Friday, November 13, 2020

Retired MLB Umpire Paul Schrieber Dies at 54

Retired Major League umpire Paul Schrieber has passed away as reported by UmpsCare on Friday. After beginning his baseball career in the 1990 Northwest Lg, Schrieber joined the NL staff in 1998 with MLB success shortly thereafter, from 2000 through 2015; he died Thursday, November 12, 2020, at the age of 54.

Schrieber's 1997 National League debut marked a culmination of a minor league journey that took the Oregon-born umpire through the Northwest, California, Florida State, Southern League, and American Association. 

Prior to his umpiring career, Schrieber played baseball at Canada Junior College and Portland State University, serving as a catcher; his father Harry also officiated baseball at the Triple-A level (Pacific Coast League).

He officiated the 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2014 Division Series, as well as the 2000 and 2015 All-Star Game and concluded his 2,207-game career with 31 ejections.

Schrieber's uniform number 43 is presently worn by call-up Shane Livensparger.

It has been a difficult year for the umpiring community, with October's loss of Derryl Cousins and July's loss of Rick Reed, with losses of Eric Cooper and Chuck Meriwether in late 2019.

With such widespread grief in the officiating community, especially as COVID-related restrictions threaten to derail or cancel sports, it may be appropriate to revisit our prior article on mental health and our recent podcast with Jack Furlong of the OSIP Foundation. As part of that discussion, we published information about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, available at 1-800-273-8255. In addition to the hotline, one can also chat online with a trained operator.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

2020 Final Standings & UEFL's Perfect Crew

UEFL Awards Season concludes with the 2020 Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's final standings and announcement of this year's perfect crew. The highest score in 2020 was 104 and the lowest score possible was -16, a points spread of 120 (compare to 2019's Perfect Score of 136 and lowest score of -23 [bear in mind that 2020 produced a COVID-shortened 60-game regular season vs 2019's standard 162-game schedule]).
Related Post2019 UEFL Final Standings and the Perfect Crew (11/12/19).

2020 Perfect Crew (Highest Score): 104 points.
Crew Chief (Crew Division): Angel Hernandez (21 pts).
Primary Umpires: Mark Ripperger (27 pts) & Dan Bellino (22 pts).
Secondary Umpires: Angel Hernandez (18 pts) & Jim Reynolds (16 pts).

Primary Umpire Points Leaders:
1) Mark Ripperger (27 pts)
2) Dan Bellino (22 pts)
3) Angel Hernandez (21 pts)
4) Vic Carapazza (18 pts)
5) Jim Reynolds (17 pts)
T-6) Ted Barrett, Jeremie Rehak, Quinn Wolcott (15 pts)
9) Bill Miller (14 pts)
10) Edwin Moscoso (13 pts)

2020 UEFL Imperfect Crew (Lowest Score): -16 points.
Crew Chief: Larry Vanover (-3 pts).
Primary Umpires: Mike Muchlinski (-3 pts) & Nate Tomlinson (-3 pts).
Secondary Umpires: Chad Fairchild (-4 pts) & Chad Whitson (-3 pts).

Final Standings for the 2020 UEFL Season.
Replay Review Ranking by Umpire [min. n=4] (RAP)
1) Cory Blaser (1.000, 5-for-5).
T-2) Angel Hernandez (.857, 6-for-7).
T-2) Vic Carapazza (.857, 6-for-7).
T-4) Ramon De Jesus (.833, 5-for-6).
T-4) Ben May (.833, 5-for-6).
T-4) Jansen Visconti (.833, 5-for-6).
7) Alan Porter (.800, 4-for-5).
T-8) Jim Reynolds (.750, 9-for-12).
T-8) Ryan Additon (.750, 6-for-8).
T-8) Lance Barrett (.750, 6-for-8).
T-8) Pat Hoberg (.750, 3-for-4).
T-8) Jeff Nelson (.750, 3-for-4).
T-8) Alex Tosi (.750, 3-for-4).
T-14) Mark Ripperger (.714, 10-for-14).
T-14) Chris Guccione (.714, 5-for-7).
16) Ted Barrett (.700, 7-for-10).
T-17) Brian Knight (.667, 6-for-9).
T-17) Roberto Ortiz (.667, 6-for-9).
T-17) Jeremie Rehak (.667, 6-for-9).
T-17) CB Bucknor (.667, 4-for-6).
T-17) Marvin Hudson (.667, 4-for-6).
T-22) Andy Fletcher (.636, 7-for-11).
T-22) Paul Nauert (.636, 7-for-11).
T-24) Chris Conroy (.625, 5-for-8).
T-24) Quinn Wolcott (.625, 5-for-8).
Full Results: UEFL's MLB Umpire Replay Review Statistics & Sabermetrics

