Friday, October 23, 2009

Umpire Changes and Magazine Honors

MLB is changing their methods of selecting World Series umpires, due to poor judgements and bad calls in this year's postseason. Sources within MLB spoke on condition of anonymity, because the announcements are no yet official.

In 24 of the past 25 Fall Classics the 6-man umpiring crew has included at least one umpire working his first World Series. According to the Associated Press, in each of the past two years, there were three first time Series workers on the crew. MLB will not allow any "newbies" to get in the mix this year, with longtime crew chiefs Joe West, Dana DeMuth & Gerry Davis, in addition to veterans Brian Gorman, Jeff Nelson & Mike Everitt all slated to call the games.

Reportedly, C.B. Bucknor was in line to call the Series, but blown calls in game 1 of this year's division series with the Angels and Red Sox hurt his chances.

Phil Cuzzi's "foul" call that was clearly fair by a foot or more, in the Twins/Yankees game...Tim McClelland’s awful one out call when two players were tagged OFF the third base bag in this week's ALCS game...Dale Scott's missed pick off in the same game...these are all among a growing list of inaccurate calls by umpires this post season that have fans of baseball calling for the expansion of video replay rules. Lucky catch for fans...umpires don't work in consecutive rounds of the playoffs, so any ump that has angered you in the LCS rounds couldn't be back in the final round.

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As many of you heard, "Jay" Happ was named The Sporting News magazine's National League Rookie of the Year, this week. In a panel of 328 players, 22 managers and 31 general managers and assistant general managers, Happ was chosen as the premiere rookie performer in the National League, with his 12-4 record, 2.93 ERA and 119 K's. Despite what other web pages or blogs might tell you, this is not an official MLB award and Happ has not been named the real Rookie of the Year, at this point.

Additionally, Sporting News honored a pair of other Phillies by naming Chase Utley and Jayson Werth to their end of season NL all star team. Utley, who is often regarded as the best offensive second baseman in all of baseball, had a great year, posting his fourth consecutive 100-plus RBI season. Werth, who had career highs in homers, RBI, runs and OPS got one of three NL outfield spots in The Sporting News' post season honors.

Also among the awards given by The Sporting News were Player of the Year- Albert Pujols...NL Comeback Player of the Year- Chris Carpenter...AL Comeback Player of the year- Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill...AL Manager of the Year- Angels manager Mike Scioscia...NL Manager of the Year- Rockies skipper Jim Tracy....and AL Rookie of the Year White Sox third baseman Gordon Beckham.

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