Wednesday, November 9, 2016

2016 Honorable Umpires - Rob Drake & John Hirschbeck

Rob Drake & John Hirschbeck are 2016's Honorable Umpires of the Year [2015: Hirschbeck & Dale Scott].
Voting Results (Top 5): Drake (17%), Hirschbeck (15%), S Holbrook (8%), T Barrett (7%), J Kellogg (2%).

Rob Drake and John Hirschbeck are the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's 2016 Honorable Umpires of the Year, which is Hirschbeck's third consecutive time receiving this award, and Drake's first.

Like Hirschbeck and runner-up Sam Holbrook who lost his wife Susie in 2014, Drake endured a significant loss when wife Yvonnka passed away in September, upon which Drake left his crew and returned to Arizona to be with his family; he finished the 2016 season on bereavement. Drake, who compiled one ejection earlier in the 2016 season, drew praise for his situation handling and his ability to calmly walk away from an ejection scenario that had run its course.

Hirschbeck, who announced his retirement in October, was credited with returning to "vintage form" in 2016; his one ejection in 2016 drew stark contrast to seven in 2015, which some attributed to a calmer demeanor and better situation handling that might have contributed to postgame comments made in July in which Hirschbeck admitted his crew erroneously reversed a balk call in Miami.

John Hirschbeck now has 5 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (3 Prev + 2 Award = 5).
Rob Drake now has 3 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (1 Previous + 2 Award = 3).
The next postseason award, Noteworthy Umpire of the Year, will be released later tonight.


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