Friday, August 21, 2015
Umps are getting better, and they’re also remarkably consistent. An ump who makes more accurate calls in one year will likely do the same the next; an ump who misses more calls in a given season will likely be as bad the next. Umpire accuracy is more steady than a player’s batting average or a pitcher’s ERA, and as consistent as OPS (on-base plus slugging) and wins above replacement.
Also interesting: umpires lately have been calling more strikes strikes, while calling an equal rate of balls balls, a pattern which may be part of the fall in offense over that period (my own speculation, not the author’s).
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Grand Forks Daily Herald, July 30, 1915:
“I am going to communicate with the Brooklyn owner and tell him unless we get better umpiring and better breaks on the decisions, I’m going to quit,” Lee Magee, manager of the Brooklyn Federal league team, declared [in Kansas City] yesterday.
“I’m not going to put up with the sort of stuff we have been going through most of the season…I was put out of the first game of the season and I have been the butt of every umpire’s anger since that time.”
That doesn’t seem terribly well thought out by Magee: “The umpires don’t like me and if they don’t start being nicer to me, I’ll go away.”
Lee, buddy, if they don’t like you, they want you to go away. Unsurprisingly, Magee didn’t finish the season as the Tip-Tops’ manager. He went on to become known as an infamous fixer of games, confessing to helping fix games in 1918 and threatening to reveal fixes going all the way back to 1906.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Pittsburgh Gazette Times, July 29, 1915:
Two fights with the umpire marked [yesterday’s Federal League] double-header between Brooklyn and Kansas City…
In the first contest Umpire Corcoran called two Brooklyn runners safe on what [Kansas City] contended was a perfect double play. The argument which followed was punctuated with fisticuffs by George Stovall, manager of the locals, and he was sent to the club house. In the second game Lee Magee, manager of the Brooklyn team, objected to a decision of Umpire Corcoran on balls and strikes called on Kauff. Magee struck Corcoran and when Corcoran drew blood from Magee’s lip Kauff came to Magee’s rescue. Magee and Kauff were both banished.
It’s remarkable that people actually wanted to be umpires 100 years ago. Getting punched in the face for doing your job doesn’t sound like much of a selling point.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
This will be interesting.
There has been a lot of talk about the benefits and drawbacks of automated umpires for calling balls and strikes. Advocates and skeptics. But on Tuesday night in the independent Pacific Association in a game between the San Rafael Pacifics and Vallejo Admirals, everyone will get to see an automated strike zone in action in a professional game.
The two-game automated umpire trial is the brainchild of former big league outfielder Eric Byrnes, who will serve as the “Strike Zone Umpire” for the two games as a charity fundraiser for the Pat Tillman Foundation.
Posted: July 28, 2015 at 01:02 PM | 8 comment(s)
Friday, May 22, 2015
Marvin Hudson is, by most accounts, not a bad umpire. He’s been in the league since 1998, and has been largely forgettable, which is one of the qualities an umpire should strive for.
He has been these things to most every team. Most every team except, that is, for the Washington Nationals.
Hudson was born in Marietta, Ga., just outside of Atlanta. This is interesting only because since 2012, when the Nats flipped the switch from perennial doormats to contenders and forged their rivalry with the Braves, Hudson has been a bizarre thorn in their side.
Consider this: Hudson has ejected just eight players or managers since September of 2012, a number that is quite reasonable and fewer than a good number of his peers. But of those eight, six have been Washington Nationals.
Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Blue Jays hitting coach Brook Jacoby has been suspended 14 games for his postgame conduct toward the umpires following an April 29 game at Boston.
Joe Torre, Chief Baseball Officer for Major League Baseball, announced the suspension Monday.
After Russell Martin was called out on strikes by Adrian Johnson for the final out of Toronto’s 4-1 loss, members of the Blue Jays coaching staff traded words with the umpiring crew as they left the field.
At Fenway Park, the umpires exit through the visitor’s dugout and share a tunnel with the players to their respective locker rooms. Following the runway incident with the Toronto coaches—of which no details have been provided—baseball sent a memo instructing visiting teams to remain in the dugout until the umpires have passed through.
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