Baseball, Umpires Come Together On A Contract

Trying to avoid a situation like in 1999 where 22 umpires lost their jobs, baseball and the umpires union came together on a labor agreement yesterday.

According to the Associated Press, Major League Baseball and the umpires union agreed on a five-year contract that will run through December 2014. The old deal expired on December 31st.

One of the main sticking points of this deal was that baseball wanted more flexibility in assigning umpires during the postseason, and in expanding instant replay.

Under the old agreement an umpire couldn’t work the World Series if he had already worked one of the League Championship Series. That literally makes no sense.

Major League Baseball should put out the best umpires for every playoff series–no matter what. It makes no sense that perhaps the best umpire could only work the ALCS, but not the World Series. If he is the best, then he should be umpiring the most important games of the season.

As far as expanding instant replay, I have my doubts about that. I just think baseball is opening up pandora’s box with expanding instant replay to safe/out calls or fair/foul calls.

Baseball using instant replay on safe/out calls would be like hockey using instant replay to see whether or not the puck left the offensive zone. It would just cause major problems.

Instant replay really works in the NFL because if a coach is wrong with his challenge, his team loses a time-out. As we all know, time outs are very valuable to a coach in the NFL.

What happens in baseball when a manager is wrong about a safe or out call? What can baseball take away that would be hurtful to a manager? That answer to that question is–I have no idea.

If baseball starts taking away balls, strikes, or outs then baseball becomes to0 “gimmicky.” This is Major League Baseball, not the XFL.

The owners and the World Umpires Association (the negotiating arm for the umpires) hope to ratify the agreement next month during the Owner’s Meetings next month in Scottsdale, AZ.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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2 Responses to “Baseball, Umpires Come Together On A Contract”

  1. Buddy Says:

    I enjoy your work very much, but this recent comment about Edwin Jackson was a head-scratcherer:

    “…And I also like the fact that he is going to be a No. 3 starter in 2010, which means he won’t be facing other team’s No. 1 or No. 2 starter.”

    Sure he will. He’ll also face threes, and fours, and fives. Just because a pitcher starts in the three spot, doesn’t mean he will face third starters all year. If you don’t believe me, it’s very easy to research and/or track.

    • Adam Bernacchio Says:

      Hi Buddy,

      First, I appreciate the fact that you enjoy my work. That comment is much appreciated.

      Second, I do agree with you that Jackson won’t just be facing No. 3 starters all year. With days off, rain outs, etc..starters move around. I just think if a pitcher is further down in the rotation, the odds of him facing lesser pitchers are in his favor.

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