Friday, February 16, 2018

Mark Wegner Promoted to Crew Chief for 2018

Mark Wegner is now a permanent MLB crew chief, filling the vacancy left by the retirement of veteran umpire Dale Scott. His promotion and new supervisory status was quietly included alongside the 2018 Spring Training umpires' roster.

Mark Wegner is MLB's Newest Crew Chief.
With 20 years of Major League experience since his 1998 National League debut, Wegner has served as an interim crew chief on several occasions, and most recently served in the backup role ("Umpire 2") on Mike Winters' "M Crew" (the "M" stands for Mike Winters, Mark Wegner, Marty Foster, and Mike Muchlinski).

For Winters' "M crew" to persist in Wegner's absence, baseball will need to assign as a replacement Mark Carlson or Marvin Hudson (both presently Umpire 2s on other crews), or Ump3/4s Mike DiMuro, Mike Estabrook, Manny Gonzalez, or Mark Ripperger.

Wegner most recently officiated behind home plate during Game 7 of the 2017 World Series (his sixth straight postseason since suffering a torn calf muscle injury in 2011), and won the UEFL's Best Umpire of the Year Award in November.
Related Post2017 UEFL Award for Umpire of the Year - Mark Wegner (November 10, 2017)

Wegner will leave behind the fabled "M Crew."
In January, we discussed the potential candidates for baseball's only opening for the leadership position ahead of the 2018 regular season, identifying Angel Hernandez, Jim Reynolds, Alfonso Marquez, Mark Wegner, and Ron Kulpa as the top five candidates based on statistics alone.
Related Post: Running the Numbers for MLB's Next Crew Chief (1/12/18).

Wegner comes into the role as the statistical fourth-most qualified, behind Hernandez, Reynolds, and Marquez.

Wegner first assumed a regular "Umpire 2" (backup crew chief) role in 2013, as did Marquez; Kulpa became an Ump2 in 2012, Reynolds in 2010, and Hernandez in 2002. Wegner's 12 postseasons are fifth-most amongst eligibles (Hernandez [16]; Eric Cooper, Greg Gibson, Kulpa [13]), and his Review Affirmation Percentage (RAP) since 2014 ranks 12th best in the league, behind only one other candidate (Marquez, 3rd).

The statistically most-qualified Umpire 2, Hernandez, sued MLB's Officer of the Commissioner in 2017, alleging, amongst others, racially-motivated discrimination in baseball's failure to promote him to Crew Chief, while promoting less qualified white umpires instead.
Related PostAngel Hernandez Sues MLB for Racial Discrimination (7/3/17).

Keep reading to hear White Sox legend Ken "Hawk" Harrelson's thoughts on Wegner's promotion:

Alternate Link: Hawk hysterically howls, having heard head-hunting heave-ho (CWS)
Related PostEjections 053, 054: Mark Wegner (1, 2) (May 30, 2012).


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