Thursday, February 6, 2020

Manfred Lists MLB Staff Moves, Torre Takes Step Back

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced a series of changes in his office, including Joe Torre's transition from Chief Baseball Officer to another post, and several promotions.

Old & New Jobs
Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre is now Special Assistant to the Commissioner. Manfred said, of Torre's move, "I am pleased that Joe will remain a valuable resource to us, as he has been for the last decade."

Gil's Call: This means MLB has effectively eliminated the Chief Baseball Officer position, for now, as Torre transitions into a more hands-off, and presumably part-time, role. It's no secret that Torre and Manfred have taken different public positions on the electronic ball/strike issue (Manfred: Wants automated strike zone technology in MLB; Torre: Doesn't see it happening), and Torre's move toward the office fringe paves the way for Manfred to take a more aggressive approach to getting what he wants.
Related PostCiting Atlantic Lg, Manfred Ready for Robo-Zone (8/19/19).

Senior Vice President of Economics & Operations Morgan Sword is now Exective VP.
Torre and Manfred spoke about the E-Zone.
Gil's Call: An employee of baseball labor relations origin—similar to Manfred—Sword may be best known as the "120 Plan" mastermind, according to the NY Daily News. For those unfamiliar, the 120 Plan refers to MLB's effort to renegotiate its deal with, or if no deal occurs, constrict, Minor League Baseball and eliminate several markets.

VP of On-field Operations, Initiatives & Strategy Chris Young is now Senior VP.
Gil's Call: The former MLB pitcher joined the MLB office in 2018 under Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre and Senior VP Peter Woodfork. In his new role, Young will oversee the On-Field Operations and Umpiring Department, reporting to Deputy Commisioner Dan Halem. Torre previously oversaw baseball operations. Not named? Young's former supervisor and report-to, Peter Woodfork. Woodfork had been a candidate for the then-vacant Astros GM position and previously had umpiring oversight responsibilities in the league office.
Related PostMLB Hires Former Player Chris Young as On-Field VP (5/10/18).

MLB also hired former players Gregor Blanco and Nick Hundley as Senior Directors, Baseball Ops.
Gil's Call: Both ex-players will report to Young and, amongst others, serve as liaison to MLB clubs, players, and umpires. They will assist Young in crafting on-field discipline and "provide insights regarding on-field rules, initiatives, technology, instant replay, and other topics."

Not listed anywhere in MLB's press release? Umpires.

Video as follows:
Alternate Link:

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

37-Year MLB Umpire Dana DeMuth Announces Retirement

Veteran umpire Dana DeMuth announced his retirement following a 37-year NL and MLB career spanning 4,283 regular season games, 11 Division Series, five League Championship Series, and five World Series.

The Ohio-born DeMuth officiated his first National League game in 1983 after a Minor League career that took him through the California, Texas, and Pacific Coast Leagues.

DeMuth's first ejections in 1985 included Jim Frey and Tommy Lasorda while his final career ejections in 2017 came during a benches-clearing Yankees-Tigers brawl in Detroit; in all, DeMuth ejected 50 people during his four decades at professional baseball's highest level, or one for every 86 games he officiated.
Related PostMLB Ejections 142-149 - Torres, DeMuth (NYY-DET Fight) (8/24/17).

He wore the uniform number 32 and retired as the second-most senior crew chief on staff (Gerry Davis), and third-longest tenured umpire (West '76, Davis '82). As a chief with second-pick of schedules, DeMuth chose a schedule that placed his crew (Angel Hernandez, Ed Hickox, Carlos Torres) in Europe for the 2019 MLB London Series.
Related Post2019 MLB London Series Umpire Roster (6/28/19).

DeMuth officiated his final MLB game shortly thereafter, when a foul ball to the arm took him out of a game in July. Injuries had similarly sidelined DeMuth for parts of 2014, 2016, and the entire 2018 season.
Related PostInjury Scout - DeMuth Out Early After Foul to Arm (7/13/19).

This retirement was first reported by UmpLife at the Wendelstedt Umpire School.

