MLB names umpiring crews for ALCS and NLCS

MLB announced umpiring crews for the two division championship series.

It will be 32-year veteran John Hirschbeck’s 19th career postseason assignment, and his fifth LCS. The rest of his crew is: Laz Diaz, Dan Iassogna, Jeff Nelson, Tony Randazzo and Hunter Wendelstedt.

19-year veteran Ted Barrett who lead the NL crew and is in his 21st postseason assignment, including his seventh LCS. He will work with Eric Cooper, Rob Drake, Paul Emmel, Tim Timmons and Bill Miller. Drake will work the plate in Game 1 of the NLCS, with Mark Wegner (with the assistance of Estabrook) serving as the replay official in Games 1 and 2, before Drake takes over in Game 3.

Featured imageCorrect me if I’m wrong, and I certainly could be, but I have yet to see Joe West make an appearance, and MLB does love to ensure that all umpires get in on the action in the playoffs, selecting umpires by seniority, rather than by performance.  Is this a sign that West is being saved for the World Series?  That thought just sent shivers down my spine.

9 thoughts on “MLB names umpiring crews for ALCS and NLCS

  1. Damn you Scout, I was so pleased to see that Cowboy Joe was not on there that it didn’t occur to me that they might be saving him for the WS until you said it.

    The sad thing is that in terms of getting calls right, West is considered one of the better umps. But his attitude is so shitty, it overshadows his body of work.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He rates among the worst umps at calling balls and strikes every year. Last year he was dead last, in 2015, he’s at the bottom again.

      There are guys that are bad because they have huge zones (no one has a small zone compared to the actual zone), but West has a huge zone with holes in it…he is among the leaders at calling balls strikes AND among the leaders at calling strikes balls.


        1. Because MLB doesn’t assign umps based on quality, but based on seniority.

          You can check out baseball savant for objective measure of ump quality. It is a little dry, but combing through the data once in a while helps shape my opinion about guys I think are good or bad (for example, everyone loves Jim Joyce, but he still sucks).

          Liked by 1 person

      1. West used to be a good ump, but that was a long time ago. He’s progressively gotten worse and worse, and I believe that knowing that he can’t be terminated, and that he can do whatever he wants, has caused him to get lazy and only fueled his already giant ego.


        1. Well, that…and as you get older your eyesight gets worse….there is no reason to expect older umps to call balls and strikes well…with worse eyesight and slower reaction time….those pitches are coming fast and moving a lot.

          Missing 15% of called pitches is horrible when you consider many of them are no doubter balls or strikes, he probably gets about 1/2 of the close calls right…a quarter could do that.


        2. The sad thing is, he could get more right if he just bothered to you know, ask his fellow umpiring crew. But they’ve cultivated a system where all umpires are put out on an island and must be the kings of their own domain.


        3. Yep, but this type of thing is common when cultures create “us” and “them”….the culture of the insular “us” will drift with no outside voices to check it…and then they are angry and confused when “them” (who, of course, don’t know what they are talking about because they are not “us”) point out how far afield the culture is….this happens in the military, cops, academia, fraternities/sororities, politics…pretty much any type of actively insular group.


  2. The AL crew is full of below average umps…holey cow is that a group of guys with huge zones. Probably a big advantage for KC based on approaches of their hitters.


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