In her 1969 book On Death and Dying, Swiss psychiatrist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross introduced "the five stages of grief" to describe the process by which folks deal with tragedy. Reds shortstop Orlando Cabrera, victim of Roy Halladay's epic and historic no-hitter, is obviously still stuck in stage one: denial.
Cabrera, who has a history of being a horse's ass, took umbrage with home plate umpire John Hirschbeck's liberal interpretation of the strike zone. He pretty much accused Hirschbeck of favoring Halladay and giving him a wider, taller strike zone while calling a tight game for his own guy, Edinson Volquez. Effectively, Cabrera denies that this amazing event should ever have happened.
Via the ultimate snappy dresser, Reds beat blogger John Fay, here's what O-Cabs had to say:
"It was a bad combination with John back there. He gave him every single pitch. A guy like Halladay feeds like that. It makes it nearly impossible with a guy like that. He can hit every single corner, and he was low in the zone.
"He and the umpire threw a no-hitter. Another umpire and another zone, he wouldn't have been able to throw a game like that. Basically, he was getting every pitch. We had no chance."
In a way, Cabrera has a point. The strike zone has never been a perfectly shaped rectangular box; it's a fluid, changing creature that can only be made consistent and concise with robot umpires. Last night, Halladay got a couple of favorable calls but that's no different than any pitcher in any given game. Balls are sometimes strikes, strikes are sometimes balls, and until technology eliminates it, the human element will exist in umpiring.
So to shit all over an amazing accomplishment like Halladay's by accusing the umpire of being in cahoots with history is just sad. Shame on you, Orlando.
Soon, possibly as early as this morning, Orlando Cabrera will progress towards a more familiar stage: anger. Here's hoping that Dusty Baker can cheer him up with some nifty Riverdancing.