Most Raw Overturns (Greatest # of Overturned Calls)
1) 8: Doug Eddings, Chad Fairchild.
2) 7: Ron Kulpa, Shane Livensparger.
3) 6: Mike Muchlinski.
4) 5: Jordan Baker, Adrian Johnson, DJ Reyburn, Chad Whitson.

2020 Ejection Leaders
1) Dan Bellino (8).
2) Mark Ripperger (5).
T-3) Vic Carapazza, Will Little (4).
T-5) Ted Barrett, Angel Hernandez, Ron Kulpa (3).

2020 UEFL Final Standings (Ties resolved per Rule 5-3)
1) ajbeisheim (65 pts).
2) cyclone14 (56 pts).
3) FVB6 (53 pts).
4) bschmidt24 (52 pts).
5) Dutch65 (49 pts).
6) MrMLBSmith (48 pts, 18 PRM-A [Carapazza]).
7) Cha Lee (48 pts, 15 PRM-A [Wolcott]).
8) braytonboggs (48 pts, 11 PRM-A [Timmons]).
9) elaresD (48 pts, 6 PRM-A [Hamari]).
10) Krusty The Clown (47 pts).
11) lshlarson (46 pts, 10 PRM-A [L Barrett] | 9 PRM-B [Hudson]).
12) andrew downs (46 pts, 10 PRM-A [Scheurwater] | 3 PRM-B [Torres]).
13) Williamsb59 (46 pts, 5 PRM-A [Bucknor]).
14) Cincyump08 (45 pts, 15 PRM-A [T Barrett]).
15) bbfan (45 pts, 14 PRM-A [Bi Miller]).
16) lsh9168 (44 pts).
17) TXWrangler (43 pts).
18) Young_Ump (42 pts, 15 PRM-A [T Barrett]).
19) ref44 (42 pts, 9 PRM-A [Tumpane]).
20) Umpirewillie100 (42 pts, 8 PRM-A [Nelson]).
21) Richard Gordon (42 pts, 4 PRM-A [Joe West]).
22) tre_n.47 (41 pts).
23) UmpAtty (39 pts, 10 PRM-A [Scheurwater]).
24) nyumpire (39 pts, 4 PRM-A [Baker] | 21 PRM-B [Hernandez]).
25) Alex Cheriel (39 pts, 4 PRM-A [Eddings] | 7 PRM-B [Marquez]).

Complete Final Standings, points, and results available via the UEFL Portal's 2020 Standings page.
Umpire Leaders available at UEFL's MLB Umpire Replay Review Statistics and Sabermetrics page.

The Rules Summit will begin tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

2020 UEFL Award for Umpire of the Year - Mark Carlson

On Veteran's Day, former Marine Mark Carlson wins UEFL's 2020 Umpire of the Year Award.
Voting: Carlson (18.8%), John Tumpane (17.0%), Pat Hoberg (10.1%).

Mark Carlson is the UEFL's 2020 Umpire of the Year.

Named an interim crew chief for the 60-game COVID schedule, Carlson drew praise for developing his crew throughout the season and again found himself with postseason assignments.

Wrote Russ, "For several years now Carlson has been one of the best Umpires in the league and that was no different this year."

Carlson officiated the 2020 Division Series round as well as the 2020 World Series, serving as Game 1's Right Field Umpire and concluding his season off the field; had the series gone to a winner-take-all Game 7, Carlson would have been the home plate umpire.

