Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Mike Winters Retires Following 2020 Opt-Out

Veteran Major League umpire and Crew Chief Mike Winters officially retired following a 32-career in the NL and MLB. Having begun his professional baseball journey in 1982's Northwest League, Winters worked his first National League game as a call-up from the Pacific Coast League in 1988, joining the NL two years thereafter.

Winters officiated three Wild Card Games, 11 Division Series, six League Championship Series, and four World Series, ejecting 108 players, coaches, and mangers from his first ejection of the late Tommy Lasorda in 1989 to his final ejection of Mickey Callaway in 2019.

When Major League Baseball considered its options for its COVID-modified 2020 season, it offered options to some senior umpires on the staff to sit out the year with pay. The Southern California-based Winters, aged 61 at the time, took the opt-out, making his final career game August 4, 2019. News of Winters' retirement was first announced by MLBUA.

MLB filled the staff vacancy caused by Winters' retirement by hiring Jeremie Rehak, first announced in December 2020. As we wrote at the time, "Not many winters go by with excess staff on payroll."


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