According to Jesse Rogers of ESPN, 10 big-league umpires are retiring at the end of this month, the biggest turnover the league has seen in its officiating crews in over two decades. Sadly, Angel Hernandez is not on the list of retirees.
News: Some of the most veteran, well respected umpires are retiring.
Sources: 10 MLB umps retiring, most since '99 https://t.co/ax1krcFfaW
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) December 29, 2022
Ten MLB umpires, including seven crew chiefs, are set to retire at the end of the month, making it the largest turnover at that job since 1999, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.
Some of the retirements are due to nagging injuries while others are coincidental, as a group of the umpires entered the league around the same time — after a labor dispute saw 22 former umps resign at the end of last century.
Well-respected crew chiefs Ted Barrett, Greg Gibson, Tom Hallion, Sam Holbrook, Jerry Meals, Jim Reynolds and Bill Welke are among the group to hang up their chest protectors, while Marty Foster, Paul Nauert and Tim Timmons will join them in retirement.
There are some Dodgers links here. Gibson was the home-plate umpire for Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter in 2014, and the previous October he was the grumpy killjoy who made Scott Van Slyke and Joe Kelly stop their national anthem standoff prior to a postseason game. Gibson was also behind the plate when the Dodgers beat the Brewers in Game 7 of the 2018 NLCS and when L.A. manager Dave Roberts wanted to murder Padres manager Andy Green back in 2017.
— Around The Bases POD (@AroundBasesPOD) July 1, 2017
Hallion was, of course, the home-plate ump when new Dodger Noah Syndergaard threw at old Dodger Chase Utley and got ejected in 2016. Hallion famously told Mets manager Terry Collins, “Our ass is in the jackpot,” introducing a new generation of baseball fans to an antiquated phrase.
All of these umpires have done plenty of Dodger games over the years. While we wish a fond farewell to them in the abstract, it’s undeniably a good thing to get new blood in the umpiring ranks. Rogers refers to them as “well-respected,” but the only thing anyone knows about Jerry Meals is the time he brutally blew that call at the plate in the Braves/Pirates game and almost made Clint Hurdle explode back in 2011.
(2011) Jerry Meals infamously calls Julio Lugo safe and the Braves win 4-3 over the Pirates in the bottom of the 19th pic.twitter.com/dyeXPuNq32
— Bad Sports Refs (@BadSportsRefs) April 29, 2020
That guy kept his job for 11 more years. Of course, Hernandez has been had at his job at least that long — and belligerently so! — and is still working, so who knows anymore.
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