This marks the second consecutive season in which the UEFL's Best Umpire of the Year corresponds to MLB's selected umpire to officiate Game 7 of the World Series (Jim Wolf, 2019).

UEFL Awards History, Mark Carlson
Noteworthy Umpire of the Year: 2015

Mark Carlson now has 12 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (7 Previous + 5 Award = 12).
Final Standings will be released tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

2020 Ejection of the Year Award - Dan Bellino (x2)

Dan Bellino wins UEFL's 2020 Ejections of the Year Award [2019: Phil Cuzzi & Brennan Miller].

A two-fer win, Bellino ejected Twins 3B Josh Donaldson for exaggeratedly kicking dirt on home plate during a home run trot in Detroit on September 17 for the number one ejection of the 2020 season, having ejected a trio of Cincinnati Reds during a fight situation on August 29, the number two ejection sequence of 2020.

After taking a 2-0 slider from White Sox pitcher Reynaldo Lopez in Chicago, Donaldson stepped back and expressed his displeasure, leading manager Rocko Baldelli to exit the dugout and have a brief conversation with Bellino behind home plate.

Upon his return to the batter's box, Donaldson hit Lopez's very next pitch for a solo-HR to give Minnesota a 3-2 lead. As Donaldson completed his journey around the bases, he made a point of kicking dirt onto home plate while jogging past home plate before returning to make sure Bellino had gotten the message, resulting in an ejection. Donaldson's Twins ultimately surrendered the lead on a White Sox ground ball to third base, where Donaldson would have been playing had he not been ejected; Chicago ultimately won the contest, 4-3.

Several weeks earlier, Bellino presided over a benches-clearing incident in Cincinnati after Reds batter Shogo Akiyama took a 2-1 fastball from Cubs pitcher Adbert Alzolay that replays indicate was located over the heart of home plate, albeit above the height of the batter's head, during a back-pick attempt at first base (catcher-to-first baseman).

Bellino ejected Reds DH Joey Votto, LF Jesse Winker, and Manager David Bell in short order after warning the trio not to come onto the field to participate in the confrontation between teams.

Voting Results (Top 3): 62 Bellino (12.5%), 41-43 Bellino (11.2%), Mike Estabrook (<10%).
Dan Bellino now has 22 points in the UEFL Standings (21 Previous + 1 Award = 22).

The final postseason award, (Best) Umpire of the Year, will be released on Wednesday.

2020 Promising Umpire Award - Hoberg & Tumpane

Pat Hoberg & John Tumpane are 2020's Promising Umpires of the Year [2019: Hoberg & Al Porter].
Voting: Hoberg (25.0%), Tumpane (18.4%), Jordan Baker (14.2%), Adam Hamari (13.2%).

Pat Hoberg & John Tumpane are UEFL's 2020 Promising Umpires of the Year.

2019's top vote getter for Promising Umpire of the Year Pat Hoberg repeats with back-to-back Promising Awards as Hoberg adds to his impressive postseason résumé for a 2017 full-time hire to the MLB staff.

Hoberg officiated the 2020 Wild Card Round as well as his first League Championship Series, meaning that Hoberg has officiated the highest possible round of the postseason he has been eligible for ever since he became a full-time umpire (hired in 2017, Wild Card Game in 2018, Division Series in 2019, League Championship Series in 2020). Will Hoberg soon see a World Series?

Praised for his pose and command of the game, Hoberg's 99.3% mark tied for the highest plate score of the 2020 LCS with this year's second Promising Umpire of the Year Award winner, John Tumpane, after the real-time balls/strikes computer initially ruled that Tumpane had officiated a perfect game pursuant to UEFL f/x rules. In the end, both Hoberg and Tumpane came up just one pitch shy.

Tumpane similarly has officiated every postseason since his first year of eligibility in 2017 following his 2016 hiring and also worked his first League Championship Series in 2020.

UEFL Awards History, Pat Hoberg
Promising Umpire of the Year: 2019

UEFL Awards History, John Tumpane
Honorable Umpire of the Year: 2017
Fill-In Umpire of the Year: 2015

Pat Hoberg now has 12 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (9 Previous + 3 Award = 12).
John Tumpane now has 9 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (6 Previous + 3 Award = 9).
The next postseason award to be released will be Ejection of the Year.

