Saturday, February 23, 2019

All in the Family - Ted & Andrew Barrett Call Cubs Game

Father Ted and son Andrew Barrett (actually, it's "Reverend Doctor Ted") officiated together for the first time at the professional level during Saturday's Brewers-Cubs MLB Spring Training game in the Arizona Cactus League as umpire slots for both HP & 2B ended in "Barrett."

Andrew drew the plate assignment while Ted served as crew chief from the field, starting at second base (in Spring Training, the field umpires rotate every few innings between the three bases). The Barrett family was joined by Tony Randazzo and Pat Hoberg.

Ted and Andrew Barrett hope to join six other father-son umpires in MLB history (five full-time MLBU). They are (dates include time as MiLB fill-in umpires):
> Shag "Henry" & Jerry Crawford (1956-75 and 1976-2010);
> Lou & Mike DiMuro (1963-82 and 1997-present);
> Lou & Ray DiMuro (1963-82 and 1996-98);
> Tom & Brian Gorman (1951-77 and 1991-present);
> Ed, Paul & Brian Runge (1954-70, 1973-97, and 1999-2012);
> Harry & Hunter Wendelstedt (1966-1998 and 1998-present).

Harry and Hunter are the only father-son to have officiated a Major League contest together, which they did during Hunter's call-up season in 1998.

Taking it even a step further, Mike and Lou are the only father-son umpires to both have called an MLB no-hitter from behind the plate (Mike's was a perfect game). Ted Barrett has already called two perfect games from behind home plate.

For the Barretts, this isn't the first similar pro assignment, though it is the first time they've called the same game. Teddy served as home plate umpire and crew chief during the 2018 MLB All-Star Game in Washington, DC while Andrew had the plate for the 2018 California League (Class-A) All-Star Game in California.
Related Post2018 MLB All-Star Game Umpires (7/10/18).

Though Andrew is only in Double-A and thus did not receive a full-MLB Spring invitation, due to all the split squad, early schedule, and plethora of umpires all in the same city, he is one of a handful of young umpires to have the opportunity to call the one-off (or two, or three) MLB Spring Training game, some of which would otherwise have just two assigned umpires.

For instance, while Andrew called the Cubs game in Mesa, other non-invitee umpires who officiated MLB Spring Training games on Saturday included Derek Thomas (NYY-BOS), Sam Burch (STL-MIA), Adam Beck (ATL-NYM), Bryan Fields (CLE-CIN), Reid Gibbs (TEX-KC), Jason Starkovich (CHI-OAK), and Mark Stewart (HOU-WAS).
Wrap: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs (Spring Training), 2/23/19

Friday, February 22, 2019

Plate Meeting Podcast - Call for ?s - Jim Joyce

As Spring Training gets underway, we're pleased to announce our next guest for The Plate Meeting, a LF Umpire Podcast from A five-time UEFL Award winner, 30-year AL & MLB veteran Jim Joyce officiated three World Series to go alongside four League Championship and 10 Division Series appearances, in addition to 3,268 regular season games, 73 ejections, and countless signature strike calls, topping several player polls for "best umpire" along the way (and what's this about a Time Magazine Person of the Year nod in 2010?). Submit your questions for Jim here at CCS.

Joyce began his professional baseball career in the 1978 Midwest League, traveling through the Texas and Pacific Coast Leagues before his 1987 American League debut in Oakland. He also saw the Athletics in his final big league game on October 2, 2016.

The Plate Meeting, a Left Field Umpire Podcast is Close Call Sports & Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's official audio forum for umpiring-related issues, including analysis or other conversation pertaining to plays, ejections, rules, and more.

To subscribe to The Plate Meeting, visit our page, or search for us on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Spotify, Radio Public, and Google Podcasts.

Follow us on Twitter 🐦 (@UmpireEjections) and like us on Facebook 👍 (/UmpireEjections).

Thursday, February 21, 2019

2019 MLB Spring Training Umpire Roster

The 2019 Spring Training Umpire roster is comprised of 97 umpires, including 76 full-time MLB + 21 minor league call-ups and invitees spread across Arizona's Cactus and Florida's Grapefruit Leagues. This preseason's list features six more umpires than the 2018 Spring Training roster (91 umpires) and five less than the 2017 Spring Training list (102 umpires).