UEFL Profile of MLB Umpire John Tumpane

Presenting the UEFL Profile of MLB Umpire John Tumpane.
Name: John Francis Tumpane
Pronunciation Guide: JAWN Tum-PAYN
Date of Birth: May 4, 1983
Place of Birth: Evergreen Park, Illinois
MiLB Leagues Worked: Gulf Coast, New York-Penn, South Atlantic, Florida State, Eastern, International, Pacific Coast.
MLB Debut: August 2, 2010
Level: MLB
Umpire Uniform Number: 74
Crew Chief: No

2019 Ejections: 1.
Ejection 158 (MIA M Don Mattingly; QOC = N).

2018 Ejections: 4.
Ejection 064 (KC P Danny Duffy; QOC = Y).
Ejection 063 (KC DH Mike Moustakas; QOC = Y).
Ejection 055 (NYM 2B Asdrubal Cabrera; QOC = Y).
Ejection 043 (CHC LF Kyle Schwarber; QOC = Y).

2017 Ejections: 6.
Ejection 140 (ARI M Torey Lovullo; QOC= U).
Ejection 120 (KC M Ned Yost; QOC = Y).
Ejection 119 (KC DH Mike Moustakas; QOC = Y).
Ejection 080 (KC P Peter Moylan; QOC = Y).
Ejection 015 (STL M Mike Matheny; QOC = N).
Ejection 014 (STL 1B Matt Carpenter; QOC = N).

2016 Ejections: 2.
Ejection 053 (SEA 3B Kyle Seager; QOC = Y).
Ejection 052 (LAA P Hector Santiago; QOC = Y).
Ejection 013 (TOR M John Gibbons; QOC = Y-c).

2015 Ejections: 3.
Ejection 027 (SF M Bruce Bochy; QOC = Y).
Ejection 012 (BOS DH David Ortiz; QOC = Y-c).

2014 Ejections: 4.
Ejection 180 (NYM M Terry Collins; QOC = U).
Ejection 179 (NYM P Bartolo Colon; QOC = U).
Ejection 064 (COL M Walt Weiss; QOC = Y).
Ejection 015 (SF CF Angel Pagan; QOC = N).

2013 Ejections: 1.
Ejection 032 (WAS C Kurt Suzuki; QOC = N).

2012 Ejections: None + 1 Spring Training.
Ejection S-3 (KC RF Jeff Francoeur; QOC = N) [Spring].

2011 Ejections: 2.
Ejection 074 (TB P David Price; QOC = N).
Ejection 073 (TB M Joe Maddon; QOC = N). *First Career MLB Ejection*

2010 Ejections: None.
Ejection History: 0 (2010), 2 (2011), 0 (2012), 1 (2013), 4 (2014), 3 (2015), 2 (2016), 6 (2017), 4 (2018), 1 (2019).

UEFL HistoryJohn Tumpane

Postseason and Special Events History
World Baseball Classic: 2012-Q
All-Star Game: -
Wild Card Game: 2017, 2020
Division Series: 2018, 2019
Championship Series: 2020
World Series: -

UEFL Honorable Umpire of the Year: 2017
UEFL Fill-In Umpire of the Year: 2015

Notes: Hired to the full-time MLB staff during the 2016 season.
» Intervened during suicide attempt in Pittsburgh before a game in June 2017.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

UEFL Profile of MLB Umpire Stu Scheurwater

Presenting the UEFL Profile of MLB Umpire Stu Scheurwater.
MLB Umpire Stu Scheurwater.
Name: Stuart Jeffrey Scheurwater
Pronunciation Guide: STOO SURE-wat-urr
Date of Birth: May 6, 1983
Place of Birth: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
MiLB Leagues Worked: Arizona, Northwest, South Atlantic, Carolina, Texas, Pacific Coast.
MLB Debut: April 25, 2014
Level: MLB
Umpire Uniform Number: 85
Crew Chief: No

2019 Ejections: 1.
Ejection 020 (BAL PC Doug Brocail; QOC = Y).

2018 Ejections: 3.
Ejection 078 (BAL M Buck Showalter; QOC = Y).
Ejection 077 (BAL P Darren O'Day; QOC = Y).
Ejection 058 (NYM M Mickey Callaway; QOC = Y).

