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Gibson lends support to scrutinized umpires

ST. LOUIS -- Everyone, it seems these days, is down on Major League umpires, but D-backs manager Kirk Gibson recently gave a spirited defense of the men in blue.

"I think the umpires do a heck of a job," Gibson said. "They are under a lot of scrutiny. We all want them to be perfect. And yet we watch them in super-slow motion from 24 different cameras ... . And even after watching it, we're like, 'He might have been out. He might have been safe.' It's tough."

Despite his fiery reputation as a player, Gibson has been pretty tame as a manager when it comes to arguing with umpires.

Part of the reason for his restraint is because he wants to let his players to handle their own business and another is because he does not feel it does any good.

"You just can't rag a guy for every single pitch you think he misses or every play he misses," Gibson said. "If it happens two or three times, you're going to go out there and talk. What are you going to say? He's going to say, 'Hey, I thought the guy was out.' Now what? 'You're a rotten [expletive].' That's not fair. That's not right. I don't want to do that."

There is one thing that will draw the ire of Gibson, and that is if he feels an umpire is baiting one of his players.

According to Gibson, that was what prompted his furious exchange with home plate umpire Bob Davidson after Davidson had words with catcher Miguel Montero. Gibson stormed out of the dugout, was quickly ejected and the two men had a shouting match.

But umpires rarely do that, Gibson said.

"I told my players, 'Stay in the game, I'll take care of it,'" Gibson said. "I'll get thrown out. It's more important that I do than them. They need to stay in the game."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.
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