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Veteran umpires Jerry Crawford, Chuck Meriwether, and Mike Reilly retiring

Feb 23, 2011, 3:53 PM EDT

jerry-crawford-umpire

MLB announced today that Jerry Crawford, Chuck Meriwether, and Mike Reilly are retiring after combining for more than 80 years as big-league umpires.

Crawford has been on the job since 1977 and became the game’s senior umpire when Ed Montague retired last year. Reilly became an MLB umpire in 1983 and Meriwether, who missed last season due to an injury, was hired in 1993.

According to the Associated Press their replacements are Scott Barry and Brian Knight. Last year Rob Drake, Chad Fairchild, James Hoye, and Adrian Johnson joined the roster when veterans Montague, Randy Marsh, Rick Reed, and Charlie Reliford retired, so the stable of MLB umpires has gotten significantly younger and less experienced in the past 18 months. Which, given some of the criticisms lobbed at the umpires’ performance in recent years, may not be such a bad thing.

  1. thinman61 - Feb 23, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Now if we could just get Cowboy Joe West, Angel Hernandez, and CB Bucknor to follow them into retirement.

  2. sportsdrenched - Feb 23, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    I agree, Joe West and CB Bucknor need to go away. Don’t know about Angel Hernandez and that’s a good thing.

    If you’re an MLB Umpire I should only reading your name on HBT after yoru retirement.

    • bloodysock - Feb 23, 2011 at 4:53 PM

      Angel Hernandez is absolutely awful. And I completely agree with the other two who should be sent off the island.

    • mcs7584 - Feb 23, 2011 at 9:28 PM

      I believe Hernandez was part of West’s crew last year.

  3. jamool26 - Feb 23, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Nooooooo!! Not Scott Barry!!!! He is the piece of crap that ejected Ryan Howard from a game last season after taunting him, leaving the Phillies with no position players and forcing them to use Roy Oswalt in the outfield! This guy does not deserve to be a Major League umpire EVER!!

    • cur68 - Feb 23, 2011 at 4:27 PM

      Yeah, I saw that last year. West should saddle up Barry and the two of them should ride off into the sunset together. Aint nobody paying to watch those guys do anything except walk out the door.

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 23, 2011 at 4:48 PM

      That baseless ejection led directly to the Phightins loss that night. That jagoff isn’t fit (hehhehheh…a “fit” reference about umpires…hehhehheh) to roam the diamond.

  4. Utley's Hair - Feb 23, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    A bit off topic, but has anybody heard from kiwicricket? I’m not entirely sure where he resides, but his monniker leads me to believe New Zealand, and with that earthquake…. Just wondering is all….

    • cur68 - Feb 23, 2011 at 9:33 PM

      Hey Ut, it’s pretty bad in Kiwi-land right now. Maybe he’s just distracted with that. Lets hope so. He is funny and I need the laughs.

      • Utley's Hair - Feb 23, 2011 at 10:54 PM

        I hear you. I don’t even know if he’s over there, but it just clicked. If he is, I hope he and his loved ones are okay. After all, HBT nation is like a big family—though some are like the brother or cousin that do nothing but irritate the hell out of you.

  5. kevinrohling - Feb 23, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    football!

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 23, 2011 at 6:31 PM

      Um…oh-kay…whatever that’s supposed to mean…

  6. macjacmccoy - Feb 24, 2011 at 6:35 AM

    “Jerry Crawford, Chuck Meriwether, and Mike Reilly are retiring after combining for more than 80 years as big-league umpires.”

    1977 to 2011 is 34. 1983 to 2011 is 28. 1993 to 2011 is 18. 18 + 28 + 34 = Thats 80 and we all no 80 isnt more then 80. Thats not even taking away 1 bc Meriwether didnt ump last year. So its more like 79 years which like 80 isnt more then 80. Tsk Tsk. I thought you baseball stat nuts were suppose to be good with numbers.

    • cur68 - Feb 24, 2011 at 10:25 AM

      Baseball numbers we good at. Those are umpire numbers and we realize its not more than 80 years, it just feels that way.

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 24, 2011 at 11:57 AM

      Actually, 2011 shouldn’t even be included there, since they weren’t around for the season that has yet to begin—which makes it 77, minus 2010 for Meriwether (taking you at your word on that one, since I don’t remember). So 76 years, though cur68′s got a point—in umpire years, that would be about 154 years.

  7. Detroit Michael - Feb 24, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    So Mike “Cornflakes” Reilly is retiring. I’m wondering if how many remaining umpires who have colorful nicknames. It seems unlikely that they get nicknames since they many of them strive to be anonymous on the field.

    Cowboy Joe West has a nickname and doesn’t strive to be anonymous. Are there more?

  8. kenilorac - Apr 23, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    Chuck will be seriously missed. And as for the more than 80 years there is an easy explanation for that. The years of service indicated are correct. They start the calculations from the time they sign their major league contracts. But, each served many seasons as fill in umpires in the majors (while still officially Triple A contracted umpires) before finally getting their MLB permanent contracts and officially joining the staff. So the calculation is an approximation. But undoubtedly accurate.

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