2017 Ejections: 5.
Ejection 136 (SEA M Scott Servais; QOC = N).
Ejection 131 (TEX BC Steve Buechele; QOC = U).
Ejection 114 (NYY M Joe Girardi; QOC = N).
Ejection 068 (CIN M Bryan Price; QOC = Y).
Ejection 021 (BAL M Buck Showalter; QOC = Y). *First Career MLB Ejection*

2016 Ejections: None.
2015 Ejections: None.
2014 Ejections: None.
Ejection History: 0 (2014), 0 (2015), 0 (2016), 5 (2017), 3 (2018), 1 (2019).

UEFL History: Stu Scheurwater

Postseason and Special Events History
World Baseball Classic: -
All-Star Game: -
Wild Card Game: 2020
Division Series: 2020
Championship Series: -
World Series: -

UEFL Fill-In Umpire of the Year: 2017

Notes: Hired to the full-time MLB staff prior to the 2018 season.
» Graduated from the Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School in 2006; began MiLB career in 2007.

Monday, February 3, 2020

ABL Players Bash Umpire Thomas After Ejection

After HP Umpire Trent Thomas denied Canberra batter Kelvin Melean's late request for 'Time' during the Australian Baseball League Semifinals, the Cavalry shortstop struck out and was ejected, but the unsportsmanlike conduct spilled over to Facebook, where other players joined in to personally insult the umpire as social media continues to carve a pathway to prolong such temper tantrums.

Ejection Report: HP Umpire Trent Thomas ejected Cavalry SS Kelvin Melean in the top of the 7th inning of the Cavalry-Giants game. With one out and none on, Melean attempted to request 'Time' prior to the 0-1 pitch from Giants pitcher Ryan Chaffee. Thomas denied Melean's request pursuant to Official Baseball Rule 5.04(b)(2) Comment* as Melean requested time after pitcher Chaffee had already begun his delivery, generating an argument from Melean. When Melean subsequently struck out looking to conclude the at-bat, he was summarily ejected after further dissent. At the time of the ejection, the Giants were leading, 4-3. The Giants ultimately won the contest, 6-3.

IF Zach Wilson airs grievance on Facebook.
*OBR 5.04(b)(2) Comment states, "Umpires will not call 'Time' at the request of the batter or any member of his team once the pitcher has started his windup or has come to a set position even though the batter claims 'dust in his eyes,' 'steamed glasses,' 'didn’t get the sign' or for any other cause." Todd Tichenor ejected Red Sox LF Jonny Gomes over a similar complaint in 2013, which exemplifies proper enforcement of this rule. Yet the call's quality of correctness—denial of "Time" vs quick-return pitch—isn't where this play ends.

Cyber Bullying: After the game, several players from around baseball, including the ABL, CanAm, and former MLB, took to social media to complain about umpire Thomas: For instance, Zach Wilson (2018-19 with Canberra, 2018 York of the Atlantic League, and 2018-19 Quebec of the CanAm) posted on Facebook, "That ump is absolute trash...not just one game. It's every game. He's terrible," with former York, Lancaster, and ABL-Sydney Blue Sox player Ty'Relle Lee Harris posting a reply in support.

On Twitter, former ABL and MLB player Travis Blackley wrote, "Can't Robson just call every game. He's the only one capable," with players Luke Hughes and Todd Van Steensel also jumping into the conversation. Added former Canberra/Brisbane/Auckland player Nathan Crawford, "Dude's f*ing trash."

In a welcome break from some of our past stories on player use of internet media to personally insult or attack umpires, it appears that in this case, ejectee Melean left his dissent on the field and did not join in on the cadre of angry Facebook and Twitter rants.

In the States, the umpires' union (MLBUA) previously took umbrage with MLB's purported failure to adequately respond to instances of umpire abuse from active players as recently as 2019; see our previous article and video concerning the MLB-MLBUA workplace violence saga for more context. For instance, even if a league does have a social media policy for players or coaches, its penalties can be fairly inconsequential, such as MLB's 0.1%-of-salary fines for postgame umpire insults that are little more than a veiled instruction to draft a tax-deductible donation to charity.
Related PostMLB Rejects MLBUA's Workplace Violence Tweet (6/19/19).

Wrap: Canberra Cavalry vs. Adelaide Giants (ABL), 2/1/20 | Video as follows: