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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Non-Roster AAA Umps Get Call in Final Days of Spring

Several non-roster AAA umpires joined Spring Training as the annual MLB March tune-up entered its final week.

Then-AA Umpire Max Guyll ejects Bryce
Harper during a 2011 Eastern League game.
For clarity's sake, these are non-Spring Training roster invites—MiLB call-ups Ryan Blakney, Ryan Goodman, Nick Lentz, Carlos Torres, and Doug Vines have been working the full slate in Arizona and Florida alongside their sleeve-numbered colleagues. Having concluded their 2015 Minor League Spring Training meetings, the following umpires have been given Major League pre-season opportunities (this list will be updated as the final week of Spring Training progresses):

Florida - Grapefruit League
Max Guyll (AAA Affiliation: International League) - 3/28

Arizona - Cactus League
Travis Eggert (AAA Affiliation: Pacific Coast League) - 3/28
Shaun Lampe (AAA Affiliation: PCL; was on the 2014 Spring Training roster) - 3/28
Alex Ortiz (AAA Affiliation: PCL; was on the 2014 Spring Training roster) - 3/28
Greg Stanzak (AAA Affiliation: PCL) - 3/28

All Saturday, March 28 non-roster invitees were assigned to the home plate umpire position.

Friday, March 27, 2015

MiLB Announces Umpire Department Name Changes

Minor League Baseball announced name changes for its umpiring properties based in Florida. According to Director (and former MiLB ump himself) Dusty Dellinger, "We wanted to capitalize on the established brand of Minor League Baseball to help provide a clearer identity within the baseball industry."

The new MiLB umpire logos (Photo: MiLB.com)
The Umpire School changed its name to the Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy, which both confirms the institution's association with Minor League Baseball and delineates the purpose of the Academy, which is to train umpires. "Academy" comes from the former Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring name. With JEAPU de-certified, MiLB hired Evans as Umpire Advisor this past offseason, effectively making the newly named MiLB Umpire Training Academy the new JEAPU. The name also differentiates MiLB's holding from the Wendelstedt School.

Professional Baseball Umpire Corp. changed its name to Minor League Baseball Umpire Development, which also uses the MiLB name to align itself with the league it serves while using "development" to depict what its purpose is, though the jury's still out on whether MiLBUD is a better acronym than PBUC.

The Umpire Training Academy also changed its website address to www.milbumpireacademy.com.

News: MiLB announces changes to umpire entities (Minor League Baseball)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Derryl Cousins Arrested in Arizona for Extreme DUI

Retired MLB umpire Derryl Cousins was arrested in Arizona last week on suspicion of extreme DUI, reports the Los Angeles Daily News. Cousins graduated from the LA-area El Segundo High School and El Camino College.

Former MLBU Derryl Cousins in 2009
According to a police report filed in Scottsdale, AZ, Cousins was driving slowly and drifting over lane dividers in downtown at 2:22 a.m. on March 18. The report states that Cousins registered a blood alcohol reading .220 at the scene and subsequently blew a BAC as high as .231 at the booking station, which is nearly four times over the legal limit. According to Arizona state law, this qualifies for the charge of extreme DUI; Cousins was released on $2,000 bail and will be assigned a future court date. Extreme DUI is classified as a misdemeanor.

The officer noted that Cousins was polite throughout the traffic stop, arrest and booking process, stating, "I'm a law-abiding citizen, I've just been drinking too much."

Cousins retired from baseball in 2013 following 34 years of Major League service and 4,496 MLB games worked. The veteran crew chief officiated 3 All-Star Games, 5 Division Series, 7 League Championship Series and 3 World Series; he ejected 118 players, coaches and managers in his time on the field.

