball player or manager argue with the umpire?

September 12, 1954

The Answers:

LEO DUROCHER
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF.
BASEBALL MANAGER
"Yes, even though no manager has ever won an argument with the umpire. No one knows better than I. If you give the umpire an argument about a questionable decision you may make him realize that he has missed one. He'll be more alert the next time. Umpires are human, are subject to errors of judgment. They'd be the first to admit it."

KEN STRONG
NEW YORK CITY
SALESMAN
"No. I played pro baseball and football. Once in a while, I'd kick at a bad decision, but I'd always try to do it in a reasoning way. The next time I'd get the break. But if a player tries to make a fool out of an umpire, the close ones may deliberately be called against him. I've seen it done."

JACKIE ROBINSON
ST. ALBANS, N.Y.
BASEBALL PLAYER
"Suppose the fans thought I was safe on a close play. You know perfectly well what they'd do if I just ran off the field to the dugout without beefing a bit. They'd razz me. And my teammates would think I wasn't in there fighting to win. An argument doesn't have to be bitter. But when a player gets a raw deal, he should have his beef."

Mrs. BILLY SEEMAN
NEW YORK CITY
CIVIC WORKER
"Why not? Sometimes it's lots of fun. Reese of the Dodgers thought the umpire should call a game because of rain. So he came to bat wearing a raincoat. The ump kicked him out. Frankie Frisch wanted a game called because of darkness. He came on the field with a lantern. He was kicked out too."

ADMIRAL F. B. STUMP
COMMANDER IN CHIEF
PACIFIC FLEET
"Yes. Arguments with the umpire can be amusing. They add color to baseball. The fans resent an arbitrary umpire. They sympathize with the players. 'Kill the umpire' is an age-old baseball expression. Fans cheer when an umpire is hit by a ball. But it's all in fun."

Mrs. CLAY COGSWELL
BIRMINGHAM, MICH.
HOUSEWIFE
"I used to think so, but I don't anymore. Leo Durocher is the reason. His teams got nowhere when he was baiting the umpires. You remember how he was. But his whole personality changed after he married Laraine Day. The fans respect him now. His players like him. They're fighting their hearts out for him. The Giants are on top."

JOE SHEA
NEW YORK CITY
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
"Certainly. An argument with the umpire always helps to pep up a game. Baseball may get deadly dull if the players and managers submit meekly to every raw decision. And there are lots of them. Frankie Frisch's arguments with the umpires were classics. They had the fans in stitches."

DUFF MERRICK
NEW YORK CITY
BIBLE SALESMAN
"Certainly. In the excitement of a game, I've shouted 'Kill the umpire' along with everybody else. Razzing the umpire is part of baseball, like playing 'Three Blind Mice' on the loudspeaker when the umpires come on the field to start the game. Frankie Frisch did that."

EUGENIA BEDELL
NEW YORK CITY
WRITER
"No. Arguments detract from the excitement of a game. Who wants to watch a bunch of rowdies? I like the Japanese approach to baseball. When a player goes to home plate to bat, he tips his hat and bows to the umpire. The ump bows in turn. The fans here would love to see Leo the Lip Durocher bow to the ump."

LARRY GOETZ
CINCINNATI, O.
BASEBALL UMPIRE
"No. According to the rule book, arguing with the umpire is illegal. So, why do umpires permit it? We let the players sound off because the fans pay to see their favorites play. But when they go too far, we have to thumb them out or risk losing control of the game. I'm an easygoing guy. I like to let the player hang himself. He usually will."

PHOTOTWO TO TANGO: Yankee third baseman Andy Carey (left) and first sacker Bill Skowron, chasing pop-up in a Detroit game, were caught by camera in this antic. ILLUSTRATION TEN PHOTOS

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)