The following roster includes sleeve numbers for all applicable umpires; Minor League Baseball umpires with numbers are deemed Call-Ups and may fill in during the regular season at the Major League level, while MiLB umpires without numbers are the Spring Training invitees and are not yet on MLB's fill-in list.

MLB Spring Training Umpires' Roster - 2019 Pre-Season
MLB StaffMLB StaffMiLB Invitees & Call-Ups
Baker, Jordan 71
Barksdale, Lance 23
Barrett, Lance 94
Barrett, Ted 65
Barry, Scott 87
Bellino, Dan 2
Blaser, Cory 89
Bucknor, CB 54
Carapazza, Vic 19
Carlson, Mark 6
Cederstrom, Gary 38
Conroy, Chris 98
Cooper, Eric 56
Culbreth, Fieldin 25
Cuzzi, Phil 10
Danley, Kerwin 44
Davis, Gerry 12
DeMuth, Dana 32
Diaz, Laz 63
DiMuro, Mike 16
Drake, Rob 30
Dreckman, Bruce 1
Eddings, Doug 88
Emmel, Paul 50
Estabrook, Mike 83
Everitt, Mike 57
Fairchild, Chad 4
Fletcher, Andy 49
Foster, Marty 60
Gibson, Greg 53
Gibson, Tripp 73
Gonzalez, Manny 79
Gorman, Brian 9
Guccione, Chris 68
Hallion, Tom 20
Hamari, Adam 78
Hernandez, Angel 5
Hickox, Ed 15
Hoberg, Pat 31
Holbrook, Sam 34
Hoye, James 92
Hudson, Marvin 51
Iassogna, Dan 58
Johnson, Adrian 80
Kellogg, Jeff 8
Knight, Brian 91
Kulpa, Ron 46
Layne, Jerry 24
Little, Will 93
Marquez, Alfonso 72
Meals, Jerry 41
Miller, Bill 26
Morales, Gabe 47
Muchlinski, Mike 76
Nauert, Paul 39
Nelson, Jeff 45
O'Nora, Brian 7
Porter, Alan 64
Rackley, David 86
Randazzo, Tony 11
Reyburn, D.J. 17
Reynolds Jim 77
Ripperger, Mark 90
Scheurwater, Stu 85
Tichenor, Todd 13
Timmons, Tim 95
Torres, Carlos 37
Tumpane, John 74
Vanover, Larry 27
Wegner, Mark 14
Welke, Bill 3
Wendelstedt, Hunter 21
West, Joe 22
Winters, Mike 33
Wolcott, Quinn 81
Wolf, Jim 28
Additon, Ryan 67
Bacon, John -
Barber, Sean 29
Blakney, Ryan 36
De Jesus, Ramon 18
January, Javerro "JJ" -
Lentz, Nic 59
Libka, John 84
Livensparger, Shane 43
Mahrley, Nick 48
May, Ben 97
Merzel, Dan -
Miller, Brennan -
Ortiz, Roberto 40
Rehak, Jeremie 35
Riggs, Jeremy -
Segal, Chris 96
Tosi, Alex -
Visconti, Jansen 52
Whitson, Chad 62
Woodring, Tom 75

(21 MiLB Umpires)
(76 MLB Umpires)
(97 Total Umpires)

Information obtained by
UEFL on 2/21/2019.
Some observations, year-over-year:
  • > 2018's roster of 20 MiLBU is comprised of five invitees and 15 regular-season call-up umps.
  • Brennan Miller and Jeremy Riggs (in bold, above) are the only new invitees; JJ January was the only non-call-up to appear on the full-time 2017 Spring Training list.
  • > Umpires who appeared on the 2017 Spring Training MiLB invitee list, were absent from the full-time 2018 list, and are back again in 2019 are: John Bacon, Dan Merzel, and Alex Tosi.
  • > Many other MiLBU will have the opportunity to officiate a few MLB Spring games, but only those on this list are a part of the so-called full-time Spring staff.
  • > All 15 MiLB call-ups from the 2018 season are back again in 2019. No staff changes.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

2019 UEFL Draft and Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for the 2019 Umpire Ejection Fantasy League season. Draft your UEFL crew today!
MLB Spring Training marks the start of the 2019 Umpire Ejection Fantasy League preseason. This year's registration and draft form is officially open and will be due prior to Opening Day in March (see below for this year's deadlines).