News: Retired MLB umpire Derryl Cousins arrested on Extreme DUI in Arizona (LA Daily News)

Monday, March 23, 2015

MLB Ejections S-4-7: Tom Woodring (S1-4; 4 D'Backs)

HP Umpire Tom Woodring ejected Diamondbacks pitcher Allen Webster, Manager Chip Hale, pitcher Derek Eitel and Bench Coach Glenn Sherlock for throwing at Dodgers batters Justin Turner and Dillon Moyer in the bottom of the 5th and 8th innings, respectively, of the Diamondbacks-Dodgers game. In the 1st inning, Dodgers pitcher Chris Anderson hit Diamondbacks batter Mark Trumbo and Diamondbacks pitcher Daniel Hudson hit Dodgers batter Turner with inside fastballs, leading to Woodring issuing warnings to both teams. In the 5th, with warnings in effect, Dodgers lead-off batter Turner took a 2-0 fastball from D'Backs pitcher Webster for a hit-by-pitch, and was injured and left the game as a result. In the 8th, Dodgers batter Dillon Moyer took a first-pitch fastball from D'Backs pitcher Eitel for a hit-by-pitch. Replays indicate both HBPs were inside (pitch f/x unavailable), the calls were irrecusable. At the time of the 5th inning ejections, the Dodgers were leading, 4-1. At the time of the 8th inning ejections, the game was tied, 4-4. The Dodgers ultimately won the contest, 7-4.

These are Tom Woodring (75)'s first, second, third and fourth ejections of 2015 Spring Training.
Tom Woodring now has 0 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Previous + 0 Spring Training = 0).
Crew Chief Bill Miller now has 0 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Previous + 0 Irrecusable/ST = 0).

These are the 3rd and 4th player ejections of Spring Training.
This is the 2nd Manager ejection of Spring Training.
These are the D'Backs' 1st-4th ejections of the preseason, 1st in the Cactus League (ARI 4, SEA 1).
This is Allen Webster's first career MLB ejection.
This is Chip Hale's first ejection since May 30, 2013 (Brian Knight; QOC = Y [Fan Interference]).
This is Derek Eitel's first career MLB ejection.
This is Glenn Sherlock's first career MLB ejection.
These are Tom Woodring's first ejections since May 7, 2014 (Rick Renteria; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (Cactus League Spring Training), 3/23/15
Video: Woodring issues warnings to both benches as Turner gets hit in the 1st inning (LAD)
Video: Turner is drilled by Webster's inside pitch, drawing heave-hos and a game-ending injury (LAD)
Video: Bean ball war claims Moyer's back, prompting two more Arizona dismissals (LAD)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

2015 UEFL Appeals Board Election

Welcome to the 2015 UEFL Appeals Board election. Pursuant to UEFL Rule 6-4-a, the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League has established an Appeals Board that shall routinely rule on issues of Quality of Correctness. Comprised of a roster of nine voting members, including both Commissioners and seven at-large volunteers, a pre-season nomination and election process has been established to complete this year's Board.

Listed in random order, the following two UEFL'ers have been nominated for and are seeking election to the 2015 UEFL Appeals Board. Voting closes at 11:59 PM PDT on Friday, March 27, 2015. The ballot is located beneath the list of candidates. Their statements are available on Page 7 of the March 2015 issue of The Left Field Corner:


Friday, March 20, 2015

MLB Ejection S-3: Ben May (S1; Alex Claudio)

HP Umpire Ben May ejected Rangers pitcher Alex Claudio for throwing at Mariners batter Jesus Sucre in the top of the 7th inning of the Mariners-Rangers game. With none out and none on, Sucre took a first-pitch fastball from Claudio for a hit-by-pitch. Replays indicate the pitch was located inside (pitch f/x unavailable) and was the third hit batsman of the game, the call was irrecusable. At the time of the ejection, the Mariners were leading, 3-2. The contest ultimately ended in a 4-4 tie.

This is Ben May (97)'s first ejection of 2015.
Ben May now has 0 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Prev + 0 [Spring Training Ejection] = 0).
Crew Chief Jordan Baker now has 0 points in Crew Division (0 Previous + 0 Spring Training = 0).

