"As They See 'Em," a recently released book by Bruce Weber, is a superb account of what it's like to be an umpire. You should read it. Unfortunately for the major-league umpires, however, folks in the commissioner's office have read it. And they are not pleased. According to multiple people in the loop, the already-frosty relationship between the umpires and Major League Baseball headquarters has taken a hit from the book. In the book, multiple umpires voice their complaints about the way they're treated by the current administration. From the basic (not paid enough) to the more internal (favoritism) to the downright esoteric (the World Series umpires weren't featured in a recent World Series program), the umpires come off as extremely hardworking but also a tad whiny. Weber admits to being sympathetic to the umpires' plight. "I think baseball knows it treats the umpires miserably, and I think it embarrasses them," the author said. Why does all of this matter? Because the umpires are in the last year of their collective-bargaining agreement with baseball, and this book could make it harder to hammer out another deal. Rick rolling In all likelihood, the Mets' general manager in 2010 will be either the incumbent, Omar Minaya, or his assistant, John Ricco. But if you want to look around the industry for up-and- coming candidates, look to the week's news -- the White Sox's acquisition of Alex Rios on a waiver claim from Toronto. It's a significant risk. But it's one the White Sox could try, as well as the Jake Peavy trade July 31, because Barack Obama's favorite team has done an outstanding job managing its payroll and roster. Kenny Williams, the game's most aggressive GM, credits his assistant, Rick Hahn, with making that happen. When you look at the top-heavy, financially hamstrung roster that Minaya put together, you see how much the Mets could use someone like Hahn, who can fully appreciate the game's modern economics. Maybe Ricco can be as sharp. Or maybe Minaya can learn from his mistakes. All right, that's a stretch. One fine day On Aug. 8, the Yankees purchased the contract of righthander Josh Towers from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as bullpen insurance in the wake of the Yankees' 15-inning, 2-0 victory over Boston the previous night. On Aug. 9, the Yankees designated Towers for assignment; the righthander now is back with Scranton, on the reserve list. So how much did Towers make for his one day in Yankees pinstripes? His contract called for him to make $475,000 if called up to the big leagues. One day of that is $2,595. The name game So what's the common surname in baseball right now? The answer, according to a study done by MLB, based on teams' 25-man rosters: 9 -- Gonzalez 7 -- Johnson 6 -- Cabrera, Hernandez, Ramirez, Young Pick Rick The Brewers' firing of first-year pitching coach Bill Castro brought back the thought that departed Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson wanted to replace Mike Maddux (who left for Texas) last winter. It's not shocking that Peterson remains untethered to every team, as he works on individual projects such as Tampa Bay's Scott Kazmir. Peterson's non-stop yapping wears people down. But the guy knows what he's doing. The Mets clearly miss him, and there are many teams that could benefit from his knowledge.