Sunday, March 26, 2017
It was during one of those chats with a veteran umpire earlier this spring that Trout offered a thought: As the experienced umpires work their way back into game shape in spring training, just as the players do, why not have them work five or six innings and turn over the last innings to umpires who would normally work minor league games on back fields?
The idea is simple, but has a lot of helpful layers, beyond allowing an older plate umpire a little more time to work into condition in spring to see 350 or so pitches in a given game. It is extraordinarily difficult for young umpires to advance in the industry because there is little annual turnover among umpires in the big leagues. For a young umpire slated for Class A or AA to get a few innings in a major league exhibition—with the packed ballpark and major league players—would be something of a reward, as it is for the minor league players.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Jim Joyce has joined John Hirschbeck, Tim Welke and Bob Davidson in retiring from Major League Baseball’s umpire staff.
The commissioner’s office said Tuesday that Adam Hamari, Pat Hoberg, Gabe Morales and Carlos Torres have been promoted to the full-time staff.
Hirschbeck, the crew chief in last year’s World Series and a big league umpire since 1984, had announced his planned retirement last year, as did Welke and Davidson. Hirschbeck and Welke—who was sidelined by knee injuries—were 33-year veterans. Davidson worked his first big league game in 1982.
Hirschbeck and Welke are part of the only brother big league umpire tandems. Mark Hirschbeck retired in 2003 and Bill Welke remains an active umpire.
Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:16 AM | 32 comment(s)
Major League Baseball announced the retirement of longtime umpires Bob Davidson, John Hirschbeck, Jim Joyce and Tim Welke on Tuesday. All four had spent several decades calling big league games.
That brings four new umpires to the full-time Major League ranks—Adam Hamari, Pat Hoberg, Gabe Morales and Carlos Torres.
Posted: February 22, 2017 at 09:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
Friday, February 03, 2017
Chicago Eagle, February 3, 1917:
Bill Byron, the singing umpire, who says there hasn’t been a single kick against his decisions since October, tells a new story on himself.
He umpired in Newark one day and in the course of the game he called a man out at the plate on a close play. The player arose, dusted off his uniform, and then pointing to the chimney which towers high over the field, he said to Byron: “Bill, I ain’t sayin’ nothin’ to you. I ain’t makin’ no kick or nothin’, but I hope that that chimney falls on you and hits you one brick at a time.”
Bill says the hope was so soothing and so original that he did not put the player out of the game.
If I were the umpire, not only would I not have ejected the guy, I’d have had difficulty keeping a straight face.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
The minimum monthly salary for rookie and short-season Class A umpires, which had started at $1,900 under the previous five-year agreement, will rise to $2,000 under the new deal and increase to as much as $2,300 for a fourth-year umpire.
For full-season Class A, the minimum rises from $2,000 to $2,100 and increases to $2,600 by a seventh season. At Double-A, the minimum goes up from $2,300 to $2,500 and rises to $3,100 by a ninth season. At Triple-A, it goes up from $2,600 to $2,900 and rises to $3,900 by a 14th season.
Per diems increase by $2 annually, to $44.50 this year at Class A, $50 at Double-A and $58 at Triple-A. In 2021, they will be $52.50 at Class A, $58 at Double-A and $66 at Triple-A.
Monday, January 09, 2017
Minor League Baseball announced today that Minor League Baseball Umpire Development, one of its subsidiaries, has reached a five-year collective bargaining agreement with the Association of Minor League Umpires (AMLU).
Posted: January 09, 2017 at 09:28 PM | 0 comment(s)
Wednesday, January 04, 2017
The Daily Missoulian, January 4, 1917:
UMPIRE CANS WHOLE NINE
Jimmy Murray Puts Entire Ball Team Off Field in One Game.
[After nobody heard Murray call a drive down the line foul, costing Buffalo an apparent home run,] “there was an awful demonstration. A stranger would have thought the inmates of some insane asylum had been turned loose…Before I was able to restore order I found it necessary to tag seven of those Buffalo players with tickets to the clubhouse.”
[In the ninth inning of the same game, after Murray called a Toronto runner safe at home because the catcher missed the tag,] “there was another big kick, and this time I was compelled to remove the Buffalo battery, McConnell and Archer. Thus in one game I ejected the entire nine, which, I believe is a world’s record.”
I’ve certainly never heard of that happening before.
Elsewhere in the newspapers of January 4, 1917, the death of Reinder “Rynie” Wolters, Dutch-born 1870s pitcher and (arguably) thrower of the first no-hitter in history, is reported. In virtually every report I have seen, he is referred to as “Reindeer Wolters”, which would have been a pretty great name.
Monday, October 31, 2016
The philosophy of replay was ostensibly simple: Get the call right. Yet during a season in which time of game is a priority, baseball is dealing with an unintended consequence of replay: the spirit of replay on second-base tag plays. Former managers Joe Torre and Jim Leyland, both of whom work in the commissioner’s office, are vexed that replay has resulted in nitpicking.
“I think this is an example of where the technology is too good,” Leyland said, “Where, in this case, we’re kind of victims of the technology. It works too well. It wasn’t put in place to look at 10 different angles of whether a guy came off the bag by a millimeter. It bothers me.”
Players, however, are more absolutist.
“No, the technology doesn’t affect me at all,” said Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler. “It doesn’t make me less inclined to run, and I don’t think it makes managers want to run less. Maybe you have to get a better lead, be more careful, but that’s it.”
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