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Baseball's ump-overseer is demoted

Jun 11, 2010, 5:14 PM EDT

MLB logo.jpgJimmy Lee Solomon is MLB’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations.  In that capacity he handles on-the-field issues, discipline, security, ballpark issues and stuff like that. Or I should say he was MLB’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and handled on-the-field issues, because according to Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times, Solomon has been “demoted.”

Why? Unknown at the moment, but it’s worth
noting that one of Solomon’s duties is to oversee umpires.  And as we’ve
been following for some time now, the umpires are out of control. Bad
calls and bad attitudes and in need of a good butt-kicking.

Eric Fisher of SportsBusinessJournal doesn’t characterize it as a demotion, but he has more details: Solomon will now be the Executive Vice President for Baseball Development, in which capacity he’ll be overseeing youth academies and things like that. Taking Solomon’s old title will be Kevin McHale (no, not that one), who has been V.P. of Administration.  He’ll only handle part of the job. The umpire oversight and on-field discipline parts of the job will be handled by Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, who has been a special assistant to Bud Selig for a while now.

Is Solomon getting whacked because of bad umpiring, or is this, as Fisher suggests, an efficiency move?  My sense is the former because it’s coming out so late on a Friday, the traditional dumping-ground of less-than-flattering news.

Updates as we learn more, of course.

  1. adam - Jun 11, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    I think he’s actually done a good job this year. Yes, the umpires have gone crazy, but, for the first time I can remember, baseball is actually reprimanding the umpires and telling people about it. Now, maybe Bud’s not too happy about that, but it shows a clear step in the right direction to me.

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  4. Amol - Jun 12, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    I don’t know if this is a demotion or whether Solomon deserved it, but having Robinson in charge of discipline has to be a good thing. My recollection of Robinson as a manager is of a man who was not afraid to kick some ass when it needed kicking, and was able to command respect even while managing a team that was in complete limbo.

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