Monday, November 9, 2020

2020 UEFL Award for Honorable - Hernandez & West

Angel Hernandez & Joe West are 2020's Honorable Umpires [2019: Eric Cooper & Chris Guccione].
Voting Results: Hernandez (13.3%), West (11.1%), Ted Barrett (10.6%), Laz Diaz/Jim Reynolds (10.0%).

Angel Hernandez & Joe West are UEFL's 2020 Honorable Umpires of the Year.

With a spotlight thoroughly focused on him during a still-in-litigation dispute with Major League Baseball over the league's purported failure to promote him to Crew Chief prior to 2017, Hernandez finally had an opportunity to lead a crew as an interim chief during the COVID-modified 2020 season.

Hernandez's 21 points in Crew Division were the most for any Chief during the 2020 season.

Said RIABUAvp, "Went out and led his crew capably + earned a playoff plate despite all the usual ridiculous noise from the general public and the pending suit with the league in the background. Then had a terrific plate performance. Not to mention he was obviously working through some injury with some type of cast or brace on his arm all year, but I don't believe he missed an assignment."

Hernandez's Division Series plate during San Diego-Los Angeles NLDS Game 2 produced a 97.8% score, which was second-highest during the series to Bill Miller's 98.4% in Game 3, and prompted a slew of tweets from usual Angel-critics praising Hernandez for a quality plate performance during the postseason.

Joe West, meanwhile, began 2020 testifying on Hernandez's behalf in the ongoing discrimination lawsuit against MLB, while simultaneously winning his defamation lawsuit against Paul Lo Duca when the latter opted to defend his position by ignoring the suit.

After initially complaining that COVID-19 deaths were exaggerated, West nonetheless began wearing a face covering during the season's second week, battled through a bloody bat-to-the-head injury by later returning to that game as a base umpire, and backed up crew mate Hunter Wendelstedt in requesting Nationals GM Mike Rizzo's removal from a game in Atlanta.

West thus wins this award not necessarily for one specific action—and perhaps in spite of several of them—but for his long-held philosophy and creed for officiating:
"My first responsibility is to the game of baseball. That doesn’t mean the commissioner’s office. That means the game. The second responsibility is to your profession. When I get on my pedestal at the union meetings, I tell them to be moral, honest, true and correct. If you do them in that order, nothing you do out there will be wrong."
UEFL Awards History, Angel Hernandez
Promising Umpire of the Year: 20102012, 2014
Most Improved Umpire of the Year: 2015, 2016

UEFL Awards History, Joe West
Honorable Umpire of the Year: 2009
Ejection of the Year: 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018

Angel Hernandez now has 21 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (19 Prev + 2 Award = 21).
Joe West now has 4 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (2 Prev + 2 Award = 4).
The next postseason award to be announced will be Promising Umpire of the Year.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

2020 UEFL Award for Crew Chief - Jim Reynolds

Jim Reynolds wins the UEFL's 2020 Crew Chief of the Year Award [2019 Winner: Gary Cederstrom].
Voting Results: Reynolds (13.7%), Bill Miller (13.2%), Mark Carlson (12.7%), Joe West (11.7%).

Jim Reynolds is the 2020 UEFL Crew Chief of the Year.

In his first season as a full-time Crew Chief, Reynolds commanded a COVID-modified crew that effectively featured two call-up umpires, given that Reynolds' season-opening number two—Jim Wolf—suffered a season-ending concussion injury nary one week into the season.

Explained Russ, "He and his crew were fantastic all season and he ended up being an LCS CC despite it only being his first season as a full time CC. That is unheard of but his work all season and in the Playoffs was phenomenal."

Reynolds concluded the 2020 season with 10 points in Crew Division.

UEFL Awards History, Jim Reynolds
Ejection of the Year: 2015

Jim Reynolds now has 17 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (16 Previous + 1 Award = 17).
The next postseason award to be announced will be Honorable Umpire of the Year.