Sunday, 29 May 2011


On many occasions in Extended Spring Training a player may be called on to base umpire a game. Yesterday I was called upon with this responsibilty and I think it's very easy to say, both teams were not impressed by my performance. Having to umpire a professional baseball game has given me a new found respect for the job that these umpires have to do. If you ask any number of players about umpires, you will get an extreme variety of answers. Answers will range from derogatory to positive to neutral.

Just like the players down here in Extended Spring, the umpires are also rookies.It has been interesting, entertaining and even comforting to see these umpires make rookie mistakes as well. As you move up the the ranks in Minor League Baseball, so do the umpires and as the players and competition gets better, so do the umpires. Most of the umpires down here are just out of college and look around 22-23 years old so they are just a little older then some of the players. 

The umpires down here take some abuse because that is the nature of their job, they don’t get a pat on the back for making a good call, but when they mess one up, they get to hear about it. The fact that they are rookies means that they are making even more mistakes than you are used to seeing in the bigs and the coaches who are down here have been around for a while. So, you can imagine how intimidated a rookie umpire may feel when an argument breaks out. The coaches are generally pretty merciful with them, but at times tempers wear thin and confrontations occur. In Extended Spring you will rarely see a coach get angry at a bad call because we aren't playing for a championship, but once the season starts, our coaches will surely get more vocal.

Just like us, these umpires have a dream of one day going to the Major Leagues, and just like us, it will take years and years of hard work in the hot sun to achieve it.

This is a photo of my 2009 GCL Phillies coach during a game vs the GCL Yankees. We were 1 game behind the Yankees with a week to go in the season, and the Umpire made a questionable call. As you can see, my coach wasn't too happy

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