In response to this earlier comment about John Roberts, a lawyer from Ohio writes:
"Actually, I like the analogy. Remember in the old days, then the American League umpires all wore their huge bulky chest protectors outside and the National League umpires had smaller ones on the inside of their shirts? It was said that the AL umpires called more high strikes and had a higher strike zone because they could not get down as low as the NL umpires. Maybe it was true, maybe it wasn't. But that was the perception among the players, the ones most affected by the strike zone.
"Likewise, I remember in 1997 when Eric Gregg, a very fat umpire, called an outside strike for Livan Hernandez in the ninth inning against the Braves. From looking at the camera, the ball was a good foot off the left side of the plate. But since Gregg was already pretty shaded to the left, it looked good to him.
"Judges, like umpires, do call balls and strikes. But like umpires, if they are too shaded to one side of the plate, they will call balls as "strikes" on the side they shade to, and will call strikes "balls" on the other side. It is clear on which side of the plate Roberts shades. And I don't know why no Dem followed his umpire analogy to its logical conclusion."
The late Eric Gregg, who died four years ago, after a stroke at age 55: