Saturday, November 26, 2016

Umpire Roberto Moreno Injured in Venezuelan League

Venezuelan Umpire Roberto Moreno suffered a head injury during a Venezuelan League game on Thanksgiving Thursday, reportedly losing consciousness as the result of a foul ball to his right jaw area. Moreno also officiated Triple-A's International League during the 2016 Minor League Baseball season.

Roberto Moreno, in his 2013 ejection of Asdrubal Cabrera.
Moreno served as home plate umpire during Thursday's Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional game between the Lara Cardinals and Margarita Braves when Cardinales batter Carlos Rivero fouled off pitcher Luis Ramirez's fastball into Moreno's traditional-style facemask, resulting in Moreno's collapse and subsequent delay during which paramedics placed Moreno on a stretcher; an Ovation Sports report stated that Moreno was admitted to a local clinic after losing consciousness as a result of the trauma.

MiLB's box score indicates that 2B Umpire Manolo Alejandro completed the game behind home plate, with corner umpires Jhonatan Biarreta (1B) and Osmel Pimentel (2B) joined by standby official Luis Gonzalez (2B).

Gonzalez and Heriberto Diaz subsequently joined Biarreta and Pimentel over the weekend (where the crew ejected three Lions and Tigers on Saturday, including Leones del Caracas 1B Coach Yorvit Torrealba, whose ejection was allegedly very demonstrative. Torrealba has a history of misconduct, including a 2013 ejection in which Torrealba shoved HP Umpire Dario Rivero Jr., which itself followed a 2012 histrionic ejection in Anaheim over a Tim McClelland safe call. If video surfaces of his most recent escapade, we'll share it).

Moreno is the sole Triple-A umpire on the 2016-17 Winter Leagues officiating roster.

Video: Plate umpire Moreno takes foul ball to face and must be removed from the game
A video posted by Beisbol Al Día (@beisbolaldia) on

Baseball Rules Guru Carl Childress Passes Away

Baseball Rules Differences author & umpire Carl Childress passed away over Thanksgiving week.

Longtime Rulebook Umpire Carl Childress has died.
Childress began officiating baseball in the 1950s—that would be his teens—and eventually worked his way into NCAA Division I baseball, at which time a March 1978 Referee Magazine article outlining 38 differences between Federation and Professional baseball led Childress to think about how to bridge the gap created by discussing the difference between high school and pro rules—which left college baseball out of the picture entirely.

As a rules educator, Childress had a way with words: humorous, while clearly and concisely conveying important concepts. Here is one of my favorite Childress-isms (from an article):
Here's what you're supposed to say on a foul ball: "Time!" Generally, we amateurs just say "Foul!" 
Here's what you're supposed to say on a fair ball: "            !" The blank space means you're supposed to say nothing. A friend read it and didn't get it.
Still from Officiating YouTube Video: Controlling the Game.
After joining Referee Magazine as a Contributing Editor in March 1982, Childress' first Baseball Rules Differences (BRD) took its initial form one year later as a short publication in Referee outlining the NCAA/Pro differences.

Since then, Childress wrote, edited, and otherwise journaled material for Referee,, and Childress' own He renamed the mechanic known as "Position 1" to the now-commonly used "Position A," served as a trainer in Texas, and—yes—continued working his slate of D1 college games. He collaborated with all manners of officials, and tabbed Hunter Wendelstedt as official OBR interpreter for his BRD, which he continued publishing annually through 2016.

Speaking to the longevity and gravitas of "Papa C" in baseball officiating circles, Carl's BRD reached 34 editions under his authorship: It is the UEFL's book of choice for deciphering rule differences for FED/NCAA/PRO Case Plays matters.

Carl Childress was 79 years old (April 23, 1937).

Thursday, November 24, 2016

2016-17 Winter League MiLB Umpire Rosters

Each year as part of the Minor League Baseball Umpire Development program, MiLBUD (formerly PBUC) supports certain umpires to develop and officiate in off-season professional leagues.

In October, Minor League Baseball assigned 12 umpires (nine PCL, three IL) to the 2016 Arizona Fall League (roster available via this link). AFL assignments have recently featured mid-to-high level Triple-A umpires on track for work at the Major League level (e.g., four 2016 AFL umpires also officiated MLB games in 2016).

