So, Major League Baseball is going around asking odd questions to the neighbors of major-league umpires -- "Hey, is your neighbor in the KKK? Does he beat his wife? Does he do drugs?"
Isn't the time to ask such questions before they reach the major leagues? And don't you think such subjects would come up in their climb through the minor leagues? Umpires many times spend a decade in the minors and, only then, a lucky few get a chance at the majors ... if there's an opening.
Even Jesse Jackson weighs in with criticism of MLB.
Umpires union president John Hirschbeck, he of the Roberto Alomar spitting incident, saw the investigator in his neighborhood before Christmas. The background checks will come up in the next labor contract negotiations. "Once again, baseball's favorite way of doing things: Ready, fire, aim," Hirschbeck said. "It's not a good way to start the season."