Friday, November 4, 2011
Awards: 2011 Honorable Umpires of the Year: Gary Darling and Alfonso Marquez
2011 UEFL Awards: Honorable Umpires: Gary Darling and Alfonso Marquez (37 and 72)
Gary Darling and Alfonso Marquez are the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's 2011 honorable umpires of the year.
In his 24th Major League season, Gary Darling had three ejections and was selected to umpire the 2011 NLCS.
In referring to Darling's San Francisco ejection in 2011, one UEFL'er predicted, "Tough call for Darling, he missed it, but is still a very good umpire and will be in the playoffs again."
Darling was praised as an honorable umpire for the charities he is involved with, both during the season and during the offseason.
UEFL'er Dan made the case for Darling as Honorable Umpire: "If you want an Honorable Umpire, read this story (from UmpsCareBlog), where at a Nationals game this season, Gary Darling gave a game ball to a wounded soldier that lost his leg defending our country. And he did it quietly, privately, not wanting to draw attention to himself. That is the definition of honorable, and why Gary Darling deserves everyone's vote for Honorable Umpire."
In his 12th Major League season, Alfonso Marquez had four ejections at 100% accuracy and was selected to umpire the 2011 NLDS and the 2011 World Series. His ejection of Blue Jays pitcher Jon Rauch won the UEFL's Ejection of the Year award.
Marquez was praised after fully coming back from injury in a strong way. Marquez had been tabbed by many UEFL'ers as 2010's most declining umpire (award no longer exists), but was praised in 2011 for his game management abilities and his overall return to pre-injury form. Marquez missed all but seven games in 2009 with a bad back. Alfonso's return to prominence was a unique story which many UEFL'ers thought deserved something more significant than the Most Improved Award.
The Honorable Umpire of the Year Award goes to one or two umpires who, "perhaps through Community Service, or through struggling with and overcoming his own difficulties, has been the most personally admirable of all." Darling clearly embodies the former, while Marquez has likewise embodied the latter.
Gary Darling now has 11 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (9 Previous + 2 Award = 11).
Alfonso Marquez now has 23 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (21 Previous + 2 Award = 23).
The next postseason award, Notable Umpire(s) of the Year, will be released tomorrow.