Before getting that coveted AFL assignment and informal domestic tryout, many umpires—especially those from other parts of the globe—take the international route by officiating one of pro baseball's Winter Leagues. The following is a roster of the 2016-17 Winter League umpires and regular season dates. Our Minor League Scout MLBumpireobserver has additionally identified which of these officials also served in Minor League Baseball this past season; they are identified at the top of their respective league in bold text with their 2016 MiLB league in parentheses. Minor League Baseball officiating is most strongly represented this winter in the Venezuelan League with six umpires officiating that league's games:

Australian Baseball League (ABL, 11/17/16 - 1/29/17) - Two 2016 Minor League Umpires
Takahito Matsuda (Single-A, California League) - From Seiyo Ehime, Japan
Tom West (Single-A, South Atlantic League) - From Queensland, Australia
Barry Barnes
Riley Barrington
Andrew Bell
Lou Bonomi
Peter Bowie
Gavin Carson
Bob Crawford
Michael Cumming
Blake Halligan
Geoff Hallmann
Ryan Harder
Greg Howard
Stewart Howe
Paul Hyham
Greg Kent
Paul Latta
Michael Lyons
Mal Mackay
David Milton
Ian Reval
Brett Robson
James Shields
Payne Sowter
Jordan Taylor
Trent Thomas

Dominican Winter League (10/20 - 12/21/16) - One 2016 Minor League Umpire
Hardlen Acosta (Rookie Short, Gulf Coast League) - From Sanchez, Dominican Republic
Santo Castillo
Nelson De La Cruz
Juan Diaz
Felix Leguisamo
Verman Mejia
Miguel Mercedes
Domingo Paulino
Edward Pinales
Domingo Polanco
Juan Manuel Rodriguez
Santos Silvestre
Felix Tejada
Simeon Vasquez
Mariano Vizcaino

Puerto Rican / Roberto Clemente League (10/27 - 12/30/16) - Two 2016 Minor League Umpires
Jean JC Velez-Morales (Single-A, Carolina League) - From San Juan, Puerto Rico
Kelvis Velez Caminero (Rookie Short, Gulf Coast League) - From Ensenada, Puerto Rico
Kelvin Bultron
Delfin Colon* (Former MiLB and MLB Fill-In Umpire)
Jorge Davilla
Edwin Hernandez
William Lopez
Ivan Mercado
Vincent Morales
Carlos Rey
Charlie Rivera

Venezuelan Winter League (10/6 - 12/29/16) - Six 2016 Minor League Umpires
David Arrieta Quintero (Double-A, Southern League) - From Maracaibo Zulia, Venezuela
Gabriel Alfonzo (Rookie Short, Gulf Coast League) - From Guacara, Venezuela
Jhonatan Biarreta (Rookie Short, Gulf Coast League) - From Barquisimeto, Lara, Venezuela
Roberto Moreno (Triple-A, International League) - From Cumana, Venezuela
Jonathan Parra (Single-A, Carolina League) - From Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela
Jorge Teran (Double-A, Eastern League) - From Barquisimeto, Venezuela
Manolo Alejandro
Heriberto Diaz
Mayhue Edwards
Luis Gonzalez
Juan Gomez
Edwin Jimenez
Emil Jimenez
Carlos Leal
Yosman Mendez
Jose Navas
Leo Nieves
Edward Pacheco
Osmel Pimentel
Jesus Santiago
Rainiero Valero

Mexican Pacific League (10/11 - 12/30/16)
Ulises Dominguez
Eliseo Favela
Jair Fernandez
Jaime Gutierrez
Demian Hernandez
Abraham Lopez
Jesus Lopez
Orlando Lopez
Roberto La Madrid
Socrates Marin
Oswaldo Meza
Marco Nava
Felipe Romero
Daniel Rubio
Michael Salazar
Pablo Soto

Hometown information is from

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

2016 Rules Summit - Results

The following contains results of the 2016 UEFL Rules Summit. Items which have gained passage (indicated in green highlight) will become rules for the 2017 UEFL season. Text of items which did not pass are indicated in red highlight.

Rule 1 - Selection of Umpires
Prop 1-1: Addition of Drafted Crew Chief - 46.2% YES.
> Would have increased total umpires drafted to six (2 cc + 2 PRM + 2 SEC); Crews continue to be 5.

Prop 1-2: Pre-Season Replacement due to Bereavement - 83.6% YES.
> Bereavement will be added as a reason for pre-season replacement in Rule 1-2.

Prop 1-5: Mid-Season Replacement - 61.8% YES.
> UEFL'ers may now replace an umpire midseason under certain circumstances with a replacement whose total points at the time of exchange are less than points held by the umpire to be replaced.

Prop 1-6: Manager Division - 29.1% YES.
> Would have incorporated the draft of one manager. Present rule (no managers) will be maintained.

Rule 2 - The Season
Prop 2-1: Monthly Phases - 54.0% YES.
> Seasonal phases will be realigned and replaced with monthly intervals.

Prop 2-x: Divisions and Trades - 18% YES/Divisional Trades & 12% YES/Narrow the Field.
> Would have split UEFL into Divisions and allowed trades within them; no trades will be permitted.
> Would have eliminated all but two UEFL'ers at ~ Game 130; no players will be eliminated.

Rule 3 - Crew Division
Prop 3-3: Penalty for Incorrect Ejection - 47.1% YES.
> Would have deducted one point (-1) for an incorrect crew ejection; zero points will be given to -cc.

Prop 3-7: All-Star Game Points - 66.0% YES.
> All-Star Game ejections and replay reviews will now count toward UEFL points and standings.

Rule 4 - League Scoring
Prop 4-2: QOC Component for Incorrect Ejections - 24.1% YES.
> Would have changed points for QOCN/Calling to -6 and /Crewmate to -4; Points continue to be -4/-2.

Prop 4-4i: Fill-In Umpire Award Eligibility - 50.9% YES.
> Fill-In umpires may now be written in for all Year-End Awards (except for Crew Chief of Year).

Prop 4-4ii: Award Voting Procedure - 55.4% YES/As is + Commish & 25% YES/Restrict Voting.
> Commissioner is now authorized to review and modify suspicious votes; no restrictions will apply.

Prop 4-4-b: Promising Umpire of the Year - 87.0% YES.
> "Noteworthy Umpire of the Year" is renamed & hereby known as "Promising Umpire of the Year."

Prop 4-4-i: Most Declining Umpire of the Year - 75.4% YES.
> "Most Declining Umpire of the Year" Award will be added to the Year End Award list.

Prop 4-5: Blind Case Play Requirement - 42.6% YES.
> Case Plays continue to be set to public or private, subject to Commissioner discretion.

Prop 4-8: Waiver of Points - 35.7% YES.
> No rule will be added to the UEFL Rule Book to address the issue of a member waiving points.

Prop 4-9: Community Contribution Points - 37.5% YES.
> Would have allowed awarding of contrib. points throughout yr; no such points will be authorized.

Rule 6 - Challenges and Appeals
Prop 6-2-b-5i: Throwing At Ejection QOC - [49.2% for all YES options, combined].
> Would have determined Throwing At QOC differently; such ejections will continue to be QOCU.

Prop 6-2-b-5ii: Check Swing Ejection QOC - [45.6% for all YES options, combined].
> Would have changed Check Swing QOC; such ejections continue to be Appeals Board-referred.

Prop 6-2-b-5-b: Ripperger Rule - 77.2% YES.
> Refers all disputed reasons-for-ejection to the UEFL Appeals Board (no challenge required).

Prop 6-2-b-6: QOC During Replay/Meeting - 83.0% YES.
> Changes the language of 6-2-b-6 and -7 to bring rules closer together.

Rule 8 - Umpire Odds & Ends and Community Issues
Prop 8-1: Restrict Commenters - 47.3% YES.
> Would have required all commenters register with DISQUS; guests will still be allowed.

UEFL Personnel Issues
tmac as Assistant Commissioner - 86.8% YES.
> tmac is now the UEFL Assistant Commissioner.

Appeals Board Charter Members - 60.8% YES.
> Board Charter Members will have permanent seats on Appeals Board (only applies to RichMSN).

UEFL Appeals Board (The Following Members Sought Re-Election to the Appeals Board)
Arik G - 75.0% YES. Arik G has been re-elected to the 2017 UEFL Appeals Board.
cyclone14 - 75.5% YES. cyclone14 has been re-elected to the 2017 UEFL Appeals Board.
Dennis - 68.8% YES. Dennis has been re-elected to the 2017 UEFL Appeals Board.
MarkCanada - 71.2% YES. MarkCanada has been re-elected to the 2017 UEFL Appeals Board.
RichMSN - 86.8% YES. VOID - Charter Member vote supersedes this re-election vote.
tmac - 92.5% YES. VOID - Assistant Commissioner vote supersedes this re-election vote.