Some people have very attentive listening skills whether intentional or not. This can be beneficial in overhearing some important information, but it can be a nuisance on the baseball field. Umpires who have rabbit ears are the worst people to officiate a game. They take everything personally and make the game about them rather than just calling balls and strikes.
The idea of rabbit ears is that anything you say will be heard by an umpire, usually one in particular who seems to have nothing better to do than remember everything you say. Granted, there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed when getting upset over a bad call, but general trash talk is expected and part of the game. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your view, so are arguments over nothing that result in yelling, dirt kicking, and ejections.
Many times when a home plate umpire is making bad calls with the strike zone, a coach will chat him up between pitches or innings and do his job to start getting calls going his team’s way. Some umpires don’t care. Others take offense to this and will eventually issue a warning to a coach or the entire team. When the coach is the one instigating the arguments there is a reason for the umpire to fire back. An umpire who brings about an argument only slows down the game for everybody.
Players shouldn’t really say anything directly to the umpire from the bench. Chatter and complaints here and there are one thing but insulting the umpire can and will result in a player being ejected. The problem is when there is some minor chatting and the umpire decides to make an example out of somebody. Umpires are the authority on the field so it is saying what you want at your own risk.
Rabbit ears get you into trouble
There isn’t as much of a problem in the Major Leagues with umpires having rabbit ears so much as there is in college and high school. At the Major League level, there is a certain way to coach, umpire, and play the game. Most people on the field know this code and way of doing things so the small disputes don’t happen as much. At the college and high school level, umpires are more likely to get involved in disputes and arguments. They may be part time umpires and take offense when players or coaches claim to know more about baseball than they do.
Should you be at a game and hear somebody mention rabbit ears, you can bet they are referring to the umpires. Which one shouldn’t be hard to figure out since the blue that is on alert will be constantly looking at a dugout and not look 100% focused on the field. Expect to hear even more chattering and possibly a confrontation at some point. Umpires don’t like being shown up, but it’s hard when they would rather put someone in their place than do their job on the field.
Rabbit ears can also be used to describe players who hear too much as well.