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MLB News: Several Prominent Umpires Announce Retirement

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.

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.

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.

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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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. He's been blogging about baseball and the Dodgers 2004 and doing it professionally since 2015. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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7 Comments

  1. That’s the first thing I thought too, when I saw the headline. “Please let Angel Hernandez be on the list!” Oh well, better luck next time

  2. You would think the umpires union would force Hernandez to retire. He makes them look bad.

  3. Ted Barrett – A good man with an atrocious strike zone
    Greg Gibson – Good on the bases, inconsistent strike zone
    Tom Hallion – Good Ump. Will be missed
    Sam Holbrook – Lousy strike zone – changes inning by inning
    Jerry Meals – One of the worst strike zones in the game – bye bye!
    Jim Reynolds – Respected by the players, above average strike zone
    Bill Welke – Atrocious strike zone
    Marty Foster – One of the worst umps in recent history
    Paul Nauert – Good ump – under the radar because he just goes about his business
    Tim Timmons – Bad strike zone, good man.

  4. The only way that Angel should be allowed to umpire is to allow his seeing eye dog to accompany him and make the calls! Should be fired if not retired!

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