Pursuant to UEFL Rule 1 (Selection of Umpires), you may draft umpires all at once or in phases. After Spring Training has begun, we will release the 2019 UEFL Draft Prospectus, which includes scouting information regarding umpires eligible for selection. The Prospectus will be released at least two weeks prior to the registration deadline.

Relevant Links for the 2019 UEFL Season
2019 UEFL Registration and Draft Form | Free UEFL Digest E-mail Subscription
UEFL Rules Book | 2019 MLB Umpire Crew List | Sortable Umpire Roster & Profiles
Twitter 🐦: @UmpireEjections | Facebook 👍: /UmpireEjections.

Registration and Draft Process
If this is your first time here, welcome! And welcome back to those of you returning. As always, UEFL is a free-to-play league that is open to any person that submits the registration and draft form.

Step 1) To begin, access the 2019 UEFL Registration and Draft Form. You will indicate your desired username and e-mail address (or other unique identifier). In the event that you opt to draft in phases, this unique combination of username and e-mail will serve as verification that you are the same person (e.g., prevents against imposters or draft errors in the event of identical user IDs).

Step 2) Draft 1 Crew Chief, 2 Primary Umpires, and 2 Secondary Umpires, either all at once or in phases up until the deadline. This five-umpire crew will earn the bulk of your points during the upcoming season, though there may be other opportunities to earn points throughout the year via Case Play questions.

Important Note: Crew Chiefs earn points based on the performance of their crew while Primary and Secondary Umpires earn points based on individual performance. In general, an umpire earns points for every confirmed/stands replay review outcome and for every ejection as the result of a correct or irrecusable call, but loses points for every incorrect replay review outcome and for every ejection as the result of an incorrect call. See the accompanying graphics and UEFL Rules 3 and 4 for specific points information.

Step 3) Register for the DISQUS system in order to comment on posts (scroll down to the comments section for the appropriate link to DISQUS). Although guest commenting is enabled, UEFL Rules 4-7 and 6-1 state that only DISQUS-registered users may challenge UEFL rulings. Your DISQUS name must match your UEFL username indicated during registration.

Registration, Draft, and Roster Deadlines:
Tuesday, March 19, 2019: Last day to submit unrestricted umpire selections (CC, PRM & SEC).*
Wednesday, March 27, 2019: Last day to register for the 2019 UEFL (registration closed).
Thursday, March 28, 2019: Traditional Opening Day.

*Because the season's opening series in Japan kicks off on March 20, some umpires may be restricted (e.g., cannot be drafted) after this date. For instance, if an umpire officiating the March 20 game earns points in the league, that umpire will not be eligible for draft. By rule, no umpire may be drafted if that umpire has more than zero points at the time of the draft. Similarly, no umpire may be replaced with any other umpire that has more points than the umpire-to-be-replaced.

Any user who has not selected umpires by Traditional Opening Day will be subject to random assignment (if you wish to take the Quick Pick option voluntarily, simply leave your draft selections blank).

UEFL Appeals Board - UEFL Rule 6-4-a:
This season, there are no vacancies on the UEFL Appeals Board. The 2019 Board is as follows:
Executive Board (x4): Gil (Chair), tmac (Vice Chair), Jeremy (Deputy), RichMSN (Charter).
At Large (x5): Arik G, cyclone14, MarkCanada, jvick2017, MLBUmpireObserver.

Reply here with questions. Submit draft picks and register via the accompanying form:

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

2019 Season MLB Umpire Crews

The 2019 MLB umpire crew list features 76 umpires in 19 crews. The following table is arranged by Chief seniority and may be found on the UEFL Umpire Roster, Profiles & Crews page, which features MiLB call-up information as well as the MLB staff list. UEFL Umpire Profiles are also available for full-time MLBU.

New for this year, we've included a pronunciation guide for all MLB staff and minor league fill-in umpires. Our video trailer for this new feature is available at the conclusion of this article. Information regarding UEFL registration and the 2019 UEFL draft will be available on Wednesday.