This is the 3rd ejection of the 2015 MLB Spring Training Preseason.
This is the 2nd player ejection of Spring Training. Prior to ejection, Claudio's line was 0.0IP, HBP.
This is the Mariners' 1st ejection of the preseason, 1st in the Cactus League (SEA 1, Others 0).
This is Alex Claudio's first career MLB ejection.
This is Ben May's first ejection since August 28, 2014 (Chris Coghlan; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers (Cactus League Spring Training), 3/20/15
Video: After drilling Sucre, Claudio is tossed for intentionally throwing at a batter (N/A)

Off Bereavement, Sam Holbrook Returns to the Field

Veteran MLB umpire Sam Holbrook returned from the bereavement list to officiate his first Spring Training game since 2013 following the February 10, 2014 death of his wife, Laura "Susie" Glass. Susie, who was diagnosed with cancer during the 2010 preseason, was 47 years old. Holbrook returned to the field during Friday's Phillies-Pirates Grapefruit League game as a field umpire (starting at third base).

Holbrook has been assigned to chief John Hirschbeck's crew for the 2015 regular season (link: 2015 crew list). Like Holbrook, Hirschbeck is returning from the bereavement list this season, having suffered the loss of his son Michael in April 2014.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

MLB Ejection S-2: Joe West (S1; AJ Pierzynski)

HP Umpire Joe West ejected Braves catcher AJ Pierzynski for arguing a ball three call in the top of the 6th inning of the Yankees-Braves game. With none out and two on, Yankees batter Brian McCann took a 2-0 fastball from Braves pitcher Arodys Vizcaino for a called third ball. It was the 11th consecutive ball of the inning. Replays indicate the pitch was located near the lower bound of the strike zone (pitch f/x unavailable), the call was irrecusable. At the time of the ejection, the Yankees were leading, 7-3. The Yankees ultimately won the contest, 12-5.

This is Joe West (22)'s first ejection of 2015.
Joe West now has 0 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Prev + 0 [Spring Training Ejection] = 0).
Crew Chief Joe West now has 0 points in Crew Division (0 Previous + 0 Spring Training = 0).

This is the 2nd ejection of the 2015 MLB Spring Training Preseason.
This is the 1st player ejection of Spring Training. Prior to ejection, Pierzynski was 1-2 in the contest.
This is the Braves' 2nd ejection of the preseason, 1st in the Grapefruit League (ATL 2, Others 0).
This is A.J. Pierzynski's first ejection since June 4, 2014 (Quinn Wolcott; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Joe West's first ejection since September 14, 2014 (Jonathan Papelbon; QOC = U [lewdness]).

Wrap: New York Yankees vs. Atlanta Braves (Grapefruit Spring Training), 3/18/15
Video: West tosses Pierzynski, explaining to Fredi, "we need a new catcher; he's done" (ATL)

Friday, March 13, 2015

2015 MLB Umpire Crews Listed by Crew Chief Service

The 2015 MLB Umpire Crew list is here, with umpiring crews sorted by the crew chief's service time (as a crew chief). With the 2015 umpire crews now available, the UEFL Draft Deadline for Crew Chiefs is set as April 3. Click here to visit the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's draft & prospectus guide announcement. Visit the UEFL's Umpire Profiles page for a sortable list of all MLB and MiLB call-up umpires (MLB umpires may be sorted by 2015 Crew). This is an early release of the 2015 MLB Umpire Crews and is subject to change during the season due to vacation, injury or other events.

