By Steve Wulf, ESPN.com
It doesn’t matter if the official is a teenager making $20 a game, or a man or woman moonlighting as much for love of the game as for money, or Joe West, who’s been working major league games since 1977. It’s a tough, usually thankless job, but somebody has to do it. We often hear, “The most important thing is to get it right,” and while that is very important — the more replays the better — it’s not the most important thing. First and foremost, we owe the umps and zebras and refs a foundation of respect and a debt of gratitude. There would be no games without their commitment.