For once, everyone can agree that an umpire made the right call. Chris Guccione, who has been a major league umpire since 2000, saw a fellow umpire in trouble and is lending a helping hand. Not a fellow MLB umpire, but a 13-year-old ump.
Josh Cordova was umpiring a game between 7-year-olds in Lakewood, Colo., last week when parents and coaches on both teams began to disagree with his call. Josh tried to keep the peace, but with him being 13 and the parents and coaches apparently being immature jerks, a huge brawl erupted. Police came to the scene, tickets were issued, and Josh was caught in the center of it all.
Guccione heard about it and invited the kid and his family to Sunday’s Dodgers-Rockies game.
“This is my state, this is where my heart is,” Guccione told the Denver Post. “So when I saw the incident that happened, I was concerned. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is in my backyard. It is embarrassing. It’s a 7-year-old game with a 13-year-old umpire? Come on...’”
Before Sunday’s game, Josh talked about the incident while sitting next to Guccione in the Rockies’ dugout.
“It was scary, not only for me but for the 7-year-olds there,” Josh said. “I don't want them to have the idea that baseball is like that. I want them to have the belief that baseball is a great game and for them to learn to love the game, just as I have.”
Josh participated in the umpires’ pregame conference, and delivered the lineup cards at home plate to Rockies manager Bud Black and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
“For him to try to earn some extra money and umpire young kids and for it to turn out that way, I just find it very hard to justify the adults’ actions, because as the role model for these young kids, there couldn’t be a worse example set,” Roberts said. “So for these kids, that’s where my heart goes out, to these young kids who have to witness their parents act that way.”
Your favorite L.A. sports moment
Last week we started a new feature for our daily email sports newsletter (you can sign up for it online at latimes.com/newsletters) where readers share their favorite sports memory involving L.A.-area events or teams. (Yes, that includes the Angels and Ducks, etc.). We are expanding the feature to Morning Briefing and will run responses occasionally here too. To take part, e-mail your favorite sports moment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s the first one:
Ken Schwartz, Centreville, Va.: “I was in L.A. for Kirk Gibson in ’88 and UCLA winning it all in ’95, but my favorite L.A. moment from the “wrong side of the country” was when the Kings won their first Stanley Cup in 2012.
“I’ve lived here in Northern Virginia since 2002 and I always represent my West Coast teams: Dodger jerseys, Lakers jerseys, 11 In-N-Out Burger T-shirts (no, really, ask my fiancee, it drives her nuts). As you might imagine, I get a lot of grief from the locals out here. Redskins fans ask me about our (until recently) nonexistent football teams. Hockey fans laugh at the mere mention of ice in L.A.; even baseball fans taunt me with videos of Kirk Gibson and ‘what have you done for me lately.’
“So when the Kings finally broke through in 2012 to win their first Cup, it was sweet, sweet redemption. I wore my Kings jersey so much that week (in June, when it’s hot, we are a swamp after all!) that it almost took on a life of its own. Strangely, I didn’t hear from any of my West Coast detractors that summer, and all my friends from Jersey were conspicuously silent. So ‘Go Kings Go’ and let’s bring home another Cup soon. That jersey needs to shake off the dust yet again.”
Last week, we asked readers to vote in our poll question “Should college athletes be compensated for the use of their name, image or likeness?” After 12,163 votes, here are the results: