|MLB Umpire Eric Cooper cools off. Reuters|
On a day in which St. Louis temperatures peaked at 104-degrees with high humidity at 5:05 p.m. local time, Cooper had fallen ill, necessitating the last-minute phone call. Tumpane arrived in the middle of the third inning and assumed the role of third base umpire, sliding Marty Foster to second base. Jeff Kellogg and D.J. Reyburn remained at 1B and HP, respectively.
MLB Umpiring crews have switched from the four-to-three alignment mid-game before, most recently on June 17, when Andy Fletcher broke his wrist following a wild pitch by the Mariners' Brandon League.
Earlier this summer, MLB Director of Umpiring Randy Marsh and fill-in umpire Mike Muchlinski demonstrated the RiteTemp Athletics cooling vest, worn under the home plate umpire's chest protector as one instance in which umpires employ technology to keep cool in excessively warm environments. Muchlinski had worked that day in Cincinnati, where game-time temperatures flirted with the 100-degree mark. Nonetheless, on-field temperatures tend to be much hotter than that box score figure may let on. For instance, during an especially hot series at Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium in the 1970s, on-field temperatures were measured at over 150 degrees. Riverfront would not convert from AstroTurf to grass for another two decades.
“George Hendrick used to tell us when he played in St. Louis, he used three pairs of shoes,” Marsh said. “He kept two on a big bucket of ice and would change shoes every inning because it was so hot on that turf.”
Still, hot is hot.
On June 16 this year and after ejecting Cardinals manager Mike Matheny during another St. Louis scorcher, HP Umpire Kerwin Danley was unavailable for post-game comments because he was being treated for dehydration and getting IV fluids.
On August 27, 2011, 2B Umpire Bob Davidson was forced to leave the Rockies-Dodgers game after three innings because of dehydration caused by 97-degree temperatures in Los Angeles. After receiving an IV, Davidson attempted to return in the bottom of the seventh inning, but was ultimately advised to stay out of the game by Dodgers trainer Stan Conte, which turned out to be especially beneficial. Had he returned, Davidson would have had to endure two extra innings before the Dodgers walked off with a 7-6 victory.
For tips to beat the heat during the hottest days of summer, consult this Umpire-Empire article, which advises all umpires to drink at least two cups of water or sports beverages two hours before game time, ensuring to continue the liquid intake throughout the contest. For best results, make sure to hydrate as early as the previous day and especially the morning of your game.
Additionally, OfficiallyFit.net has "blown the whistle on all excuses." Consider the following advice:
Post-Game Hydration and Recovery
Energy Drinks vs. Sports Drinks
And despite what those Sunday softball competitors may say, beer/alcohol doesn't count and should be avoided.