Tuesday, February 25, 2020

MLB Hires Senior Call-Up Chris Segal to Umpire Staff

Umpire Chris Segal's extended walk along the Triple-A call-up tightrope has ended with Birdman safely through to the other side, as MLB hired Segal to the full-time staff. The senior member of Major League Baseball's 2020 hiring class, Segal spent six years as a fill-in umpire before getting the final call.

With 637 games of big league experience since his April 15, 2014 debut to go along with a Minor League career through the Appalachian, South Atlantic, Florida Instructional, Carolina, Arizona Instructional, Texas, Southern, Pacific Coast, and International Leagues, the 37-year-old from Falls Church, Virginia finally joins the staff after 12 MLB ejections and is now the second umpire to have run a half-marathon over the 2019-20 offseason to subsequently join the major league staff (Nic Lentz).
Related PostMajor League Umpiring Debut: Chris Segal (96) (4/15/14).
Related PostTriple-A Tradition? Young Umps Run for Charity (2/17/20).

During our 2019 All-Star Break review of MiLB call-up umpires, we rated Segal as #1 and most likely to be hired over the 2019-20 offseason, followed closely behind Ryan Blakney, who was the only 2019 call-up to score a higher replay score than Segal.
Related PostMLB Call-Up Umpire Hiring Outlook - 2019 Break (7/11/19).

Segal is also the second hire of 2020 to have incurred the wrath of Yankees Manager Aaron Boone. Segal ejected Brett Gardner in August 2019 after Gardner banged his bat on the ceiling of New York's dugout at Rogers Centre.

Although Segal drew heat from mainstream sports media for the ejection, MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre supported his fill-in umpire, saying that "Gardner earned being thrown out...there was so much carping from the dugout that he pulled the trigger on [who] he assumed was Gardner."
Related PostMLB Ejection 157 - Chris Segal (1; Brett Gardner) (8/9/19).
Related PostJoe Torre Backs Ump Segal in Gardner Ejection (8/13/19).

And, thus, Segal becomes the second youngster bemoaned by Boone to subsequently land a permanent MLB job. News of Segal's hiring was first reported by Ump Life.


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