2019 MLB Umpire Crews (by Umpiring Crew Chief Seniority)

Crew #Crew ChiefUmpire 2Umpire 3Umpire 4
Crew 112 Davis, Gerry53 Gibson, Greg91 Knight, Brian31 Hoberg, Pat
Crew 232 DeMuth, Dana5 Hernandez, Angel15 Hickox, Ed37 Torres, Carlos
Crew 322 West, Joe56 Cooper, Eric49 Fletcher, Andy93 Little, Will
Crew 438 Cederstrom, Gary51 Hudson, Marvin80 Johnson, Adrian81 Wolcott, Quinn
Crew 524 Layne, Jerry21 Wendelstedt, Hunter19 Carapazza, Vic71 Baker, Jordan
Crew 69 Gorman, Brian6 Carlson, Mark87 Barry, Scott73 Gibson, Tripp
Crew 78 Kellogg, Jeff7 O'Nora, Brian92 Hoye, James90 Ripperger, Mark
Crew 820 Hallion, Tom10 Cuzzi, Phil13 Tichenor, Todd78 Hamari, Adam
Crew 933 Winters, Mike95 Timmons, Tim30 Drake, Rob76 Muchlinski, Mike
Crew 1025 Culbreth, Fieldin39 Nauert, Paul54 Bucknor, CB17 Reyburn DJ
Crew 1165 Barrett, Ted44 Danley, Kerwin23 Barksdale, Lance74 Tumpane, John
Crew 1245 Nelson, Jeff63 Diaz, Laz11 Randazzo, Tony89 Blaser, Cory
Crew 1326 Miller, Bill88 Eddings, Doug16 DiMuro, Mike98 Conroy, Chris
Crew 1427 Vanover, Larry72 Marquez, Alfonso2 Bellino, Dan86 Rackley, David
Crew 1541 Meals, Jerry46 Kulpa, Ron60 Foster, Marty47 Morales, Gabe
Crew 16 57 Everitt, Mike3 Welke, Bill68 Guccione, Chris94 Barrett, Lance
Crew 1750 Emmel, Paul1 Dreckman, Bruce4 Fairchild, Chad83 Estabrook, Mike
Crew 1834 Holbrook, Sam58 Iassogna, Dan28 Wolf, Jim79 Gonzalez, Manny
Crew 1914 Wegner, Mark77 Reynolds, Jim64 Porter, Alan85 Scheurwater, Stu

New MLB Umpires (New Hire MLBU) & Retirements: No staff changes.

Notes and Observations:
≫ Only two crews—#9 (Winters) and #17 (Emmel) are unchanged from 2018.
≫ As occurred in 2018, West swapped all three supporting umpires, reuniting with Fletcher ('17).
Wendelstedt rejoins Layne after a two-year absence (last together: 2016, also: Hickox/DeMuth).

Statistical Promotions or Leftward Lateral Movement:
≫ From Umpire 4 to Umpire 3: Alan Porter (from Miller to Wegner [#4: Scheurwater]).

Statistical Rightward Lateral Movement:
≫ From Umpire 3 to Umpire 4: Cory Blaser (from Cederstrom to Nelson [#3: Randazzo]).

Video as follows:

Monday, February 18, 2019

Manfred: Pitch Clock WILL Debut at Spring Training

When Spring Training begins on February 21, 2019, it will feature a 20-second pitch clock, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters a week ahead of baseball's preseason.

Manfred responded to a pace-of-play query by saying, "I'm trying not to be that clear about the pitch clock...this is the point."

The Commissioner continued by explaining his plan for phasing in the use of a clock during live play, asking reporters to wait for an official press release from the league, though Manfred did state the pitch clock would be 20 seconds in duration.

Earlier this offseason, Manfred explained baseball's pace-of-play proposals and other potential rule changes. Those proposals went to the doorstep of Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark, who as recently as Monday afternoon decried Manfred's negotiations—related to payroll issues—as "unconstructive and misleading at best." Manfred had previously criticized the MLBPA's "negativity."
Related Post2019 Rule Change Proposals - Pitch Clock & NL DH? (2/6/19)

League reaction to the impending pitch clock is mixed. While some managers have compared it to the mound visit limit that MLB'ers quickly adapted to, others, such as Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, dismissed the clock: "If I go over it then I go over. I'm not going to change anything I do. I'm not going to pay attention to it one bit, and if it becomes a problem I guess I'll have to deal with it then."

Kershaw then said something that just might make any umpire's skin crawl, regardless of one's stance on the clock: "I think there's ways to fake it...I'm sure there are ways around it."

Teammate Rich Hill was more blunt: "I don't really like it. It's ridiculous."

Video as follows: