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Monday, April 24, 2006

Fresno Bee (RR): Umpires hearing plenty of criticism

Observers say the replacement umpires are overwhelmed by the speed of the game, don’t maintain consistency with their calls, are losing control and flow of the game, and are putting their safety at risk.

I’ve noticed.

“We appreciate those guys who are coming out to call our games, but we need our professional umpires back,” Las Vegas 51s manager Jerry Royster said. “There are things they’re missing, some more obvious than others.

“At the same time, players and coaches should know what we’re facing. So we have to adjust. It’s not always easy. But we’re the professionals.”

I wonder, though, whether the adjustments that the players are being asked to make to inconsistent umpiring - especially at the lower levels - is likely to hurt their development.

In five games at Carolina last week, I saw an Eric Gregg-sized strike zone (complete with an Eric Gregg-sized umpire calling it), a postage stamp sized-strike zone, and three different floating zones (two of them called by the same umpire). I don’t know how someone who’s using a wooden bat for the first time can be expected to adjust to that.

“It’s stuff like missing a strike that could have ended an inning on one pitch, then giving up a home run the next pitch that seems to be most frustrating for the guys,” said Bert Bradley, the Giants’ coordinator of minor league pitching. “Part of it is on the player to adjust. But the umpires have to make the right call, too.

“It isn’t a stretch to say a player could be let go, demoted or not get called up because of a bad performance, some of it caused by the umpire.”

The good news is that there will be a negotiating session this week, attended by a federal mediator.

Trentonian: Eastern League replacement umpires stink

 

Mike Emeigh Posted: April 24, 2006 at 01:26 PM | 5 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, minor leagues

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   1. MM1f Posted: April 24, 2006 at 03:45 PM (#1985292)
I think this will wreck minor havoc on stats based analysis, esp. considering how heavily some value k/bb rates.
I think young Aballers with hard breaking balls in particular wil see their walk rate higher than it should be as replacement umpires will be more fooled that the batter on the breaking ball. Actually, i tihnk this is a factor that is too often ignored in general but wil be more evident this year
   2. Mike Emeigh Posted: April 24, 2006 at 04:11 PM (#1985335)
I think this will wreck minor havoc on stats based analysis, esp. considering how heavily some value k/bb rates.


...which is one reason why I don't stress them as heavily.

-- MWE
   3. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: April 24, 2006 at 05:28 PM (#1985499)
Let's wait to see how long this lasts before we figure out how to treat this season's numbers.
   4. Brian Posted: April 24, 2006 at 06:02 PM (#1985547)
With the rain in NY this weekend I watched a lot MLB this weekend (love the extra innings package) and I was very unimpressed with the major league umps. Very inconsistent strike zones and more than the usual, at least to me with no stats to back kit, bad calls.

Anyone else notice?
   5. Anthony Giacalone Posted: April 25, 2006 at 01:27 AM (#1986401)
Mike, I was at the Charlotte/Durham game yesterday and the three man crew was just unbelievably bad. The strikezone was all over the place (causing Upton to get tossed early in the game). And it wasn't just Charlie Haeger's knuckelball that gave them fits. The missed two obvious calls on the field and all that happened before things got completely out of hand in the ninth inning.

And it was obvious that both manager tried to "set the tone" with the umps early.

It was pretty amazing.

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