2015 MLB Umpire Crews (By Umpiring Crew Chief Seniority)

UEFLCrew Chief UEFLUmpire 2Umpire 3Umpire 4
Crew A12 Davis, Gerry10 Cuzzi, Phil11 Randazzo, Tony93 Little, Will
Crew B32 DeMuth, Dana39 Nauert, Paul15 Hickox, Ed83 Estabrook, Mike
Crew C17 Hirschbeck, John52 Welke, Bill34 Holbrook, Sam92 Hoye, James
Crew D3 Welke, Tim57 Everitt, Mike95 Timmons, Tim13 Tichenor, Todd
Crew E5 Scott, Dale58 Iassogna, Dan54 Bucknor, CB94 Barrett, Lance
Crew F22 West, Joe44 Danley, Kerwin30 Drake, Rob70 Reyburn, DJ
Crew G38 Cederstrom, Gary56 Cooper, Eric23 Barksdale, Lance81 Wolcott, Quinn
Crew H24 Layne, Jerry21 Wendelstedt, Hunter61 Davidson, Bob86 Rackley, David
Crew I9 Gorman, Brian6 Carlson, Mark16 DiMuro, Mike73 Gibson, Tripp
Crew J8 Kellogg, Jeff7 O'Nora, Brian64 Porter, Alan90 Ripperger, Mark
Crew K20 Hallion, Tom72 Marquez, Alfonso1 Dreckman, Bruce2 Bellino, Dan
Crew L33 Winters, Mike14 Wegner, Mark60 Foster, Marty76 Muchlinski, Mike
Crew M66 Joyce, Jim53 Gibson, Greg51 Hudson, Marvin4 Fairchild, Chad
Crew N25 Culbreth, Fieldin77 Reynolds, Jim43 Schrieber, Paul79 Gonzalez, Manny
Crew O65 Barrett, Ted55 Hernandez, Angel87 Barry, Scott98 Conroy, Chris
Crew P45 Nelson, Jeff63 Diaz, Laz68 Guccione, Chris89 Blaser, Cory
Crew Q26 Miller, Bill88 Eddings, Doug28 Wolf, Jim80 Johnson, Adrian
Crew R27 Vanover, Larry46 Kulpa, Ron91 Knight, Brian19 Carapazza, Vic
Crew S41 Meals, Jerry50 Emmel, Paul49 Fletcher, Andy71 Baker, Jordan
[DL][None Probable]obtained byClose Call Sports/ UEFL
Some Notes and Observations:
≫ As previously noted, Larry Vanover & Jerry Meals have been promoted to Crew Chief.
≫ New-hire assignments: Will Little -> Davis. Tripp Gibson -> Gorman. Mark Ripperger -> Kellogg.
≫ Promotions to the Umpire 2 (backup crew chief) position: Phil Cuzzi, Paul Nauert, Mark Carlson.
≫ ≫ Note that individual crews are ordinarily sorted by Major League service time (see Jerry Layne's crew for an exception; Bob Davidson has more service time [25 years] than Hunter Wendelstedt [15]); hence an umpire on a crew with the third-most service time in 2014 who now has the second-most service time on this crew in 2015 will be said to have been "promoted" to the second spot.
≫ Pursuant to terms of the WUA-MLB collective bargaining agreement, all 76 umpiring slots across 19 crews have been filled (+2 over 2014). There are no permanent [AAA Rover] positions in 2015.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

MLB Ejection S-1: Dan Iassogna (S1; Fredi Gonzalez)

HP Umpire Dan Iassogna ejected Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez for arguing a ball one call in the bottom of the 1st inning of the Braves-Yankees game. With none out and none on, Yankees batter Jacoby Ellsbury took a 0-0 fastball from Braves pitcher Shelby Miller for a called first ball. Ellsbury grounded out on the ensuing pitch. Replays indicate the pitch was located outside the lower right quadrant of home plate (pitch f/x unavailable), the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 0-0. The Yankees ultimately won the contest, 3-2.

This is Dan Iassogna (58)'s first ejection of 2015.
Dan Iassogna now has 0 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Prev + 0 [Spring Training Ejection] = 0).
Crew Chief Dan Iassogna now has 0 points in Crew Division (0 Previous + 0 Correct Call [ST] = 0).

This is the 1st ejection of the 2015 MLB Spring Training preseason.
This is the 1st Manager ejection of the Spring Training.
This is the Braves' 1st ejection of the preseason, 1st in the Grapefruit League (ATL 1, Others 0).
This is Fredi Gonzalez's first ejection since September 15, 2014 (Tim Timmons; QOC = N).
This is Dan Iassogna's first ejection since September 14, 2014 (Steve Smith; QOC = Y).

Wrap: Atlanta Braves vs. New York Yankees (Grapefruit League Spring Training), 3/12/15
Video: Gonzalez wastes no time getting tossed, arguing the very first pitch from Miller (NYY)